Cyber Ricochet: Risk Management and Cyberspace Operations

  • July 23, 2012
  • Mr Benjamin C Leitzel

What do the names Duqu, Flame and Stuxnet have in common – they are all malware programs deliberately built to exploit the vulnerabilities of computer networks and systems. Such cyberspace operations can produce effects that can accomplish national objectives with the promise of limited risk. However, these ‘cyber bullets’ are prone to ricochet and it is difficult to predict their spread which may propagate the uncontrolled use or reengineering by unfriendly actors, thus creating the real possibility of a ‘cyber ricochet,’ which could strike friendly networks and systems that could not only adversely affect military capabilities and operations, but also place a nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources at risk.