Sep 07 2008

Russia used cyber hype as a weapon against Georgia

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What did I glean from Russia’s recent “cyberattacks” against Georgia? Well, I’ve learned you can weaponize the media’s infatuation with the Internet.

Imagine the frustration Georgia’s president must have felt. He’s got Russian tanks swooping in; he’s got Russian bombers swooping in. But what does the media really care about? “President Saakashvili, do you believe Russian military hackers were behind the downfall of your personal website? Mr. President, is it true the president of Poland agreed to host your website until the cyberattacks subside?”

The media cares far more about Georgian websites than they should. Russia understood this and they exploited it. And Russia can repeat this tactic with impunity … because net-savvy reporters don’t see themselves as part of a war machine.

Do you see the exquisite irony here? Patriotic media darlings like Dan Verton and John Arquilla can be used as a weapon against their own country.

Russia can weaponize the cyber hype. Heaven help us…