Late last night Sony revealed it would pull "The Interview" from its release schedule. This decision was made in response to the step taken by the major theater chains that all agreed they would not screen the movie on its release day. The unprecedented decision is causing consternation among entertainment media types who feel that Sony has put the right of free speech in jeopardy. That's a conversation worth having and I'm glad it's happening. But there is an entirely new question that this situation brings into dramatic relief, one that didn't exist before and one that our premeditations won't help us resolve. The question is this:
Can companies participate in cyberwar?
Up until now, companies have prepared to defend themselves against cyber attacks as one-off nuisances. Such attacks are now so common that they no longer make the news. Even massive breaches where millions of customer datapoints are compromised tend to give us pause for only a few moments, perhaps a few days, and then we move on. But what Sony experienced was not just a security breach. This hack was a declaration of cyberwar intended to bring Sony to its digital knees. A low-cost, digitally effective cyberwar that puts none of the hackers' assets in harm's way. And given yesterday's announcement it appears to have worked.Read more