But for those who relish the idea of a new front for war, it’s way cooler and scarier to say we are in the midst of — and losing — a cyberwar, than to factually state that the Chinese want to steal our secrets and we want to steal theirs and we should have better computer security.
That kind of rhetoric doesn’t launch sensationalist — and often demonstrably false — scare stories in opinion-making outlets like 60 Minutes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the National Journal.
No, when that kind of fear-mongering is needed to loosen the purse strings for computer security, only one word will do.
And it’s even better when repeated ad nauseum in front of Congress and at the country’s top security conferences by former and current government officials, even if those people couldn’t even enable MAC address filtering on their own wireless routers.
Or as the Beastie Boys might have put it a couple of decades later, “Our Backs Are Up Against the Wall/Listen All Y’all, It’s Cyberwar.”