But for those who relish the idea of a new front for war, itâ€™s way cooler and scarier to say we are in the midst of â€” and losing â€” 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 doesnâ€™t launch sensationalist â€” and often demonstrably false â€” 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 itâ€™s even better when repeated ad nauseum in front of Congress and at the countryâ€™s top security conferences by former and current government officials, even if those people couldnâ€™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, â€œOur Backs Are Up Against the Wall/Listen All Yâ€™all, Itâ€™s Cyberwar.â€