OECD Study Uncovers 'Over-Hyped' Cyber War Threat

A study published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has claimed that the risks posed by a cyber attack have been over-hyped.

The organisation said that the effects of a cyber attack are short-lived and localised, thereby reducing their impact on the social and economical architecture of a company.

The report, which was authored by Peter Sommer, a visiting professor at the London School of Economics (LSE), and Ian Brown of Oxford Internet Institute, also claimed that the majority of hi-tech attacks have been wrongly categorised as cyber-attacks.

“We don't help ourselves using 'cyberwar' to describe espionage or hacktivist blockading or defacing of websites, as recently seen in reaction to WikiLeaks. Nor is it helpful to group trivially avoidable incidents like routine viruses and frauds with determined attempts to disrupt critical national infrastructure,” Sommer told the BBC.

The study notes that the possibility of a fully-fledged cyber attack is very low, as attackers would have to uncover a workaround for existing procedures, as well as finding flaws that have not already been patched.