A common mil­i­tary tactic by which an attacker attempts to dis­able or weaken a target before an inva­sion is referred to as “prep­ping the bat­tle­field.” Dig­ital war­fare is one way that for­eign nation states dis­able crit­ical infra­struc­ture to make it vul­ner­able to con­ven­tional assaults. Stephen Flynn of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, tes­ti­fying last year before the House Com­mittee on Home­land Secu­rity, described the cas­cading effect:

When trans­formers fail, so too will water dis­tri­b­u­tion, waste man­age­ment, trans­porta­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and many emer­gency and gov­ern­ment ser­vices,” Dr. Flynn said. He added: “Giving the average of twelve-​​month lead that is required to replace a dam­aged trans­former today with a new one, if we had a mass damage of that scale at a local regional level the eco­nomic and society dis­rup­tion would be enormous.”

Read the article at The Wall Street Journal →