Cybersecurity expert Hypponen says ‘cyberwar’ is the right term

(April 18th, 2016) International cybersecurity leader Mikko Hypponen of Finland now accepts the need to use the word “cyberwar.’’ Not many security experts like the term ‘cyberwar’, and Mikko Hyppönen used to be one of them. But in the wake of recent attacks  by Russia on critical infrastructure in Ukraine and a rise in the sophistication of nation-state hacking,  he has changed his mind.

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Mr. Hypponen, whom The Boston Global Forum  has honored with the title of “Practitioner in Cybersecurity,’’ told IBTimes UK: “I have changed my opinion about cyberwar. I used to hate the word and I would always explain to people that whenever you hear or see headlines about ‘cyberwar’ it’s never war – it’s typically spying or espionage – which is not war. Even if its nation states doing it, that’s not war.”

Mr. Hyppönen  has been the chief research officer at Helsinki-based security firm F-Secure since the early 1990s.

He told IBTimes UK that it was the  Russian hacking  in Ukraine last year that changed his mind on the nuances of the much-criticized term. “When you look what happened in Ukraine, when you have two countries that are at war and you have an attack on critical infrastructure that is not stealing anything, but [instead] shutting down power for 200,000 people, that’s not espionage, that’s not spying – in my book that’s cyberwar.”