Computer keyboard

Peut-on prévenir une cyberguerre ?

CAMBRIDGE – La peur d’un « Pearl Harbor numérique » est apparue dans les années quatre-vingt-dix, et voici vingt ans que les responsables politiques s’inquiètent que des pirates informatiques puissent faire exploser des oléoducs, contaminer des réserves d’eau potable, ouvrir les vannes d’un barrage et noyer des populations entières ou encore envoyer des avions sur des routes de collision en manipulant les systèmes de contrôle du trafic aérien. En 2012, Leon Panetta, alors ministre de la Défense des États-Unis, avertissait que de tels pirates pouvaient « couper le réseau électrique sur de vastes portions du pays. ».

Aucun de ces scénarios catastrophe n’est devenu réalité, mais on ne peut à l’évidence les exclure. À un niveau plus modeste, des pirates sont parvenus à détruire un haut fourneau, l’année dernière, dans une aciérie allemande. La question de sécurité est donc simple : peut-on empêcher de tels actes de destruction ?

On dit parfois que la dissuasion n’est pas une stratégie efficace dans le cyberespace, étant données d’une part les difficultés rencontrées lorsqu’on veut s’assurer de la source d’une attaque, d’autre part la multiplicité des acteurs potentiels, qu’ils soient ou non des États. À qui appartiennent les biens ou les ressources dont nous pouvons estimer qu’ils sont en danger ? Pour combien de temps le sont-ils ? Le plus souvent, on ne peut répondre avec certitude à ces questions.

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