ACI Journal Articles


The Flaw of Immediate Cyber Counter Strikes

Document Type


USMA Research Unit Affiliation

Army Cyber Institute

Publication Date



A dominant paradigm for militarised cyber operations, owing to a growing interest in such actions, is seeking an ability to strike back and launch cyber counter attacks immediately after being attacked. This commentary challenges view based on the argument that it leads to a contra-productive tit-for-tat game with no decisive or deterrent outcome. It argues that cyber attacks are information, which an initially passive targeted society can gather to refine and consolidate its cybersecurity and over time receive an advantage over the initial attacker. Therefore, a restrained posture would be beneficial if utilised for refinement, information-gathering, development and preparing for enhanced abilities to cyber counter strike once an advantage is reached.

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