It’s funny to me that folks seemed shocked at the latest treasure trove of goodies from the HBGary email spool. Basically these folks built custom malware on behalf of their government clients. ARSTechnica digs in (with pretty impressive technical depth, I might add) and makes clear what you should already know.

We are in the midsts of another cold war. This war is not fought with nuclear warheads, but computer malware. It’s not visible to most people and to be clear most people don’t really care. They should because the targets could knock down the power grid, contaminate our water supplies, and basically cause chaos.

All of you know I’m no Chicken Little and to be clear, I sleep very well at night. I wasn’t even a glimmer in my parent’s eyes when the Cuban Missile Crisis brought us to the brink, but the ramifications are similar in an all-out cyber conflict. Lots of folks have semantic issues with calling computers attacking each other war because no one directly bleeds. And I kind of agree with that. Cyber conflict won’t result in a mushroom cloud or tens of thousands vaporized in a split second (not yet anyway), but the potential for indirect damage is real.

via Securosis Blog | Firestarter: The New Cold War.