Don’t kid yourself, the euphemism “hacking” makes this all seem sort of nerdy and a bit silly but Russia has already fired the first real cyberwar shots in a real 21st-Century world war and, predictably, just like 1938, many people are denying it could be happening.

Pentagon attacked

In mid-2015 the email system used by The Joint Chiefs of Staff to communicate with about 6,000 staff members who support the top military commanders in The Pentagon was compromised - NBC reported at the time that unnamed sources told them that it was certainly done by a “state actor”, i.e.

a country.

Brexit

The Independent, The Daily Mail, and the BBC all reported in the past few days that Russia almost certainly interfered with the Brexit vote. That resulted in the first successful effort to split off a major member of the EU - an organization widely known to be unpopular in Moscow. Was this, along with the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. President (someone who questions the need for NATO), also the first attack on the hated NATO?

DNC and Wikileaks

Speaking about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and release of stolen private emails, President Obama tacitly admitted Thursday night in an NPR (National Public Radio) interview that Russia - the government, not just individuals in Russia, interfered with the recent U.S.

election and, whether or not this changed the outcome, it is still an extremely serious attack on the fundamental basis of our democracy.

President Obama said in the interview to run Friday morning on NPR, “I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections ... we need to take action.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

And we will — at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be."

Cyberwarfare tactics

The first goal of cyber war is disinformation and that has worked remarkably well in the past year at least with Republicans who until recently vociferously criticized President Obama for not standing up to the Russian invasion of The Ukraine and interference in Syria's civil war.

The Economist-YouGov poll has followed sentiment about WikiLeaks for 3 years - in mid-2013 Republicans viewed WikiLeaks negatively by a 47-point margin (97% opposed it), Democrats by a 3-point margin (53%).

Last week's poll found Republicans now view WikiLeaks favorably by a 77-percent margin, a sentiment swing of 74 percentage points. Today many people, mostly Republicans say the attack on the DNC could be from "China, North Korea, or a 600 guy on a couch." And President-Elect Trump has laughed off the claim it was the Russian government as "ridiculous."

That has to be viewed as an absolutely amazing change and probably explains why so many Republicans, including President-Elect Trump, are so indifferent about the known hacking and the fact cited by every U.S.

intelligence agency and most allied country's agencies that the hacking was done by Russians. Some even report evidence that President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin had direct control of the attack or release of the leaked emails which seemed timed to interfere with the U.S. election process.

The indifference is even more remarkable when you look at the Republican Party’s 2016 platform which said, in part, “The U.S. must respond in kind and in greater magnitude” to cyber attacks.”

How dangerous is this?

Remember that Russia has already taken down poorly secured electrical grids in some Eastern European countries. The U.S. grid is very vulnerable. Russia also interfered with recent Ukranian elections.

Russia has hardened its own electrical grid against any possible cyber attack.

And don't forget that someone hacked Yahoo and stole 1 Billion private accounts complete with the security questions which unbelievably naive and silly people actually answer truthfully. Never give your real birth date! Or mother's name.

This was state-sponsored and none of the information seems to have been used - yet! Now that's leverage.