The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Winnona DeSombre is a first-year MPP/JD dual degree candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and Georgetown Law. She is a Zuckerman Fellow at the Harvard Center for Public Leadership, a Belfer Young Leader Fellow, and a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. In recent years, Winnona coauthored the Harvard Belfer National Cyber Power Index, spoke at the Forbes 30 under 30 Summit, and presented original research on commodity malware at DEFCON. She currently serves on the
board of Women in Security and Privacy, spearheading multiple educational efforts to help women and minorities grow their careers in the security space.
Prior to Harvard, Winnona was a security engineer at Google’s Threat Analysis Group, tracking
persistent cyber operations against Google users. Her current research interests include the proliferation of cyber capabilities and the nexus between cyber security and national security as it
pertains to law and policy.