Myths and Realities of Cyber Warfare
Conflict in the Digital Realm
by Nicholas Michael Sambaluk
March 2020, 218pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7080-4
$85, £66, 74€, A117
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7081-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Many security experts feel it is only a matter of time before a major cyber attack on the U.S. infrastructure leads to a cyber Pearl Harbor, with physical destruction and fatalities.

This illuminating book examines and refines the commonplace 'wisdom' about cyber conflict—its effects, character, and implications for national and individual security in the 21st century.

“Cyber warfare” evokes different images to different people. This book deals with the technological aspects denoted by “cyber” and also with the information operations connected to social media’s role in digital struggle.

The author discusses numerous mythologies about cyber warfare, including its presumptively instantaneous speed, that it makes distance and location irrelevant, and that victims of cyber attacks deserve blame for not defending adequately against attacks. The author outlines why several widespread beliefs about cyber weapons need modification and suggests more nuanced and contextualized conclusions about how cyber domain hostility impacts conflict in the modern world.

After distinguishing between the nature of warfare and the character of wars, chapters will probe the widespread assumptions about cyber weapons themselves. The second half of the book explores the role of social media and the consequences of the digital realm being a battlespace in 21st-century conflicts. The book also considers how trends in computing and cyber conflict impact security affairs as well as the practicality of people’s relationships with institutions and trends, ranging from democracy to the Internet of Things.


  • Provides an overview of the numerous myths and realities associated with all aspects of cyber warfare
  • Explains how the leveraging of social media shapes political discourse and frays cultural norms
  • Shows how advanced persistent threats engage in espionage against critical infrastructure
  • Reveals how individuals and criminal groups conduct an array of nefarious cyber activities with wide-ranging levels of skill
Nicholas Michael Sambaluk, PhD, is associate professor specializing in military history topics dealing with technology and innovation. His first book, The Other Space Race: Eisenhower and the Quest for Aerospace Security, was named Best Air Power History Book of 2016 by the Air Force Historical Foundation. He is also editor of Paths of Innovation in Warfare: From the Twelfth Century to the Present (2018) and Conflict in the 21st Century: The Impact of Cyber Warfare, Social Media, and Technology (2019), and author of several articles appearing in Cyber Defense Review, Cold War History, and elsewhere.


2021 Choice Outstanding Academic Title—Choice, December 1, 2021


"Highly recommended. All readers."—Choice, January 1, 2021

"Myths and Realities of Cyber Warfare is an elegantly crafted examination of cyber warfare and the cyber domain. This masterfully researched tour de force has lessons that we ignore at our peril. It raises timely questions about cybersecurity, cyber warfare, and social media that every thoughtful citizen will want to consider."—Dr. Corvin J. Connolly, The Cyber Defense Review

Professor Sambaluk’s investigation of cyber warfare, and its implications for 21st-century conflict, is a powerful reminder that the character of war may change, but its nature does not. Cyber warfare offers a new means to resolve long-standing political conflicts. This work is a must-have for any student of cyber conflict.—Paul J. Springer, PhD, Air Command and Staff College

Nick Sambaluk has produced a unique book on all aspects of cyber. In the process he upsets traditional views and challenges preconceived notions of cyber warfare. For cyber professionals and future war planners this is a must-read volume.—W. Michael Guillot, Editor, Strategic Studies Quarterly

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