With the establishment of U.S. Cyber Command and cyber security a national priority, operations in the ‘fifth domain’ are under way.
The term “cyberspace” to designate a somewhat mystical and ever-evolving network of computers, routers, switches, and people emerged in fiction in William Gibson’s 1982 novel Neuromancer . The definition usually cited from that work is: “a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators . . . a graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system . . . unthinkable complexity . . . lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data” (emphasis added). 1 The Department of Defense defines it as “a global domain within the information environment consisting of the interdependent networks of information technology infrastructures, including the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers.” 2 Further, cyberspace operations are “the employment of cyber capabilities where the primary purpose is to achieve military objectives or effects in or through cyberspace.” 3