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(In the Godfather) there’s a useful lesson here for western governments’ cyber defenders, who are under extreme pressure to thwart the attacks directed at their countries and to do so without escalating the aggression. Escalation could lead to cyber wars spilling over into traditional military violence. Counter-attacks also risk revealing a country’s cyber capabilities to the adversary in question. But by sending individual perpetrators a “horse head” message, countries can show their skills and intent without incurring such risks.