Collocation «smart city» will be old hat soon. The subject is constantly discussed in the media and on the pages of scientific publications, although no one had heard about it twenty years ago. Few people know that the first mentions of «smart city» in the scientific literature appeared in 1994. To describe the concept of urban development, such concepts as «virtual cities», «wired cities», «information cities», «smart communities», «knowledge-based cities», «learning cities», «sustainable cities», «green cities», «eco-cities», «digital cities». How did the collocation «smart city» gain the garland, among such an abundance of variants of this term? What determines the success of the implementation of the «smart city» concept? What are the threats of cyber attacks to which smart cities are subject? Find the answers to the questions in the Russian Journal of Economic Theory, 17(3), 657-678.