The Pentagon has announced that computer intrusions from abroad are to be considered acts of war against the United States and will be answered with conventional military force.“If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” a military official told The Wall Street Journal. In part, the Pentagon intends its plan as a warning to potential adversaries of the consequences of attacking the U.S., according to the Journal.
The Pentagon document is 30 pages in its classified version and 12 pages in the unclassified one. It concludes that the Laws of Armed Conflict are applicable in cyberspace as in traditional warfare.The Pentagon established a new command last year, headed by Gen. Keith B. Alexander, director of the NSA, to consolidate military network security and attack efforts. Alexander told the Washington Post last November that the new outfit wants maneuvering room to mount what he called “the full spectrum” of operations in cyberspace.The NSA announced its ambitious cyber security plan last year. Dubbed “Perfect Citizen,” it is designed to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to the New York Times.According to the Post, offensive actions may include shutting down part of an opponent’s computer network to head off a cyber-attack or changing a line of code in an adversary’s computer to render malicious software harmless. They are operations that destroy, disrupt or degrade targeted computers or networks, the newspaper reported.
- Pentagon Says Cyber Combat Can Be Considered An Act of War (themoderatevoice.com)
- Pentagon has list of “cyber-weapons” for use in computer warfare (boingboing.net)
- Pentagon: Cyber Attacks Can Qualify as Acts of War (newser.com)
- Pentagon: Cyber attacks are an act of war (rt.com)
- “Pentagon: Cyber Attacks Are Acts of War” and related posts (thenewspundit.com)
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