Pentagon rules cyber attacks and sabotage constitute an act of war

No Comments

first_imgThe US Department of Defense has ruled that attacks on computer networks and sabotage of information systems that stem from other countries officially constitute an act of war, and can be responded to with traditional military force. This opens the door to military strikes against nations that knowingly allow cyber attacks against the United States in order to prevent the damage that could be caused by those attacks.The Pentagon’s decision is designed to provide a physical threat against nations in a world where virtual threats and attacks are becoming more and more common. It’s also designed as a way to give the US military more options to retaliate against information attacks aside from defending against them and waging their own.AdChoices广告The popular examples given for the types of computer sabotage or attacks that would warrant military action are things like shutting down or sabotaging safety systems in US nuclear reactors and shutting down or disabling parts of the US power grid. These are examples of when a cyber attack can have a major impact on non-cyber targets, crossing that same line that the US armed forces would be able to with a military strike.The Pentagon’s report, which is the first official document on cyber strategy, includes references to attacks on the Pentagon’s computer networks, and an reference to the Stuxnet computer worm that targeted nuclear power systems in Iran – a worm that many analysts believe is complicated and enough that only a nation would have had the resources to develop and inject it.The report is also the subject of controversy both inside and outside the US military. For one, many military officials note that the report leaves open the notion of whether the US can ever have absolute certainty to where an attack originated – or even enough certainty to start launching missiles or scrambling bombers. Other defense analysts have pointed to the concept of “equivalence,” meaning an attack should be met with equal but overwhelming force, as a way to determine how broad a retaliatory strike should be in response to a cyber attack.Even so, the Pentagon’s statement represents two major shifts in US military thinking when it comes to information warfare: first that the Pentagon recognizes they’ve been slow to build a comprehensive information security posture to protect American military and civilian networks, and second, that the Department of Defense is taking threats and attacks against American information security very seriously.Read more at the Wall Street Journallast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *