Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gettin' Scary out there

 "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks."

The US government is rewriting its military rule book to make cyber-attacks a possible act of war, giving commanders the option of launching retaliatory military strikes against hackers backed by hostile foreign powers.

The Pentagon has concluded that the laws of armed conflict can be widened to embrace cyberwarfare in order to allow the US to respond with the use of force against aggressive assaults on its computer and IT infrastructure.

The move, to be unveiled in a US department of defence strategy document next month, is a significant step towards the militarisation of cyberspace, with huge implications for international law.

[Source:  The Guardian, May 31, 2011]

" ... except for a brief period between the fall of Saigon and the Iranian revolution, the United States has been engaged in constant warfare somewhere in the world since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. That's seventy years of perpetual war that does not appear to be ending any time soon. At present the United States Military is engaged in ongoing armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya." [1]

The Pentagon has developed a list of cyber-weapons and -tools, including viruses that can sabotage an adversary’s critical networks, to streamline how the United States engages in computer warfare.
The classified list of capabilities has been in use for several months and has been approved by other agencies, including the CIA, said military officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a sensitive program. The list forms part of the Pentagon’s set of approved weapons or “fires” that can be employed against an enemy. [Source:  The Washington Post, May 31, 2011]

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