The U.S. government is beefing up its cyber-capabilities in order to fight a cyber-war against adversaries, according to several policy documents.
federal government is increasingly using cyber-tactics to defend its IT assets
against attackers and to protect its interests. It's about time, since enemies
are already relying on an extensive arsenal of cyber-weapons, experts said.
Obama has signed executive orders outlining how far the United States military
can go when launching cyber-attacks and other cyber-operations against enemies
and as part of routine espionage activities, the Associated Press reported June
orders, which were signed more than a month ago and cap a two-year Pentagon
effort to draft rules for the U.S. military, detail when the military needs to
seek presidential approval for a specific cyber-assault and how the Department
of Defense will integrate cyber-capabilities into military strategy, defense
strategy document outlines some of the approved activities, such as planting a
computer virus on adversaries' computers to launching attacks that bring down a
target electrical grid or defense network. When under attack, the United States
can defend itself by blocking cyber-intrusions and taking down servers in
another country. And similar to a missile attack, the military can pursue
attackers across national boundaries, the AP reported.
must have the capability to defend against the full range of
cyber-attacks," Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said. Terror groups
will eventually learn how to launch crippling cyber-attacks, so the United
States needs to be more aggressive in offensive and defensive countermeasures,
of the attacks on American businesses, critical infrastructure and defense
systems are a "direct challenge" to our military superiority, Charles
Dodd, a government consultant for cyber-defense and an adviser to the House of
Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats,
Cybersecurity, Science and Technology, told eWEEK. State-sponsored attacks are
going after military secrets without any fear of retaliation, he said.
aren't always "money-making," but often a military tool, according to
Dodd, noting that China built its networks with a tactical mindset. "It's
only a matter of time before the attackers take any of this to the next
level," Dodd said, noting that cyber-attacks are expected to escalate into
much more serious threats.
Department of Defense and other federal agencies are preparing to meet the
threat. In the "International
Strategy for Cyber-Space" policy document released mid-May, the White
House said the United States would respond to "hostile acts in
cyberspace" in the same manner as any other threat against the country.