Feeds

Hack attacks on US could spark military action

White House draws line in the silicon

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Obama Administration has put the world on notice that hack attacks directed against US assets could be met with military action.

“When warranted, the United States will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country,” the White House said in a long-expected policy, titled The International Strategy for Cyberspace. “All states possess an inherent right to self-defense, and we recognize that certain hostile acts conducted through cyberspace could compel actions under the commitments we have with our military treaty partners.

“We reserve the right to use all necessary means – diplomatic, informational, military, and economic – as appropriate and consistent with applicable international law, in order to defend our Nation, our allies, our partners, and our interests.”

The administration went on to say military force would be used only after all other options have been exhausted.

The warning is in addition to a push for a three-year mandatory imprisonment sentence for attacks against critical infrastructure systems.

The 30-page document, which was released on Monday, aims to establish a set of international computer security standards that are binding on both governmental agencies and US diplomatic partners. Those who fall short could face consequences.

Among other things, it promises to provide assistance to developing countries that want to improve the security of their networks and calls on countries to stop being “safe havens” for internet-based crime.

As one retired US general has already conceded, not all attacks on government networks can accurately be considered an act of war. What's more, even when they can, it's often impossible to know which country is behind them.

A PDF of the policy is here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.