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
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
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
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
State Dept shuts off unclassified email after hack. Classified mail? That's CLASSIFIED
Classified systems 'not affected' - but, is this reconnaissance?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.