Feeds

Hack attacks on US could spark military action

White House draws line in the silicon

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.