Cyber Ops a choice or necessity?
Last week the Washington Post reported that the Cyber Command is seeking authority to launch cyber attacks in efforts to protect U.S. interests. This request is said to have drawn objections from administration lawyers concerned about the legality of offensive cyber operations. The right to bear cyber arms and the right to return fire in cyber space are both issues we have discussed recently on this blog. As you may recall back in April of this year, the Pentagon took a retaliatory tone when it asserted its right to return fire against cyber attacks aimed at the United States.
Head on over, read the whole thing then come on back for my comments. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Overall, I agree with the request to launch cyber attacks. I also understand why it would draw objections from the administration legal nut jobs. Is it legal? Maybe not, is it warranted? Definitely. The big thing that needs to be kept in mind is what happens when we do hit something that is owned by an unwitting partner in the original cyber attack that we are retaliating against? Instead of just jumping right in, maybe we need to take a deeper look at who the system/systems belong to. Are they just an unwilling accomplice or are they someone with something darker to hide?
This all needs to be done however; in a timely fashion. Not the standard ‘take it to a committee’ deal. This is why the cyber command was stood up. To help defend against attacks like this and to take pre-emptive strikes against those that would do us harm.
Instead of making it an attack/defend thing, let’s take a pre-emptive stance on defending. If the server/systems attacking or assisting the attack is just an unknowing participant, use them like a CIA contact. Take what they’ve got and turn it back around.
If a private sector company is the one doing the attack on our behalf, what exactly is going to happen to them? Will it be sanctioned? If it is, the U S Government is at just as much legal fault (if something is brought out against them) as the private sector company/individuals.
You could say it’s unfortunate that we live in a country where to defend ourselves would open us up to legal ramifications. Also, fortunately, we live in a country where there ARE legal ramifications to those that do things illegally. It’s a hard game of cat and mouse between good and evil, black hat and white hat or grey hat and the US fighting those that would see us fall.
What are your thoughts on the whole cyber war issue?
Can you see either a private or public sector declaring cyber war against WikiLeaks? How about the Al Qeada terrorists? What could the ramifications be coming from federal authorities or private sector companies or individuals acting either in part or in whole or even on their own.