Pentagon: Computer hacking can constitute an act of war

The more serious side of computer hacking. From today’s Wall Street Journal:

The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.

The Pentagon’s first formal cyber strategy, unclassified portions of which are expected to become public next month, represents an early attempt to grapple with a changing world in which a hacker could pose as significant a threat to U.S. nuclear reactors, subways or pipelines as a hostile country’s military.

In part, the Pentagon intends its plan as a warning to potential adversaries of the consequences of attacking the U.S. in this way. “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” said a military official.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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24 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

May 31st, 2011
10:18 am

Why limit it to hackers from another country? We have bozos here that will try the same crap!

Douglas

May 31st, 2011
10:31 am

I agree with Road. An attack is an attack, no matter where it comes from. Once we’ve shut these people down, can we go after the ones who want to give me their fortune, and I all have to do is give them my bank account number?

Bijay_deadbj

May 31st, 2011
10:46 am

hacking is serious Crime. These hacker’s to become famous and to rise in their Fame…hacks websites. If News Crews all over the world stops publishing the news about hacked websites…then these hackers get nothing to face and and nothing to get from hacking.! SO if Government wants to stop hacking, by 80 %, then it should stop publishing news about hacker and hacked websites…
find me on : http://computeraddicted.wordpress.com/ “I AM A COMPUTER ADDICTED BOY”

Memorial Day

May 31st, 2011
11:28 am

This whole thing started when the terrorists invented the Angry Birds video game. Does anyone realize what would happen if this were done in real life?

Apocalypse now.

Jay

May 31st, 2011
11:37 am

First the United States cooperated with Israel in unleashing the Stuxnet worm (a sophisticated computer virus) that targeted Iran’s nuclear program. Now the United States says that if another country does something like that to us it would constitute an act of war. So just another example of America can do whatever it wants to other countries and can’t be held accountable in that country, our country or an international court, while we threaten everyone else with more bloodshed if they try to do something to us or one of our friends (the Pentagon plan includes defending allies). Yet Americans wonder why so many people around the world dislike us.

Stoned Mouse

May 31st, 2011
11:39 am

I think that the penalty for computer hacking and the creation or deliberate transmission of computer viruses, spy ware, and worms should be death by stoning with computer mice. Just prosecute and stone one of the worst offenders and everyone else will quit doing these things.

Occurrences in other countries can be solved by an Interpol or special forces raid. I would think that the possibility of Seal Team 6 busting down your door would deter geeks with too much time on their hands.

Lum

May 31st, 2011
11:48 am

I am with the Pentagon on this. We (and all developed and developing nations) are dependent now on these computer based technologies. I agree that it such acts are clear acts of war and I would support the “smoke stack” attack!

Jay

May 31st, 2011
12:03 pm

@Itsmeagain: It’s really just another example of blatant hypocrisy by the United States government. Oh, and another reason for warfare. I mean look at how excited all these armchair warriors on here are about attacking another country.

Itsmeagain

May 31st, 2011
12:03 pm

@jay – I mean, it might have been made an act of war here, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be elsewhere. It just means the US is dealing out their own acts of wars when they do it

V2

May 31st, 2011
12:08 pm

Computer hackers. So this is how we’ll rationalize the next war. We’re winding down in Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya, time to look for a new target. It just won’t do not to have our guys dying in some conflict on the other side ‘o the world. So many bad nations out there that we need to straighten out: Iran, Syria, North Korea, Somalia, etal.

Maybe we should declare war on Canada for stealing our hockey team – again.

Alabama Communist

May 31st, 2011
12:23 pm

So The Military Industrial Complex will declared war on the facebook enemies now!

the original and still the best John Galt

May 31st, 2011
12:31 pm

It’s a sign of the upside down times we live in that the warmongers are making ever more trivial actions “an act of war.” Before long disliking The Messiah Barack The Chosen One the Magnificent and All-Knowing will be “an act of war,” if it’s not already.

Jay

May 31st, 2011
12:51 pm

@John Galt: It’s not just Obama but he has been worse than Bush in many ways. The military-industrial-complex-national-security-state-war-on-terror-run-for-your-lives effort is clearly bipartisan.

the original and still the best John Galt

May 31st, 2011
1:21 pm

No doubt about it, Jay, but I have long agreed with the former governor of Alabama who said there’s about a dime’s worth of difference in the two parties. He also said their difference amounts to the difference in Tweedledee and Tweedledum. That is even more true today than when he said it.

Biggus Canis

May 31st, 2011
1:32 pm

Hacking from a foreign country….an act of war.
Hacking by an American in America….treason….prosecute and execute.

Ultra Violet

May 31st, 2011
1:38 pm

Next time I see one of those pop-ups of some nude Swedish model on my screen, I’m going to pull out my weapon and fire upon the enemy.

I’d right fight them here than have to deal with them in Sweden, that’s for sure.

What'z up

May 31st, 2011
2:41 pm

Ultra Violet
May 31st, 2011
1:38 pm

Firing blanks using hands

Jeb

May 31st, 2011
3:00 pm

Its certainly more justified to consider hacking as an act of war than Bush’s reasons for attacking Iraq.

Jay

May 31st, 2011
3:20 pm

@Jeb: True, but it’s utter hypocrisy to have recently helped Israel do to Iran the exact same thing our government now protests against. Plus, you really shouldn’t give the government another reason to go to war. Imagine how easy it would be for our government to state that someone in another country committed cyber-terrorism, so now we have to invade, attack, and occupy their country. And I don’t believe for a second that we’d ever treat our allies this way; this new power would only be used against those countries we’ve already made out to be the bad guys.

Greg S.

May 31st, 2011
3:54 pm

Act of War? Just wait till you don’t have AC on a hot Summer day and see what you think about hacking.

Wondering

May 31st, 2011
5:48 pm

Jay: I see your posts but where is the proof that the U.S. aided in or solely created Stuxnet? When hackers sponsored by foreign governments are attacking the Pentegon or critical parts of our critical national infrastructure (water treatment, power generation, nuclear facilities, etc.), those governments need to know that we will retaliate.

The French use their equivalent of the CIA to attack American companies and steal intellectual property. China attacks billion dollar U.S. companies and cause wild yetpredictable swings in the stock market. Power outages are caused by hackers. This stuff is not a joke, and the U.S. had better wake up.

We put emergency roadsigns on streets to warn off construction. This things are controlled from the Internet. How about if someone rewords them to indicate an evacuation is underway, or that people shouldn’t dring the water due to a poison being discovered? Terrorism comes in many forms.

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Jon Lester

June 1st, 2011
11:48 am

I don’t believe past incidents have necessarily been false-flag operations, but that would be very easy to do with a hacker attack, and it could ultimately mean that anyone who needs to move large volumes of certain stock holdings could manipulate the US military in just such a way.

Goddy E

June 6th, 2011
1:57 am

USA conscious of the fact that emerging countries are actually having best engineers and more geeks uses intimidation. That is a sign of weakness and this would be understood as such. America whom in the past have provided the world with best books, new technology, who have boasted and have been the best in sciences, technology is today waving the argument of force over intelligence. If you have the best security expert no one would hack into your system. Stuxnet was an american virus so stop been hypocrits!