Pentagon Concludes Cyber Attack Can Be Act of War
The Wall Street Journal reporting on un-classifed portions of a report anticipated for release next month. I concentrate on robots, not cyber, so I leave it to others to comment, but I do recall that this report and its conclusions have been discussed a fair amount in academic circles, and as far as I know this will not surprise people following those discussions. (Here’s a good new piece on the topic from Matthew Waxman, in YJIL) Though this is not my speciality, I wanted to flag it for people’s attention.
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.