US may use preemptive cyber strikes—report


05:38 PM February 4th, 2013


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta AP

WASHINGTON—A secret legal review has concluded that the US president has the power to order preemptive cyber strikes if the United States discovers credible evidence of a major digital attack against it is in the offing, The New York Times reported Monday.

Citing unnamed officials involved in the review, the newspaper said the new policy will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of overseas computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries with a destructive code — even if there is no declared war.

The review came as the US Department of Defense approved a five-fold expansion of its cybersecurity force over the coming years in a bid to increase its ability to defend critical computer networks.

The Washington Post reported that the department’s Cyber Command, which currently has a staff of about 900, will expand to about 4,900 troops and civilians.

Last November, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta conceded that US cybersecurity needed more financial support and human capital.

The seriousness of the threat has been underscored by a string of sabotage attacks, including one in which a virus was used to wipe data from more than 30,000 computers at a Saudi Arabian state oil company last summer.

According to The Times, John Brennan, who has been nominated to run the Central Intelligence Agency, played a central role in developing the administration’s policies regarding cyberwarfare.

Obama is known to have approved the use of cyberweapons only once, when he ordered an escalating series of cyberattacks against Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, The Times said.

The operation was code-named Olympic Games, and began inside the Pentagon when George W. Bush was still president, according to the paper.

The attacks on Iran illustrated that a nation’s infrastructure can be destroyed without bombing it or sending in saboteurs, the report said.

One senior American official said that the reviewers had quickly determined that the cyberweapons were so powerful that — like nuclear weapons — they should be unleashed only on the direct orders of the commander in chief, The Times noted.

International law allows any nation to defend itself from threats, and the United States has applied that concept to conduct preemptive attacks, the paper noted.

Under the new guidelines, the Pentagon would not be involved in defending against ordinary cyberattacks on American companies or individuals, The Times said. That responsibility falls to the Department of Homeland Security.

But the military would become involved in cases of a major cyberattack within the United States, the paper noted.

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  • sh1seadad

    Stop hacking china

  • FernandoBusi

    Wow I can just see the Chinese Cyber Corp complaining that someones about to slam the door on their STEALING US weapons technology,

  • Chiang Kai Dong

    Greetings Philippino Friends!

    I bet our Warmonger Generals and Politburo Leaders are also SPYING all the MEDIA companies in the Philippines and yes including this site!  As well as your government especially against Aquino!  I believe the Philippines doesn’t yet have a Cyber Agency that will protect its government against Hacking and Spying, so be Careful!

    I’m sure our country’s Spies already have access with your government’s Email and Telecommunication Systems!  People of the Philippines must invest in better Security Firewall, Email Host and Communication etc. 

    Tell it to your President!


    • lucidlynx

      You don’t have the guts.

    • sundotkarayom

      you don’t have to be high-tech savvy to spy on us, everything, anything, all the things you wanted to know about phil gov’t activities, decisions, planning, research & developments etc. are all available on line in all print media. the asian community and the whole world knows your communist gov’t ambition to own the whole continent. make good of your threat. just do it!

  • sh1seadad

    Stop spying china you will get caught and all your jobs will dry up and you will not be able to feed your hungry people and the party will fall

    • DakuAkongUtin

      Stop being smelly monkies , KayuNation.  Go to the river and wash your hiney hole and gargle your mouth so your breath doesnt whiff out shztdaddy O.

  • lourda

     hehehe…talagang kukulo ng husto ang dugo ng China, napakadaming balakid sa mga plano at ambisyon nila..

  • i_am_filipino


    • DakuAkongUtin

       I_am_a Chupaping_of_the_White Race,  you will sck whtite and negro trash whenever you see fit. Good luck and be a good soldier.

      • Rene V

        and you, daku daw and bird niya, are a chupaping of the yellow race. you will suck melamine when they tell you to. good luck and be a good soldier. now how’s that for comparison?

      • FernandoBusi

        you do know your nick is a clear admission to the world wide belief that the Chinese have small utin … 

  • joboni96

    gawaing imperyalista yan

    panay preemptive
    pati pagpatay ng civilians
    by remote control drones

    u.s. was behind the twitter hack

    • sh1seadad

      Bull shet china was joboni96

      • joboni96

        bobo talaga

        a breed has a gene pool
        an individual has his unique genes

        kaya nasadsad sa tubbataha
        ganito kabobo mga imperialist u.s. navy

        maglaba ka na lang dong

      • sh1seadad

        Your the one that started talking about the gene pool bobo

      • joboni96

        mali naman ang nagmamagaling mong sagot

        talagang bobo

    • Shalani

      so ano ngayun kung imperialista hahaha, sira ulo

      • joboni96

        sipain imperialista

  • Rene V

    now is the time to counter the copiers and those who do the cyber sabotage. 

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