Skip to main content

U.S. Aims To Declare Cyber Attacks as Acts of War

The U.S. government will consider computer sabotage as an act of war, a report by the Wall Street Journal stated. The publication said that "portions" of the Pentagon's formal cyber strategy will become public next month. It is the first time that the government will consider military action if a significant threat to the nation's infrastructure, in particular nuclear reactors, subways or pipelines is identified.

The journal said that recent attacks on Iran's nuclear program as well as Pentagon's own system have provided a case of urgency to come up with an effective cyber attack defense strategy. It is generally viewed as a warning to potential hackers that serious cyber attacks will have serious consequences. "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," the WSJ quoted a military official. The obvious message is that the government will consider military retaliation, if there is a serious enough cyber attack.

According to the WSJ, the strategy paper is about 42 pages in length and 12 of those will be available in an unclassified release.