Another Cyber Threat

…and an empty solution.

[NSA Director and Commander, US Cyber Command Admiral Michael] Rogers said he believed China along with “one or two” other countries had the capability to successfully launch a cyber-attack that could shut down the electric grid in parts of the United States.


US adversaries are performing electronic “reconnaissance” on a regular basis so that they can be in a position to attack the industrial control systems that run everything from chemical facilities to water treatment plants.

We’ve known the PRC, Russia, and have been hacking into a broad variety of our computer systems for some years. Rogers is correct that “if the US remains on the defensive, it would be a ‘losing strategy.'”

However, his insistence that

agreeing to an international code, a sort of “laws of law” in the cyber realm, is urgent[]

is wrong. These three nations are not going to honor any restrictions on their war fighting behaviors. Nor will any other nation that develops such a capability and then uses it.

What’s urgent is that we improve our defensive capability so that we can block—and preempt—further cyber recce runs and any attack. What’s urgent is that we develop our offensive cyber and physical capabilities so that we can fight a total cyber war, in conjunction with a physical response, to the total destruction of our attacker(s)’ ability to attack us again, much less continue its present attack.

Anything less is just selling us down the river.

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