The Department of Defense is Expanding Role in the War on Hackers

The era of cyber warfare has just been expanded. With recent Denial of Service attacks on U.S financial institutions and an even more heinous attack on oil interest in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the next generation of cyber warfare is here. And even though he didn’t name who is thought to be behind both attacks, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let it be known that the U.S had the ability to locate such attackers, holding them accountable for their actions, according to a recent report by www.huffingtonpost.com.

And while Secretary of Defense Panetta called no names, the general consensus is that Iran is behind the recent attacks. Officials think the attacks most likely stem from recent sanctions and not as retaliation for the Stuxnet virus that damaged Iranian centrifuges. In light of these and other attempts by nation states to gain access to our vital national infrastructure, the Department of Defense (DoD) has stepped in to fill the role of cyber defender in the absence of any real efforts by the U.S. government to enact legislation to this effect.

It is this very inaction that puts the U.S. in such a precarious position. One that could lead to severe damage to private companies and financial institutions, as well as assets such as power, water, and other crucial pieces of infrastructure. This has led to the DoD’s new role in cyber defense. To this end, the DoD has been developing rules of engagement for conflicts in cyberspace.

This, coupled with the Obama administration consideration of enacting an executive order on cybersecurity and better protections for consumers being put in place by the Federal Communications Commission, are the first crucial steps in providing a better overall net of security for our nation.

But such action would still require voluntary compliance by businesses who are already feeling the pinch of a down economy. That makes more restrictions and guidelines that much less attractive, especially since these same businesses would have to shoulder the burden of the cost.

For more information about the DoD’s reaction to recent cyber hackers, visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121012/us-panetta-cybersecurity/
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http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/12/ready_player_one
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http://www.elp.com/index/display/article-display/3247545949/articles/electric-light-power/t-and_d/cyber-security/2012/October/Defense_Secretary_Panetta_warns_of__Cyber_Pearl_Harbor_.html