The Pentagon does not exclude the possibility to use their armed forces, as a response, if US is targeted by hackers, said Wednesday a high ranking official of the Defense Department.
Asked about a possible armed response in reply to an aggression against the American computer network, James Miller answered ” Yes, we have to think about potential responses that will not be limited to the information area”.
But the notion of “act of war” in the cybernetic space has to be defined, he said, during a conference in Washington.
“These are judicial problems that we are trying to answer” he said, also admitting there there are a lot of gray areas in this field.
“there is a net difference between the cybernetic espionage and the attempts to hack our networks or to insert false data” in our computer networks, in the computers of the american administration, he said.
“Everything that happens on the internet is not necessarily an act of war” he said.
But, according to Miller, the threat is real and it’s getting bigger, whether it’s coming from hackers, criminal groups or terrorists.
” in the last decade, the frequency and complexity of the attacks on our network have never stopped to decrease” and “our systems are targeted each day by thousands of intrusion attempts” he also said.
The Pentagon has recently started a new military branch tasked to react to attacks from hackers and targeted against US networks and to lead operations in the virtual space. This represents a sign of the fact that the US Government is fighting against these computer attacks, in the context in which China is frequently suspected as being behind these attacks.