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infosec-news: [ISN] Cyberwar Issues Likely to Be Addressed Only

[ISN] Cyberwar Issues Likely to Be Addressed Only After a Catastrophe

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_nospam>
Date: Fri Feb 18 2011 - 09:30:41 GMT

By Kim Zetter
Threat Level
February 17, 2011

When it comes to developing cyberwarfare policy, the United States will
likely wait for a catastrophic event and then overreact, rather than
plan ahead, said former intelligence chief Mike McConnell at the RSA
Conference on Wednesday.

McConnell was pessimistic that Congress and the public would get its act
together in time to debate and sort out all the questions that need to
be answered about what constitutes cyberwar and how the government and
private sector should respond when faced with incidents that fit the

McConnell, former director of national intelligence and former director
of the National Security Agency, was speaking on a panel that included
former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Bruce Schneier
chief technology security officer at BT, and James Lewis, director and
senior fellow of the technology and public policy program at the Center
for Strategic and International Studies.

When it comes to defining cyberwar, Chertoff and McConnell say espionage
and information theft don’t qualify, but destruction of data or systems
do. Designating the latter as an act of war, however, would still depend
on the scale and genesis of the attack.


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