from the decker-brigade dept.
Earlier this week, the newly minted head of the United States’ Cyber Command team and NSA head General Keith Alexander told assembled lawmakers that the US has created an offensive cyberwarfare division designed to do far more than protect US assets from foreign attacks. This is a major change in policy from previous public statements — in the past, the US has publicly focused on defensive actions and homegrown security improvements. General Alexander told the House Armed Services Committee that ‘This is an offensive team that the Defense Department would use to defend the nation if it were attacked in cyberspace. Thirteen of the teams that we’re creating are for that mission alone.’ This is an interesting shift in US doctrine and begs questions like: What’s proportional response to China probing at utility companies? Who ought to be blamed for Red October? What’s the equivalent of a warning shot in cyberspace? When we detect foreign governments probing at virtual borders, who handles the diplomatic fallout as opposed to the silent retribution?