No options ‘off the table’ for U.S. response to cyber attacks, says official

May 12th, 2009 - 2:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Arlington (Virginia,US), Masy 12 (ANI): The U.S. military’s response to a cyber attack would not necessarily be limited to cyberspace, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force General Kevin P. Chilton, has said.

The president and the defense secretary would decide the United States’ response to a cyber attack, Chilton told reporters during a breakfast roundtable, adding “Our job would be to present them options, just as every other combatant commander would do.”

Stars and Stripes further quoted Gen. Chilton as saying that he would not rule out a kinetic response to a cyber attack.

“I don’t think you take anything off the table when you provide options to the president to decide,” he said. “You don’t take any response options off the table from an attack on the United States of America. Why would we constrain ourselves on how we would respond?”

The Defense Department’s networks are probed thousands of times per day, Chilton said.

The intrusions are geared toward espionage - gathering information rather than slowing or manipulating the department’s computers, he said. Information stolen includes personnel and medical records.

While those intrusions were against unclassified networks, the information is still important, he said.

Chilton said the threats ranged from bored teenagers to criminals and to nations - although he did not name which nations. (ANI)

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