US plans preemptive cyber attacks

The US could launch pre-emptive cyber strikes against countries it suspects of threatening its interests with a digital attack, under a new set of secret guidelines to safeguard the nation’s computer systems.

The rules – the country’s first on how it defends or retaliates against digital attacks – are expected to be approved in coming weeks, and are likely to be kept under wraps, much like the policies governing the country’s controversial drone programme.

A secret legal review into the new guidelines has already decided that President Barack Obama has the power to order such pre-emptive strikes if faced with credible evidence of a looming attack, according to the New York Times, which quoted unnamed officials involved in the review.

The revelations come just days after an array of American media organisations, including the New York Times and The Washington Post, said their computer networks had been infiltrated by Chinese hackers. The risk of digital attacks was also underlined by a recent US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report which revealed that a computer virus had forced an unidentified US power plant to go offline for three days last year.
Attacks on the media maybe the reason for this latest leak, to reassure the President's media base he is looking out for them.  But this country has been something of a wimp in dealing with the Chinese cyber threat.  China has more to fear from Google than for the US right now when it comes to cyber attacks.  We have worked with the Israelis on using cyber warfare to mess with Iran's nukes, but some blabber mouth spill the deal to the media and as a results several banks have endured cyber attacks from Iran with no counter attack to my knowledge.

What the administration maybe telling the media is that there will be no counter attack on their behalf.  They are on their own.


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