Cyberpunk Review » Pentagon to declare war on hackers

June 1, 2011

Pentagon to declare war on hackers

Source: Wall Street Journal, video from CNN.

Haven’t we been here before? With the war in Iraq winding down and the Afghanistan front becoming less relevant since Osama Bin’s termination, the Pentagon… and their corporate masters… are now looking for new battlegrounds to make a profit. They have plenty of choices: Korea, Iran, Canada, cyberspace,…

Yes, cyberspace.

The Pentagon, which was penetrated by a computer virus in 2008, wants to take cyberwarfare to a new level. In essence, they want to use conventional military force to counteract cyberattacks:

US Pentagon

“If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” said a military official.


Equivalency test. How to scale a response to a cyberattack is but one problem the Pentagon has to deal with.


They want to send a nuclear-tipped cruise missile up this guy’s ass because he posted a comment about how Sarah Palin deserves to be raped in public and in front of her family.

They already have an idea as to how to make a scale work:

If a cyber attack produces the death, damage, destruction or high-level disruption that a traditional military attack would cause, then it would be a candidate for a “use of force” consideration, which could merit retaliation.

“A cyber attack is governed by basically the same rules as any other kind of attack if the effects of it are essentially the same,” Gen. Dunlap said Monday. The U.S. would need to show that the cyber weapon used had an effect that was the equivalent of a conventional attack.

For instance, if computer sabotage shut down as much commerce as would a naval blockade, it could be considered an act of war that justifies retaliation, Mr. Lewis said. Gauges would include “death, damage, destruction or a high level of disruption” he said.


Got ‘em in our sights… we think. Finding where to aim those bombs and missiles will be the biggest challenge to the Pentagon. Most cyberattacks on US systems “originate” in countries like Russia and China. That could mean that someone from those nations, with possible government backing, actually did the hack. Or it could just be zombie systems from those nations, with the actual master somewhere else.

Then you have to consider one more scenario:

The Net itself achieves sentience…

This post has been filed under War for the Nets, HackZ AttackZ!, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.


June 1, 2011

Stormtrooper of Death said:

The USA can think whatever they want, but they should NOT forget, that their laws are only valid in their own United States of A, and are NOT VALID in the rest of the world.

So, i dislike the global domination strategy of the USA, and as being a cyberpunk lover, i dislike them now even more, since they also want to aim at the hackers and kind.

It would be best, that a group of nations or people would unite, and then smash the USA military and the pentagon to pieces. Simply. Why

The USA is a global threat to peace worldwide. They are fighting wars since existence of the USA at all. There was never a year that the USA was not fighting a war, how big or how small it was. So, consider this:

USA, we are from Europe. Better prepare for Operation “Red Dawn” and operation “Stormbringer”

BinaryBoy said:

Not that I’m defending the US military’s actions but Stormtrooper of Death needs to check his sources. For the first century or so of the USA’s existence it was fighting wars to maintain its own independence and unity. It wasn’t until after that that it started branching out and looking to exert its influence over other countries, namely those in Central and South America.
Now that that’s out of the way, your message of the world rising up and smashing the USA seems to be the exact same attitude you’re criticizing the USA of having: “we don’t like them, so we should destroy them.” Instead of touting a hypocritical stance as a justified one, why don’t you step down for a second and take a few deep breaths.

As an American citizen, let me tell you that I am outraged by my government’s attempts of laying claim on the internet and imposing its laws across the world via the net. This has been most obvious in the anti-piracy battles that have been raging.

However, I can assure you that this latest decree is nothing more than another file in their bureaucracy. The US can’t invade a sandbox without some kind of paper being written that they can. In light of China’s admittance of its training “cyberwarriors,” this move by the US is not only justified, it is necessary. I would hate to see a situation where a hostile country destroys or damages another country’s infrastructure and the victim country is unable to do anything about it because there is no law that says they can.
In a world that is becoming more and more digital, it makes sense to prepare yourself against digital threats. My only fear is that this decree will be the base for another chaotic military wild goose chase like the ones for Osama bin Laden and Sadam’s WMDs.

Jay Banks said:

It is impossible to win a war on hackers. It would seem more reasonable to invest in tightening online security and hiring good security experts.

June 2, 2011

Sniper said:

BinaryBoy, I get your point. AFAIK, it’s not the COMMON citizens of USA that make decisions like this anyway. Not that they need trouble, but after all those missiles have dropped, it is they who will be sent to clean up and get whacked in the process. Nobody needs this mess, not Americans, not Russians, not the Chinese. I admit that a cyberattack can have as large consequences as a real-world attack, if not more, and somehow there must be a response. But since it is very difficult to SOLIDLY prove the real origin of the attack, I think it will only be used to justify other “small victorious wars”, as we call them. No offense, buddy, just a look from over the Curtain.

SSJKamui said:

Well, I agree with most comments that I suspect that this law is mostly aimed at hacker attacks from agents of foreign governments.

On the other hand, I really see a potential of abusing that. For example, the german Hacker Karl Koch was a private man, but he stole US Data and sold it to the soviets. Is he now a private hacker or can the us declare him as a spy from a foreign state. Because of that unclarity, the US could now actively threat other countries to force them to give them “hacker suspects” like Gary McKinnon and Julian Assange. At the moment, both people have at least a small chance to defend themselves against their deportation in the USA. With that new policy of the US, they could use that to force other governments to hand this people to them.

At the moment, in some fields, european governments are puppets of the US, for example in Security policy. (Examples are for example the SWIFT Treaty and the Counter Terrorism Surveillance. The european commission is absolutely willing to sell the civil rights of their citizens no matter how bullshit the arguments of the US are and how strongly the people oppose it.) I think this new policy could maybe worsen that.

BinaryBoy said:

Sniper and SSJKaumi, you’ve both described what I fear may result. Say a particularly damaging attack seemingly comes from North Korea. North Korea takes a stance of ignorance and the US is left with a dilemma. They think the attack came from NK but can’t be certain, they need to stop the hacker but don’t know who he is. I fear that this will lead to a manhunt similar to those in the middle east where habeus corpus and collateral damage mean nothing to the pentagon as they hunt for their ghost (sounds like a Tom Clancy novel now that I think of it).

On a only slightly less terrifying note, this may just be an echo to North Korea’s actions. Similar to the arms race of the Cold War, perhaps this decree is an effort to curb NK’s dreams of cyberwarfare dominance or at least let them know that the US is prepared against them. Whatever the reason for this decree, I don’t see any good outcomes from it aside from a momentary sense of security.

41uc4rd said:

USA bite my ass… They are one reason this world is collapsing, USA thinks everything belongs to them and only them… My opinion is throw a massive attack to destroy the people, buildings, offices, and to break in the accounts of the riches and divide all the money for the people… USA is the public enemy, gobernment is a public enemy, the fake “statal security” is the public enemy…

wiredcoma said:

is anyone else getting a “sky crawlers” vibe from this? sure im throwing conspiracy theories around here, but what if these attacks (considering how anonymous is more of a state of being rather than an actual group of people) are actually being orchestrated by the government to create a false war?

think about it, it gives them more reasons to work their way into controlling cyberspace and our lives, and they can use it to control people through fear with threats of identity theft, etc. and as they grow more controlling over the web, then they will have control over information flow.

June 3, 2011

SSJKamui said:

@Binary Boy: I absolutely agree. Although I doupt that the US would attack every country who “hacks them”. For example, I don’t think US strategists would really try an attack on China because that would actively endanger many allied countries in that region. (And China posesses a nuclea weapons arsenal and the US never directly attacked a Country possessing nuclear weapons.) Because of this, I think this new law is merely a try to strengthen their own diplomatic position by force, but that is dangerous enough.

Sniper said:

Fresh piece of news from Russia! Yesterday Mr Medvedev has announced that citizens are now to be held responsible for any and all comments they make in the Internet. I think he’s fed up with being lambasted down the wires for his (and not just his) failures. Good thing I live in Ukraine ;)

On to the topic: has anyone yet considered an option of US actually FAKING the alleged attack? I mean, it’s so unbelievably easy to arrange and so hard to deter… God save freedom!

Sniper said:

UPD: I have finally found the time to watch the vid. At one point both guys came across a very important idea: how can they prove who was actually at the computer on the first place? One sure way to know was described in a short piece of a little too narrative prose by RMS - yeah, “The Right to Read”. Taking into account the crazy spread of social networking, it would be the next logical step.

SSJKamui said:

@Sniper: I also had the idea that this was easily fakeable. The problem is, the US could also fake other excuses for starting a war.

0m1kr0n said:

what’s funny is it’s mostly kids and burnouts..people getting paid six figures to combat them is hilarious..

Of course literally anyone with a GED, and some with not, can rank in the American military..

can’t wait for them to try and bully Russia..

June 4, 2011

Zergling said:

Wow talk about anti US ignorance, they are talking about Terrorist attacks aimed at the US, not terrorists attacking their own Countries, is it really the US trying to “Control the World” when the USA is protecting itself from outside attacks? Apparently you have no common sense whatsoever.

Of course what you are talking about is basically just starting another World War because you’re jealous of America’s freedom and how prosperous it is, the only threat to peace are terrorists like you, and other wusses who are too afraid to help free other nations from the dictators they are controlled by.

And I love how it talks about the guy making a comment about Sarah Palin yeah no **** it’s Liberals and they are always making jackass comments about her (Despite how they basically worship feminism and Sarah Palin is one of the strongest willed women on earth, just shows the extent of Liberal hypocrisy), but if somebody makes a nasty comment about someone like Obama then they throw an absolute **** fit, and considering it’s CNN which is basically just the Communist News Network of course almost all news media is completely Liberal controlled in America anyways…

In the end everybody thinks whatever nation they live in is the best, and it just goes to show that people in Europe or Russia can be just as arrogant and foolish, and worshipful of their own countries as any American.

June 6, 2011

Sniper said:

@SSJKamui: Of course they would, but that is one of the cheapest and easiest. It can also be used to supplement other things.

@Zergling: You have just declared yourself as arrogant and foolish as any European, congrats. Now go to that recruitment center, get a rifle, head straight to Iraq and shoot anyone who tries to stop you.

@0m1kr0n: It’s very good time to bully Russia. It’s corrupted, starving and once again on the verge of civil war, so why the hell not? But it still would be a bad thing to do, right?

June 8, 2011

0m1kr0n said:

On the contrary..people brag about Russia.

June 13, 2011

BinaryBoy said:

@Zergling: Please break your keyboard, America hates you.

June 16, 2011

Malik said:

Uh, you guys ARE aware that the major European nations co-sign the majority of the United States ‘intervention’ tactics in other countries? Things like the World Bank and IMF only exist to perpetuate their existence, which means actually keeping developed nations in poverty and those ‘perfect’ European nations that you guys are slurping gleefully reap the benefits of this as well as the upper echelon in the US.

The world doesn’t operate in a Good v Evil dichotomy. Which is a strange thing to have to tell people at a cyberpunk site of all places.

anel said:

@Malik : this was a serious comment (i mean it), thank the digital dog

June 19, 2011

Fear Iteself said:

Zergling did make an interesting point about Palin though. I’m not defending her, and am not a fan of her, but there is a huge double standard for women. People bash her all day long and use alot of sexist language against her, despite supporting women’s rights.

As for this stuff USA stuff. If hackers go around damaging stuff for fun, they should be punished. It’s not taking away “freedom” to have punishment for those who are malevolent. If they fuck stuff up just for fun, they should be imprisoned. It’s only fair, because we, the people, have to suffer for it, when these fools take down popular websites or something.

July 21, 2011

Steelhaven said:

“The USA can think whatever they want, but they should NOT forget, that their laws are only valid in their own United States of A, and are NOT VALID in the rest of the world.”

This is 100% true. It would be nice if the bad guys would respect our laws….

“So, i dislike the global domination strategy of the USA, and as being a cyberpunk lover, i dislike them now even more, since they also want to aim at the hackers and kind.

It would be best, that a group of nations or people would unite, and then smash the USA military and the pentagon to pieces. Simply. Why”

This would never happen. American military will not tolerate a threat of that magnitude. That aside, should that happen, there will be no more stopping the Husseins, the Hitlers, the bin Ladens, etc. You will have to do it yourselves. Think your up to the task? I would honestly like to see you try.

“The USA is a global threat to peace worldwide. They are fighting wars since existence of the USA at all. There was never a year that the USA was not fighting a war, how big or how small it was.”

You’re welcome; we ended WW 1 and the Aristocracy, WW 2 and Fascism, tried to stop Communism (which, ironically, killed itself on its own), and brought down a genocidal madman in Eastern Europe.

“So, consider this: USA, we are from Europe. Better prepare for Operation “Red Dawn” and operation “Stormbringer””

I’m really not sure what in the hell your trying to get at here, but it sounds like you would like to invade America. Enjoy! It will be fun to watch that.

Now, as for the topic at hand, the Pentagon really has 0 clue how to wage a cyberwar. Its not about defense, its about offense. All networks are vulnerable regardless of the level of security, the human link is still the most vulnerable part.

However, that goes both ways. Their Human links are weak as well.

Steelhaven said:

0m1kr0n said:
“what’s funny is it’s mostly kids and burnouts..people getting paid six figures to combat them is hilarious.”

Now, THAT is funny right there. However, I would like to point out 1 very minor detail in the plan: the people being paid 6 figures to combat them are playing by rules while the burnouts and kids are not. THAT is the very thing stopping the Pentagon from being, like, useful here.

The only way to fight fire is with fire, in this case. You need Hackers to fight back, not some Bureaucrat with a Masters in Political Science or some bullsh*t like that. In short, they need to think like a criminal.

July 25, 2011

Doerlach Haik said:

I agree. Hackers do not just ‘accidentally’ backdoor the CIA’s website. Nothing’s that easy. (except DDOS/ScriptKiddies)

It takes a lot of time/knowledge/patience/balls to jump in on a corporate/govt port and still stay off the radar.

Respect where Respect is Due! Anyone who gets caught doing this shit deserves to be, cause the pro’s ain’t getting caught. (wait-and-see on LulzSec…)

August 12, 2011

elmerfuddpraxia said:

I think that the pentagon is simply using the recent hacking invasions to establish as the excuse that in order to defend their godforsaken liberties -whatever world it extends into- they have to invade or take over the cyberspace platform, so they can control and monitor the internet in the future. Their policies are shit. They think they can control everything, through their policies, and feigned good intentions. My god, they accused china of the recent hacking scandal, while calling it an act of war. They think everything is theirs, so much like a jealous sibling. The government needs to wake up and know when enough is enough. I think if the pentagon declares war on hackers, the hackers should bring the war to the pentagon or it’s core, the us government. The hackers of the world should come together and make an army of its own. Make a hacker revolution, and attack every freaking computer in the whole goddam world. For godsake, if it’s going to be like that, then the hackers should continue to form their status until they upgrade in an army or a government of its own, with its own rules, and utopia.

January 19, 2012

Sniper said:

Wikipedia blackout, Wired blackout, my Firefox start page blackout… And not a single word here! Wake up and write some piece of news!

January 20, 2012

Burnt_Lombard said:

The main page is infrequently updated. If you want up to date conversation, I suggest joining thecommunity forum or just keep it going in the comments section.

February 17, 2012

Frank Garret said:

Stormtroper of Death Are you crazy? Have you had too much caffine lately? I don’t agree with the policies either but don’t go spewing a bunch of inaccurate information. This nation hasn’t been at war every year since it’s existence okay? Take a chill pill and realize that every American does not agree with this coo coo crazy conventenial weapons use against hackers.

Leave a comment

~All Related Entries Related This~


All News as Cyberpunk

<<--Back to top

Made with WordPress and the Semiologic CMS | Design by Mesoconcepts