Saturday, May 9, 2009

US warns of 'military' response to hackers

When one might be forgiven for thinking that we have seen it all, now this:

Press TV reports: A top US commander has warned that Washington will consider using any option even a military one against threats to the army's computer networks.

Air Force General Kevin Chilton said cyber espionage and attacks from well-funded nations or terror groups are the biggest threats to the military's networks.

"Our job would be to present options. I don't think you take anything off the table when you provide options," in the wake of an attack, whether the weapon is a missile or a computer program, said the general.

Gen. Chilton, who heads US Strategic Command, added that the Pentagon is concerned about new ways for disabling or distorting battlefield communications.

The US military is planning to set up a new cyber command at Fort Meade near Washington that would report to the Strategic Command.

The decision is a response to concerns that offensive and defensive cyber operations are currently separate, and not as coordinated as they should be.

Gen. Chilton said 2,000-4,000 more staff were needed over the next five years to provide the expertise for both offensive and defensive cyber operations.

There have been no major attacks against the military's networks so far, only intrusions or efforts to steal data, he concluded.

This is truly one of the most idiotic statement any US officer has ever made. Bombing hackers?! This really begs the questions whether the good general has any ideas of how computer networks work. Turns out that General Chilton is not only a highly qualified officer (check out his bio here) but even a former NASA astronaut. A person with this time of qualifications has to understand networks, rather well in fact. So Chilton is spewing this kind of nonsense not because he believes it, but because he is "selling" it to somebody - either his political bosses, or the American public. Either way, that kind of nonsensical talk is really bad news as it makes me wonder what the crazies in power in Washington are up to next.