The US Military has decided that the best way to fight a cyber war is with traditional guns, bombs and the odd cruise missile.
The Pentagon has just sent a report to Congress where it says that it has the right to retaliate with military force against a cyber attack.
This means that if anyone carries out a decent attack on the Pentagon website, the Navy Seals will land on his roof, run through his house shooting anything that moves and bury the body at sea. Out of respect.
It’s a fairly tough approach, but the Pentagon said in a report made public that it will act as a deterrence on those people who think they can carry out “significant cyber attacks directed against the U.S. economy, government or military.”
According to Reuters, one of the problems that the US military has with cyber war is identifying where the attacks are coming from. The report said that before it calls for a strike against a cyber enemy the army needs to improve its ability to identify the attacker.
After all, it’s a bit tricky to call back a cruise missile when the hacker masked their attack behind another’s IP address.
Most attacks that the US has complained about have ended up appearing to come from China.
The US has to think very hard about attacking China as its economy is propped up by that country and most of its goods are made there. It would be better if any tracing would reveal that, instead of attacks coming from a Chinese hairdressing school, as they have done in the past, they were actually launched from a secret volcano base in the South Pacific.
The Pentagon is paying boffins to to come up with behaviouristic algorithms to assess the likely identity of attackers. This will limit the number of rooftops its Seals have to parachute on top of.
US security agencies are also training a crack team of highly skilled cyber forensics experts and are working with international partners to share information about cyber threats, including malicious code and the people behind it, it said.
This would have meant that in the case of Gary McKinnon, the US would have invaded the UK, shot McKinnon and cleared off, probably to a US base in the UK. Still, at least there would have been no time for a public outcry about an extradition.