In an October 12, 2012, meeting with Time magazine, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned of the immediate threat sophisticated malware posed to the United States. Secretary Panetta lamented that such malware, now being developed by numerous countries, has “the kind of capability that can basically take down a power grid, take down a water system, take down a transportation system, take down a financial system.” The most recent illustration of the power of state-sponsored cyberattacks came on August 15, 2012, when Saudi Armco, the world’s largest oil company, was the victim of an attack, which researchers believe was launched by Iranian hackers in retaliation for recent attacks by the United States and Israel. The attack erased the contents of three-fourths of the company’s hard drives, leaving in their place an image of a burning American flag. Advancements in cyberwarfare present the opportunity to accomplish foreign policy and military goals without the human, economic, or political cost inherent in traditional warfare. However, it is evident that the rise of state-sponsored cyberattacks implicates strategic, ethical, and legal issues of the highest order.
| Posted by Brett M. Neve on Sun. March 24, 2013 11:06 PM