By John Leyden
15th October 2010
Cold war doctrines on how to respond to nuclear attack need to be
applied to the 21st century threats of cyber attacks and espionage,
according to former US Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff.
Chertoff told delegates at the RSA Conference in London that around 100
countries had cyber-espionage and cyber-attack capabilities. Both kinds
of attack used the same tools and might be used to mount anything from a
"garden variety cyber-espionage" attack resulting in the corruption of
financial data to something that might result in loss of life, such as a
possible attack against air-traffic control systems.
"I'm not saying that you need to respond to virtual attacks with real
attacks but I do think it's important to define when and how it might be
appropriate to respond," Chertoff explained. "Everyone needs to
understand to rules of the game," he added.
Agreed principles would include how it might be allowable to respond to
persistent cyber attacks.
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