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Wed Sep 19, 2012, 01:24 AM

U.S. official says cyberattacks can trigger self-defense rule

Source: Washington Post

Cyberattacks can amount to armed attacks triggering the right of self-defense and are subject to international laws of war, the State Department’s top lawyer said Tuesday.

Spelling out the U.S. government’s position on the rules governing cyberwarfare, Harold Koh, the department’s legal adviser, said a cyber-operation that results in death, injury or significant destruction would probably be seen as a use of force in violation of international law.

In the United States’ view, any illegal use of force potentially triggers the right of national self-defense, Koh said.

Cyberattacks that cause a nuclear plant meltdown, open a dam above a populated area or disable an air-traffic control system resulting in plane crashes are examples of activity that probably would constitute an illegal use of force, he said.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-official-says-cyberattacks-can-trigger-self-defense-rule/2012/09/18/c2246c1a-0202-11e2-b260-32f4a8db9b7e_story.html

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 01:28 AM

1. Left unsaid; "Unless you're Iran"

I can foresee this policy going sour quickly.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 01:51 AM

4. That doesn't count.

We're special, after all.

Hell, claiming a country has WMDs and not being able to produce them after killing a few hundred thousand people probably ought to rank above a cyberattack.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 11:49 AM

12. I like the way your mind works.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 01:33 AM

2. I could potentially see some limited reasons for that actually for example

if in the unlikely event someone was able to hack into say something major like say air traffic control and was threatening to send false info to random flights or if say one of the nuclear reactors in the country got hacked and someone threatened to do something that would cause the cooling pumps to shutdown but it would have to be something really reallllllyyyyyyy major.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 01:39 AM

3. Hacker Sabu's recent attempt to entrap Sanguinarious into stealing SCADA data...

...couldn't have come at a more opportune time for the government. Too bad he didn't bite on that 40GB of SCADA because it would make a perfect "test case".

I'm sure Sabu and the feds are still at it. More here at Cryptome.

PB

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 02:40 AM

5. oh my perhaps they're expecting something? because.........

Cyber clues link U.S. to new computer viruses in Mideast

Anti-virus software makers Symantec Corp of the United States and Kaspersky Lab of Russia disclosed on Monday that they have found evidence that Flame's operators may have also worked with three other viruses that have yet to be discovered.

The two security firms, which conducted their analyses separately, declined to comment on who was behind Flame. But current and former Western national security officials have told Reuters that the United States played a role in creating Flame. The Washington Post has reported that Israel was also involved.

Current and former U.S. government sources also told Reuters that the United States was behind Stuxnet. Kaspersky and Symantec linked Stuxnet to Flame in June, saying that part of the Flame program is nearly identical to code found in a 2009 version of Stuxnet.
....................................................................................

Kaspersky and Symantec released their findings in reports describing analysis of “command and control” servers used to communicate with and control computers infected with Flame.


http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/18/238724.html


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Response to azurnoir (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 11:52 AM

13. Soooo..tis ok if WE do it, but its war if some other country does it.

Sounds about par for the course.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 03:19 AM

6. Setting aside accusations against one country or another, maybe it would be very good

to have international protocols on this?

This should be subject to international agreements, laws maybe?

Couldn't hurt, maybe?

We would like to be safe enough not to have to worry about these threats. What other countries might agree with us to prohibit such cyberattacks? Maybe not Iran? But maybe a lot of other countries. I think some DUers are expecting unilateral compliance with this and naively think that only the US is capable of cyberattacks that harm infrastructure. But I disagree. I think treaties and protocols are appropriate to govern cyberactivity that could cost lives, that could be a substitute for warfare or terrorism.

The problem with Iran is the fact that they have not respected diplomatic immunity in the past and that they are possibly trying to develop nuclear weapons but are not willing to enter into agreements to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes only.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:53 AM

7. Hmmm ... interesting timing ...


http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57515312-75/german-government-tells-public-to-stop-using-internet-explorer/

> The fallout from this weekend's discovery of security holes in several versions
> of Internet Explorer continues to spread. The latest: Germany is urging its citizens
> to stop using Internet Explorer until there's a fix.
>
> "A fast spreading of the code has to be feared," the German government's Federal
> Office for Information Security, or BSI, said. The BSI recommended that users access
> the Internet using alternative Web browsers until Microsoft's security update
> becomes available.


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Response to Nihil (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 11:54 AM

14. Time to short Microsoft???

I did not understand why Linux owners were so happy with their puters.
Till we switched over a couple years ago.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 08:26 AM

8. Translation: "We've been hacking other nations long enough to the point where...

...it's no longer something we can pretend to deny, and we're expecting wide-scale retaliation...We're hoping this legal interpretation will be enough to scare just a few of the would-be avengers away..."

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 09:04 AM

9. Sooo if Israel and the US have already cyber attacked Iran, they would have legitimate cause?

Is that what we are saying?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 09:05 AM

10. Oh bullshit.

We are going to do whatever the hell we want, that's perfectly clear, because that is what we have been doing. If you look at the last 60 years of US history, you find that there is nothing that we will not do. All these after the fact and prospective justifications for doing whatever we want are just bullshit.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 11:30 AM

11. DOS me and I will email bomb you!

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