Bush reportedly asks for cyber-warfare policy

President George W. Bush has reportedly directed the U.S. government to develop a policy on waging cyber-warfare, but one security vendor suggested such tactics could backfire.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Bush signed a secret directive in July ordering the government to develop plans for cyberattacks against its enemies, the first such cyber directive. But security vendor mi2g Ltd. said cyber-warfare would hurt densely networked countries like the U.S. worse than countries like Iraq.

"Any state sponsoring the use of cyber-warfare will have to look closely at retaliation and threats to its digitally connected government and business targets," said mi2g Chairman and Chief Executive Officer D.K. Matai, in a statement. "When cyber attack blended with physical attack is used to disrupt or damage critical national infrastructure, there are counter-attacks which quickly follow suit."

The White House and U.S. Department of Defense had no immediate comment on any cyber-warfare plans. A White House spokesman said he wouldn't discuss military operations, adding that he couldn't confirm or deny the Bush directive. "I think it's common knowledge that we engage in counter-electronic measures when necessary," the spokesman added. "If we have people in harm's way, we'll do whatever's necessary to keep them safe."

The Post reported that although the Pentagon, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. National Security Agency have held months of talks on National Security Presidential Directive 16, the cyber-warfare policy is far from complete. The goal would be to shut down utilities and shut down systems such as radar.

Mi2g called such a plan a "timely initiative" and in November predicted a trend toward governments waging cyber-warfare against online terrorism. But Matai said that cyber-warfare activities launched by NATO against Serbia's telephone and power utilities in 1999 created a backlash.

"Targeted attacks on over 100 businesses in NATO member countries took place by hackers sympathetic to Serbia that were traced back to Russia and Eastern Europe," Matai said. "In the case of the looming attack on Iraq, the concern in blending cyber-warfare techniques would be the likely impact felt by the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia in particular from counter-cyber-attack which would inevitably follow suit from countries already known to originate significant hacker attacks."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?