US needs offensive weapons in cyberwar: general

General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, pictured in 2009.
The United States needs to develop offensive weapons in cyberspace as part of its effort to protect the nation from cyber attacks, General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency said.

The United States needs to develop offensive weapons in cyberspace as part of its effort to protect the nation from cyber attacks, a senior military official said Thursday.

"If your defense is only to try to block attacks you can never be successful," General Keith Alexander, director of the and commander of the US Cyber Command, told a Washington symposium.

"At times, the government has to look at what you have to do to stop an attack—stop it before it happens. Part of our defense has to consider offensive measures."

Alexander, who spoke at a cybersecurity summit sponsored by the , said any offensive cyber action would need to follow rules of engagement similar to those in other military situations.

"We have to have a discussion on this," he said.

Alexander's comments come as the US military has started studying various strategies in cyberspace, including offensive weapons.

The has begun studying building a platform for offensive capabilities in cyberspace and has called for participation from academic and industry experts.

The US government has stopped short of confirming involvement in such as the Flame and Stuxnet viruses that have targeted Iran, but many analysts say there is evidence of US or Israeli involvement.


Explore further

Pentagon looks for weapons to wage cyber warfare

(c) 2012 AFP

Citation: US needs offensive weapons in cyberwar: general (2012, October 4) retrieved 13 July 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-offensive-weapons-cyberwar.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments