Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cyber Attacks on Georgian Websites Are Reigniting a Washington Debate

Siobhan Gorman writes on The Wall Street Journal:

The cyberattacks in Georgia are re-energizing a debate over whether the laws of war apply in cyberspace. Among the biggest questions: When is a cyberattack an act of war?

As Russia continued military actions inside Georgia, in apparent violation of a Tuesday cease-fire agreement, some Georgian government Web sites, including the president's office, remained under attack.

Cyberweapons are becoming a staple of war. The Georgian conflict is perhaps the first time they have been used alongside conventional military action. Governments and private cyberwarriors can exploit Internet security gaps to not only take down government Web sites but also take control of power grids and nuclear reactors.

U.S. officials have begun to consider the legal and policy problems that cyberwarfare presents, but cybersecurity experts said the government has been slow to resolve them in the face of an increasing likelihood that cyberattacks will be used to augment, or even supplant, typical military action.

More here.


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