Stripes: Military asserts right to return cyber attacks

Stripes: Military asserts right to return cyber attacks
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“The U.S. should counter computer-based attacks swiftly and strongly and act to thwart or disable a threat even when the attacker’s identity is unknown, the director of the National Security Agency told Congress.

Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, who is the Obama administration’s nominee to take on additional duties as head of the new Cyber Command, also said the U.S. should not be deterred from taking action against countries such as Iran and North Korea just because they might launch cyber attacks.

“Even with the clear understanding that we could experience damage to our infrastructure, we must be prepared to fight through in the worst case scenario,” Alexander said in a Senate document obtained by The Associated Press.

Alexander’s answers reflect the murky nature of the Internet and the escalating threat of cyber terrorism, which defies borders, operates at the speed of light and can provide deep cover for assailants who can launch disruptive attacks from continents away, using networks of innocent computers.

U.S. computer networks are under constant cyber attacks, by direct assaults by remote sites, by probes by hackers and criminal networks and by espionage from foreign countries. President Barack Obama last year declared that the cyber threat is one of nation’s most serious economic and national security challenges.”

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