U.S. cybersecurity plan includes military option

The Obama administration's new cybersecurity strategy announced May 16 does not rule out a military response in the aftermath of a major cyberattack.

The U.S. government’s sweeping new cybersecurity strategy announced May 16 states that the country will respond to a major cyberattack using any or all of the means at its disposal, reports the Associated Press.

“We reserve the right to use all necessary means — diplomatic, informational, military and economic — as appropriate,” the policy states.

Although military response to a cyberattack is one of the options listed in the International Strategy for Cyberspace, it will be considered only as a last resort, officials said.

The Obama administration’s plan essentially puts national cybersecurity on an equal footing with defense against military and economic threats and also states that cybersecurity is not a separate domain but interwoven with other national security matters, security analysts told Bloomberg.com.

The plan recommends establishing consequences for nations and groups that launch cyberattacks against the United States, the story said.

The need to expand the options for response to cyberattacks is driven by the size and intent of cyberattacks on the U.S. public and private sectors. Defense and civilian agency computer networks are scanned and attacked millions of times a day, and hackers also have begun attacking U.S. critical infrastructure systems to disrupt their operations, according to Military.com.

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