Former US General talks about cyber weapons

Former No. 2 uniformed officer in the U.S. military claims that the United States should be developing offensive cyber weapons so that they could use it whenever some foreigners hack their computer.

Four-star Marine Corps general who retired in August as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, James Wright says that the US must be open to developing cyber weapons since they got the capabilities. The US must also train people in order to make them credible of fighting this online threat so that the world will know that hacking is criminally liable, and the US will do something about it.

Cartwright, raised the profile of cyber security problem at a time when he was still in uniform, told Reuters in an interview that the rising intensity and occurrence of network attacks by hackers highlighted the need for an effective restriction.

Current and former U.S. officials did not want to talk about any weapons. However, it is widely accepted that the United has both offensive and defensive ways to respond to escalating and increasingly detrimental attacks from overseas.

To underscore the threat, this week an arm of the U.S. intelligence community announced a report that identifies China and Russia as the most active and determined nations, which uses cyber espionage in stealing U.S. trade and technology secrets.

Cartwright said that there is a need to send a strong signal to potential adversaries that the United States viewed that respond to cyber attacks as its “right to self-defense,” even if hackers were using a server in a third country.

He said that they’ve got to get do it, since all is a free shot at them and there’s no penalty for it.

His comments come as the Obama administration discusses the rules of engagement for cyberspace, now seen as a fifth domain for military operations that join air, land, sea and space.

At an earlier time, this year, the White House issued a new cyber strategy that once warranted, the United States would take action to hostile acts in cyberspace as it would to any other threat to their country.

Now the military must work out exactly a way to implement that. Key questions include how forthright Washington is going to be about work on offensive computer network attack weapons; what would signify an act of war; and ready plans for training, testing and using of its electronic arsenal.

Recent attacks on U.S. corporations include Google Inc, the Nasdaq stock exchange, Lockheed Martin Corp, and RSA, the security division of EMC Corp, have given government officials and lawmakers a new sense of urgency regarding how are they going to address threats to U.S. computer networks.