When You Put The Military In Charge of 'Cyberdefense', Don't Be Surprised They Want To Go On The Offensive

from the uh,-we're-going-to-need-lots-of-bombs dept

A US Air Force officer says that America should build a military botnet and go on the offensive, so the system acts as a deterrent against future attacks. Who would be attacked? According to the BBC, "he argues that if a computer owner has failed to use anti-virus software and install the latest security patches, that machine may be a legitimate military target." Wow. So not having anti-virus software makes it okay for the military to attack any computer? Why stop there? Why not just blow the thing up, if it is indeed a "legitimate military target"? If these are the sorts of strategies that the military sees for cybersecurity -- which the officer has called "carpet bombing in cyberspace" -- perhaps we'd be better off with somebody else heading up the efforts.

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  1. identicon
    LadyGrey, 1 May 2009 @ 10:59am

    I thought it was the WORLD wide web...

    Building on what Nebetsu says - um - I'm not sure the United States military has proper jurisdiction to police the web - people been trying for years, and it's not happening, partly because legality and rules are variable to nationality. I understand that IPAs would indicate originating computer, but don't most even halfway decent hackers (including, in this case, the terrorists) spoof IPs and route through several - wouldn't the military then have higher odds of "attacking" the wrong computer, even with a well-manned/programed botnet? And, if they managed to do that, would that then be an "Act of War" in the form of a pre-emptive strike?
    Granted, I like my privacy WAAAAYYY too much to do anything but pull the plug if something like this really happens, but it's still scary that someone with little to no computer savvy (like most of Congress has proven itself to be or most of the higher ranking military officials - they're hell on a battlefield, but aren't really known for their computer expertise)will probably pass something like this without realizing the ramifications!
    George Orwell, you were right - just a little off with the date.
    Lady Grey

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