US may use preemptive cyber strikes
A secret legal review has concluded that the US president has the power to order preemptive cyber strikes if the United States discovers credible evidence of a major digital attack against it is in the offing, The New York Times reported yesterday.
Citing unnamed officials involved in the review, the newspaper said the new policy will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of overseas computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries with a destructive code -- even if there is no declared war.
The review came as the US Department of Defense approved a five-fold expansion of its cybersecurity force over the coming years in a bid to increase its ability to defend critical computer networks.
The Washington Post reported that the department's Cyber Command, which currently has a staff of about 900, will expand to about 4,900 troops and civilians.
Meanwhile, The official mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party on Monday roundly rejected claims of hacking attacks from China by American media outlets, hinting instead at ulterior motives by the US.