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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Comments on U.S. Cyber Defense Strategies

Here are some elements of the current U.S. cyber defense strategy:

1 - Reaction to cyberattacks

- The Pentagon's approach to cyber warfare is focusing more on a quick response rather than a perfect solution. "Military focuses on quick response cyber capabilities". Sept. 19, 2012

- DoD is finalizing new cyberwar rules of engagement

2 - Identification of foes

- "The three potential adversaries out there that are developing the greatest capabilities are Russia, China, Iran" (Leon Panetta, Oct.12, 2012. "Panetta sounds alarm on cyber-war threat")

- “Out of a scale of 10, we’re probably 8 [in cyber-war skills. But potential foes] are moving up on the scale – probably the others are about a 3, somewhere in that vicinity, but they’re beginning to move up.” (Leon Panetta, Oct.12, 2012. "Panetta sounds alarm on cyber-war threat")

- Existing new capabilities of attribution ("Cyber Command is increasingly able to trace the origin of digital assaults". Military prepares new agressive rules to fight cyber war: Panetta. Oct.12, 2012)

3 - Human resources

- Recruiting new kind of cyber warriors: civilians, subcontractors, private actors. The future cyber warriors might be civilians rather than DoD soldiers. (Leon Panetta, Speech, October 11, 2012)

4 - Maintaining Secret

- We do not know how DoD and more generally the US react to cyberattacks. Do they counter-attack? How?


International power :
- Iran is among the new adversaries that have recently appeared in the cyber realm. Does L. Panetta forget North Korea...?
- The USA remais the strongest actor in the worl: "we are probably 8 ... the others are about a 3...". It means that a future (current?) cyberconflict will be (or is?) a dissymetric one.
- Will DoD rules of engagement become a worldwide model? Will the US allies be constrained to adopt the same rules of engagement? Will the U.S. impose its rules to NATO allies? ...
- Is the US really able to trace the origin of cyberattacks? Will the US be the only country to possess such capability? Will it share this capability with allied countries? 
- Through its attribution capabilities, its rules of engagement, and such a difference in cyber-war skills compared to other nations, the USA tries to impose its hegemonic power through cyberspace.  

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