DOD wields smart weapon

InfoOps post within DOD is a measured and prudent response to the increasing vulnerability of federal networks. ~While the concept of offensive infowar may be controversial, it does little good to know where attacks originate if you cannot do something about them. ~We are inclined to agree with those who think the best defense is a good offense, whether it be in football or infowar.The Defense Department's recent revelation that it has the ability to attack cybercriminals that threaten the United States— an offensive information warfare capability— should come as no surprise.

The ability to strike back at an enemy attack, electronic or otherwise, and the ability to capture data from information systems about enemy operations are the latest weapons of the Information Age.

The unrelenting series of hacker attacks that have plagued federal systems over the past several weeks— including the most recent hits on the Army, the Navy, NASA and the Energy Department— underscore the need to fashion a comprehensive infowar strategy.

But these hackers are not the likely targets of DOD's offensive weapons. The equivalent of electronic poltergeists, these intruders are rattling chains, pulling pranks and making a general nuisance of themselves. While these types of attacks certainly can cause harm, they cannot compare to the potential losses caused by a prolonged strategic infowar attack by an enemy.

The combination of the recently announced cybercenter to trace network attacks and a high-visibility, high-level

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