Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

Blog archive

Identifying the source of cyber attacks

The U.S. Cyber Command has stated that it is developing a wide range of cyber weapons. These weapons will give cyber commanders a wide range of options when it comes to offensive and defensive retaliation.

The capabilities include tools that would allow U.S. cyber forces to deceive, deny, disrupt, degrade, and destroy information and information systems and more. All these capabilities are necessary, yet the biggest challenge Cyber Command, and the rest of those working in cybersecurity, cyberwarfare and intelligence face, is the ability to attribute acts of cyber aggression back to the real originating source.

In a recent cyberwarfare working group, I was involved in a conversation with several lawyers. They were all quick to point out the absence of case law that is frequently used for framing decisions, and retaliatory actions is basically nonexistent when it comes to the cyber domain. The debate continued about what evidence would be required and in what form the evidence would have to exist before military leaders or the White House would feel comfortable enough to initiate an aggressive response, whether cyber or conventional.

One individual felt the current state of attribution capabilities fell far short of what is needed before action to be taken. If that is true what should be done? Do we need to enhance our cyber intelligence collection capabilities?

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Nov 15, 2010 at 12:12 PM


Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.