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Bush reportedly orders cyber-warfare plan
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 02:33:14 -0600 (CST)


By Reuters 
February 6, 2003, 10:40 PM PT

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has ordered the government to draw up
guidelines for cyber-attacks against enemy computer networks,
according to a report published Friday.

Bush signed a directive last July ordering the government to develop,
for the first time, rules for deciding when and how the United States
would penetrate and disrupt foreign computer systems, The Washington
Post reported.

The secret national security directive had not been publicly disclosed
until now, the newspaper reported.

According to the report, cyber-warfare rules were being prepared amid
speculation that the Pentagon was considering some offensive computer
operations against Iraq if the president decides to go to war over
Baghdad's banned weapons programs.

"Whatever might happen in Iraq, you can be assured that all the
appropriate approval mechanisms for cyber-operations would be
followed," an administration official was quoted as saying. The
official declined to confirm or deny whether such planning was
underway, the newspaper said.

A White House spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The Post cited unnamed senior officials as saying that the United
States has never conducted a large-scale, strategic cyber-attack, but
the Pentagon has stepped up development of cyber-weapons.

Military planners imagine soldiers at computer terminals silently
invading foreign networks to shut down radar systems, disable
electrical facilities and disrupt phone services, the newspaper said.

Despite months of discussions involving the Pentagon, CIA, FBI and
National Security Agency, officials told the paper a number of
cyber-warfare issues remain to be resolved and that the president's
directive was just an initial step.

A senior administration official told the newspaper: "We're trying to
be thorough and thoughtful about this. I expect the process will end
in another directive...setting the foundation."

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