[ISN] Bush reportedly orders cyber-warfare plan

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Feb 07 2003 - 00:33:14 PST

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    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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