War in Cyberspace Should be Outlawed?

War in cyberspace should be outlawed by nations, former CIA director and US general Michael Hayden told Black Hat 2010 in what will no doubt be another unheeded call to disarm.

An actual cyber war could have dramatic real-world fallout, he said during his keynote speech, suggesting that leading nations should band together to outlaw online warfare for fear that it could cause immense damage. He then went on to explain how the US military is preparing for online conflict, perhaps to be named BSOD and awe?

Describing the internet as the "fifth military domain" with air, land, sea and space being the other four, Hayden said that cyberspace was the first man-made location for warfare. And the problem with that is that it has no real security systems in place. Everything online is in the attacker's favour, while there is virtually nothing for the defending team, he added. Frighteningly enough, some people might think this sounds like a good reason for pre-emptive strikes, we imagine.

The other problem with online warfare, according to Hayden, is that it is not always possible to determine who is carrying out online attacks. Well yes, those wacky usernames used by gamers in online deathmatches do hide their real identities. But perhaps that is not what he is talking about.

Despite his call for cyberspace peace Hayden told the audience that more work is needed to beef up defence and attacking skills to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.

print this article

Return to security news headlines
View Security News Archive

Share with: