UK Minister Advocates Cyber Offensive Capabilities

Friday, November 12, 2010



British armed forces Minister Nick Harvey is publicly advocating the further development of cyber offensive capabilities, noting that the threat of coordinated cyber attacks is a vital aspect of a nations national defense.

"In every other domain (of warfare) you have the concept of deterrence and... in the fullness of time we would expect to get into a position where people understood our capabilities," Harvey told Reuters.

This very public proclamation underscores the growing importance that cyber-related strategies are playing in regards to military operations.

Information security experts have been debating many aspects surrounding the concept of cyber warfare, but most agree that the the ubiquitous nature of information technology creates an atmosphere where both offensive and defensive methods will likely be factors in international conflicts.

Many experts have pointed to vulnerabilities that pervade systems vital to a nation's infrastructure, including transportation, communications and power grids.

The recent spread of Stuxnet, a highly engineered and sophisticated virus capable of inflicting physical damage on infected SCADA systems, is a primary example of the application of such exploit capabilities.


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