Report: US could respond to cyber attacks with military force

The rash of cyber attacks on companies like Sony and more recently Lockheed Martin have raised more awareness about the threat that cyber attacks can have on private businesses. But what if a hostile foreign power wanted to launch a full cyber war on the United States? That's a server of a different color, according to a new report at the Wall Street Journal, official at the Pentagon are suggesting that a hostile cyber attack on the US by another country could be countered by military force. And not just another cyber attack by the US, either.

According to the story, if a cyber attack on the US resulted in a large scale amount of destruction and death in the real world, the country responsible for the attack might find that the response will be more than just a server attack. An unnamed military official is quoted in the article as saying, "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks."

This new policy is part of the Pentagon's first real look into how to deal with cyber threats and attacks. The policy is being revealed, at least in part, as a warning to hostile nations that there could be major consequences for any kind of hack attack against the US. This past weekend major US defense contractor Lockheed Martin admitted that its network was the subject of a cyber attack by unknown parties. The company has said the attack did not result in any data being taken from its servers.

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