News24

US cyber attacks need high-level approval

2012-04-24 21:51

Washington - A senior US military official says the US would use cyber weapons against an adversary's computer networks only after officials at the highest levels of government approved the operation.

Rear Admiral Samuel Cox, director of intelligence at the US Cyber Command, said on Tuesday at a cyber security conference in Arlington, Virginia, that cyber attacks can do significant damage to a country's infrastructure and should never be carried out in a cavalier manner.

Offensive cyber operations are difficult to conduct with precision to avoid collateral damage and casualties, he said.

Cox also played down the prospect that an enemy of the US could disable the nation's electric power grid completely or shut down the internet because those systems are designed to withstand severe cyber attacks.