back to article US military's cyberwar rules 'ill-formed,' says panel

The United States government has yet to form a coherent policy for engaging in warfare that involves attacks on a country's electrical power grids and other critical infrastructure, according to a non-profit group of scientists and policy advisors. They called on policy makers to actively forge rules for how and when the …


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  1. RW

    An interesting corollary

    Owners (both public and private) of significant infrastructure can expect to have a lot of must-follow rules emerge from studies like this. Going for the cheapest and easiest automated control systems will become verboten. I would go so far as to predict that infrastructure control systems *and* networks will be required to use only hardware made in the US by US-controlled firms.

    Welcome to the world of regulated utilities, as it once was and now will be again.

    PS: further prognostications: There will be a lot of money made by companies specializing in the design and implementation of automated control systems, as replacement of much existing control systems is forced. There will be at least one scandal where supposedly made-in-US hardware will turn out to be rebadged Chinese manufactures.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It sounds like a lot of ...

    ... regulatory hot air to me that tends to talk up military intervention.

    Besides while the main aim is probably to smoke a nation swiftly and effectively can there really be an effective plan for that?

    Maybe a simple case of every case is different.

    Interim conclusion:

    it sounds like city planner mentality on something that is strictly made-to-measure (it will neither please the requesting body and mortify the answering body).

    From an overall perspective it is probably more important to consider how to get what, where and then what to do with it once it arrives?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well like duh?

    The military and intelligent folk don't get on well.

    The military uses a cathedral structure of control, and if you are good at tactics then you say low in the ranks.

    The problem with cyber threats; it's all strategy effects with innate and trained tactics, often those who posses those skills don't fit into a cathedral structure, and are certainly not willing to work for grunt wage. Because their ability to make wide changes is too great, the normal military response is to reduce their capability and limit their access, the internal threat is seen as being too great.

    The Chinese on the other hand, the don't get care, they want number one status as fast as possible, and they will get it because the western militaries are set up to fail in the modern world.

  4. John Smith Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    An old popular military delusion

    "enduring unilateral dominance in cyberspace is neither realistic nor achievable by the United States."

    The belief that *we* (whatever warlord, nation state, nation or empire is involved) have a decisive military advantage, which we will retain *forever* seems to be a notion that military planners have held since someone invented the slingshot.

    It *never* seems to occur to such minds that the laws of physics are not secret, smart people can make intuitive leaps and that stuff gets cheaper (and more readily available) over time.

    Of course the US does have a decisive lead in the supply of insecure operating systems, so should have (literally) first crack at the system most of its enemies will use as well. But it would be interesting to survey what nationalities produce how many cracks at hacker conferences.

    Common sense which will likely be ignored.

  5. amanfromMars Silver badge

    First Stage HyperRadioProActivity .... Irregular and Unconventional ConneXXXXions*

    "Such attacks also result in much more uncertain outcomes than traditional warfare, making it hard to predict success and collateral damage."

    Actually, the exact opposite is true ..... which I suppose does validate the article admirably .... "US military's cyberwar rules 'ill-formed,' says panel. And 'undeveloped.' And 'highly uncertain'"

    And who would think, or even imagine, Dan, that there are rules to be played by in Virtual Spaces, rather than empires to be won and lost with a few well chosen words and the click of a mouse.

    And, you might like to Register an Inquiry with DON's SwampWorks, which might be Engaged and Better Beta Cyber Connected In Network Fields of Operations, although it is quite probable that Ye Olde World Paranoia and Turf War Pork Protection Mentalities will have Erected a Useless Stonewall of Secrecy which can Render them as Virtual Prisoner to what they Don't Yet Know, with what Little of the Future they would Presently Possess.

    "On behalf of the Director of Innovation and the Chief of Naval Research we thank you for registering on the IN Network. Your data will be maintained and routinely reviewed for your particular areas of interest based on the needs of Naval Science and Technology. Although this constitutes no promise of funding, it will create the possibility of future project collaboration and a heads up on technologies naval research is interested."

    * :-) QuITe Alien Contact ........ which is so Ridiculously Preposterous as to Easily Allow a Coach and Horses to Gallop through Exclusive Security Protocols with AIRevolutionary Virtual Reality Stealth Access to Programs and Advanced Systems ProgramMING? And always Offered as a Question to Engage with and Energise the Positive Future Thinker in Every Present Day Global Operating Device/ZerodDay Trader.

    And have you ever considered the State of the Art in the MOD .... which I suppose doesn't/hasn't even registered on Consciousness yet. Now that is what Secure Stealth is All About..... Secret Services about which Nothing is Generally Known other than ITs Forces Exist and Server to Universal Needs and Feeds for the Powerful Delivery of Generative Control. Or is IT a Rogue Renegade White Hat Black Knight Operation ........ For Highly IMPlausible Deniability?

  6. Peter Mc Aulay

    Well, why would they

    ...when attacking a country's electrical power grids and other critical infrastructure by means of bombing it the old fashioned way works just fine. Ask any Serb.

  7. BioTube


    Is probably going to end up like jamming at worst, gas at best: completely useless or only useful when you don't need it.

  8. amanfromMars Silver badge

    War is for Neanderthals [a subspecies of humans]

    "Cyberwar ..... Is probably going to end up like jamming at worst, gas at best: completely useless or only useful when you don't need it." ..... By BioTube Posted Thursday 30th April 2009 14:14 GMT

    Others would posit that it will lift Man out of the Dumb Animal Stage and into a Greater Being with CyberIntelAIgents. Some may even be there ..... Preparing the Way.

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