The United States has unveiled its latest defence paper, entitled “International Strategy for Cyberspace”, which states that the US considers military action to be a last resort defence against cyber-attacks.
According to the paper, the United States will ensure that “the risks associated with attacking or exploiting our networks vastly outweigh the potential benefits” and as such has defined a range of potential responses to any such threats.
The most eye-catching of these responses is the possibility of military action.
“When warranted, the United States will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country,” reads the report. “We reserve the right to use all necessary means—diplomatic, informational, military, and economic—as appropriate and consistent with applicable international law, in order to defend our Nation, our allies, our partners, and our interests.”
However, the paper offers the mild reassurance that the US will exhaust all options before using military force whenever they can.