Pentagon says US cyber attackers “would be taking a grave risk”
The US has said that it would retaliate with military force, if necessary, against a cyber attack.
The Pentagon stated this in a 12-page report made public on Tuesday. The report added, "When warranted, we will respond to hostile attacks in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country."
It adds, "We reserve the right to use all necessary means – diplomatic, informational, military and economic – to defend our nation, our allies, our partners and our interests."
According to the report, hostile acts could include "significant cyber attacks directed against the US economy, government or military" The Pentagon states that perpetrators of cyber attack against the US "would be taking a grave risk."
If a defense-based deterrence fails to stop a hostile act, the Pentagon "maintains, and is further developing, the ability to respond militarily in cyberspace and in other domains."
The latest report also categorically reiterated that the US will "exhaust all options prior to using force whenever we can" when responding to a hostile act in cyberspace.
In May, the White House’s international cyberstrategy declared that the United States reserves the right to use all necessary means – diplomatic, informational, military and economic – to defend the nation against hostile acts in cyberspace.
Attacks on US computer networks have reportedly become more frequent and were costing US companies an estimated $1 trillion in lost intellectual property, competitiveness and damage.