Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. says US in ‘cyber cold war’

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In order to prevent such an attack, Raduege wrote that the United States must build a cybersecurity triad of resilience, recognition and retaliation in the event of a massive, strategic attack. By ensuring U.S. networks can survive and identify the cause of an attack, the government can discourage enemy states from acting first.

In addition, Raduege wrote that enemy states should know that the United States can cripple their networks if they attack us, but said currently there is too little focus on relaliatory capabilities. He warned that cyberattacks could prompt kinetic responses and said the United States needs a cyberdoctrine similar to its nuclear doctine.

Today, if the United States is attacked at sea, our military does not limit itself to retaliating at sea, Raduege wrote. We reserve the right to reply in other domains. 

The same is now true of an attack in cyberspace. If we can trace the source of a cyberattack to a cave in the Hindu Kush mountains, America’s response could come in the form of a hellfire missile.