US should not attack cyber-capable foes, former official says

The United States' computer networks are so vulnerable that the nation's leaders should think twice before going to war with nations that might unleash cyberattacks that could cripple critical infrastructure and military networks, the Associated Press reports a former top U.S. cybersecurity official said Nov. 7 at a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency colloquium.

Richard Clarke, who was a top adviser to three presidents, said if he were advising the president, he would caution against attacking other countries because a number of them, such as China, North Korea, Iran and Russia, have the capability to mount cyberattacks that would crash the U.S. economic system.

Because the U.S. military depends so heavily on computer systems, in a large scale conflict troops might find that nothing works.

“I can’t assure you that as you go to war with a cybersecurity-conscious, cybersecurity-capable enemy, that any of our stuff is going to work,” Clarke said.

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