US Army reviews rules of engagement over cyber threat
In this June 4, 2013 file photo, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, right, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The U.S. military is reviewing its rules of engagement to deal with the growing threat of cyber crime in response to soaring cyber attacks, Dempsey said June 27. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, FileThe U.S. military is reviewing its rules of engagement to deal with the growing threat of cyber crime, military chief Martin Dempsey said June 27.
Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking officer in the U.S. military, said the review was in response to soaring cyber attacks.
“The Department of Defense has developed emergency procedures to guide our response to imminent, significant cyber threats,” Dempsey said in a speech at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank.
"We are updating our rules of engagement, the first update for cyber in seven years, and improving command and control for cyber forces.” Dempsey said that since his appointment as head of the Joint Chiefs in 2011, “intrusions into our critical infrastructure have increased 17-fold.” Some 4,000 cyber-security experts would join the ranks over the next four years, while some $23 billion would be spent on tackling the threat.
Dempsey said Cybercom, the U.S. command responsible for combating cyber-crime, was now organized in three divisions.
One team was in charge of countering enemy attacks, another was tasked with offering regional support while a third was responsible for protecting some 15,000 U.S. military computer networks.
In addition, following a presidential directive, the military now had a manual which allowed it to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI in the event of attacks on civilian networks.
The top general said the U.S. and China would have their first formal discussions next week to try to establish rules for conduct in cyber space, “so we don’t have these friction points.” The United States has become increasingly vocal about Chinese hacking, which officials say has cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars in lost intellectual property and is helping U.S. adversaries speed development of high-tech weapons systems.
The Pentagon’s annual report on China in April for the first time directly accused the Beijing government and military of being behind the hacking. “China’s particular niche in cyber crime has been theft and intellectual property,” Dempsey said. “I’ve had some conversations about that with them. Their view is that there are no rules of the road in cyber, there’s nothing, there’s no laws that they are breaking, there’s no standards of behavior.” That disagreement is a point of friction in ties between the two countries and was discussed earlier this month by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping at a summit in California.