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CIS 608 - Information Security Management

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Post 039 - CIS 608

U.S. Weighed Use of Cyberattacks to Weaken Libya

Right now, I am on a business trip in San Diego. At the hotel this morning, I picked up a news digest from the New York Times. On the front page was an article with this headline: U.S. Weighed Use of Cyberattacks to Weaken Libya.

This article explained that it was revealed recently that members of the Obama Administration seriously considered the use of offensive cyberwarfare capabilities against Libya as the administration planned the events leading to the ouster of Quaddafi's government. The targets would have likely included computer systems related to infrastructure, radar systems, and air defense missile systems.

However, there were two key reasons that the ultimate decision was to hold back from using these offensive cyberwarfare capabilities:

1) It would set an example that could be copied by Russia and/or China.

2) It begs the question: How would they carry out such attacks without informing congressional leaders?"

My comments:

In the grand scheme of things, such considerations about the possibile intent to use such cyberwarfare weapons proves that such types weaponized software and the battle plans to launch such attacks now actually exist.

Also, there is legal language Title 10 of the U.S. Code that prohibits the offense use of "cyberweapons." Going outside Title 10 by way of Executive Order from the President of the United States is the only way this can occur with impunity.

So now there are some new things to think about as Americans brace themselves for a world in which the landscape international conflict has literally now been extended into the Internet and potentially everything connected to the Internet. When such weapons are unleashed, don't expect Symantec, McAfee, Kapersky, or anything you can buy at to save you. Nope. It will take much more than that.

Schmitt, E and Shanker, T. (2011). U.S. Weighed Use of Cyberattacks to Weaken Libya. An article printed on the New York Times website. Retrieved at

William Favre Slater, III
MBA, M.S., PMP, CISSP, SSCP, CISA, ISO 27002, ISO 20000, ITIL v3, Cloud Computing Foundation
CIS 608 Blog:
Chicago, IL
United States of America

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