Two days after Lockheed Martin, one of the world's largest defense contractors, announced that it detected "a significant and tenacious attack on its information systems network, the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that the pentagon plans to adopt a new strategy by which severe cyber attacks will be considered an act of war.
The new definition may pave the way to a military response to such attacks.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop
According to the report, the Pentagon will reveal next month its first strategy to battle cyber attacks. The new policy will not only target those aiming to damage the United States' defense systems, but also those looking to sabotage civilian systems in the country.
"If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," a military official told the newspaper.
Three security sources that saw the draft document told the newspaper that according to the new strategy International warfare statutes stipulated in various conventions will be extended to include cyber attacks.
According to the sources, the decision to pursue a military response will be based on gauging the damages inflicted by the cyber attack in comparison with the potential damages of a conventional military attack. In addition, the decision will depend on information vis-à-vis the perpetrator's identity.
The new strategy was formed as a response to the increasing number of cyber attacks perpetrated around the globe in recent months.
Last year, the Stuxnet virus infiltrated the Iranian nuclear program's computer systems. The Islamic Republic accused Israel and the United States of planning the attack.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook