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US Promises Retaliation in Case of Iran-Triggered Cyberwar

Expressing concern of a potential cyberwar triggered by Iran, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said his country is prepared to strike back in case of cyber terrorism attacks on America.

The attack on Saudi oil giant Aramco is believed to have originated from Iran and security experts think the country is both capable of, and willing to, launch sophisticated cyber-attacks. A preemptive military retaliation is also considered, although the Defense Secretary didn’t give specific details.

Potential aggressors should be aware that the United States has the capacity to locate them and hold them accountable for actions that harm America or its interests,” Panetta said in a speech in New York City to the Business Executives for National Security.

Security experts speculate that Iran already considers itself at war with the US, since the Stuxnet incident thought to be masterminded by Israel and the US. Failure to comply with international norms regarding their nuclear program could be considered reason enough for Stuxnet to be unleashed, believes Richard Bejtlich, chief security officer for the Virginia-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant.

Arguing the US should be more active in promoting lack of tolerance for cyber-attacks, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff believes that a clearer message should be sent.

While the message has been sent over and over again it doesn’t seem to have acquired urgency across the board,” said Chertoff. “We need to make it clear that this is not just background noise you have to deal with, but that it really strikes at the fundamentals of our national security.

About the author


Liviu Arsene is the proud owner of the secret to the fountain of never-ending energy. That's what's been helping him work his everything off as a passionate tech news editor for the past couple of years. He is the youngest and most restless member of the Bitdefender writer team and he covers mobile malware and security topics with fervor and a twist. His passions revolve around gadgets and technology, and he's always ready to write about what's hot and trendy out there in geek universe.

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  • after stuxnet/flame/miniflame/duqu and others they are in selfdefence, but…

    “Gândirea voastră, zise, îmi pare minunată,
    Åži sentimentul vostru îl cinstesc, fraÅ£ii mei.”
    – “Noi, fraÅ£ii tăi? răspunse Samson plin de mânie,
    Noi, fraţii tăi, potaie!
    O să-ţi dăm o bătaie
    Care s-o pomeneÅŸti.
    Cunoşti tu cine suntem, şi ţi se cade ţie,
    Lichea neruÅŸinată, astfel să ne vorbeÅŸti?”
    – “Dar ziceaÅ£i…” – “Åži ce-Å£i pasă? Te-ntreb eu ce ziceam?
    Adevărat vorbeam,
    Că nu iubesc mândria şi că urăsc pe lei,
    Că voi egalitate, dar nu pentru căţei.” …

    —from Grigore Alexandrescu: Câinele ÅŸi căţelul