With Saturday’s revelation that the United States’ biggest defense contractor had been targeted in a cyber attack, it’s clearer than ever that countries need to be prepared to defend against cyber warfare. But what about developing cyber weapons?
The UK’s Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey has admitted that the United Kingdom is developing a ‘toolbox’ of cyber weapons but says the country's presence in this new domain will not make the UK more offensive than it is in any other domain.
"We need a toolbox of capabilities and that's what we are currently developing," he told the Guardian newspaper in an interview. "The circumstances and manner in which we would use them are broadly analogous to what we would do in any other domain."
"Cyber is a new domain but the rules and norms, the logic and the standards that operate in any other domain… translate across into cyberspace,” he continued. "I don't think that the existence of a new domain will, in itself, make us any more offensive than we are in any other domain. The legal conventions within which we operate are quite mature and well established."
Harvey didn’t share much in the way of details, however, the minister did underline the impact a cyber attack could have on the country, and highlighted the fact that anyone can launch a cyber attack.
"The consequences of a well planned, well executed attack against our digital infrastructure could be catastrophic … With nuclear or biological weapons, the technical threshold is high. With cyber the finger hovering over the button could be anyone from a state to a student."
Check out the full article on the Guardian.