...and there you have it if you attack computer systems in the US (whether the owners of them even bothered to take the most basic of security precautions) the US government considers that to be justification to bomb whatever country they think you are in back to the stone age.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Sunday that a crippling cyber attack on America’s computer infrastructure would constitute an act of war – and he is working to engage China, the biggest culprit of such attacks, to prevent that point from being reached.
“There’s no question that if a cyber attack crippled our power grid in this country, took down our financial systems, took down our government systems, that that would constitute an act of war,” Panetta said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week. “But what we’re involved with here is the effort to make sure that never happens.
“And in order to do that, we’ve got to engage. You know, I think it’s important for us to engage China in this effort,” Panetta added.
Chinese cyber attacks on American systems are a major concern for the Pentagon. Chinese hackers broke into U.S. government and corporate computers around the world, stealing documents and other important information in the summer of 2007. In March 2009, Canadian researchers uncovered a vast spy ring originating out of China that broke into government and corporate computers around the world, stealing documents and other important information.
The Defense Secretary went on to say that he is engaging with other countries, such as Russia, “in an effort to try to develop some kind of standards here that will assure us that just as we did in the nuclear area, we can take steps to prevent a mistake that could be very damaging to our security.”