The Pentagon made it clear in a report to Congress that it is prepared to launch a cyber offensive if directed by the president, The Washington Post reported, calling it the Pentagon's "most explicit cyberwarfare policy to date."
In the report, released on Monday, Defense Department officials stated that they could retaliate against "significant cyberattacks directed against the U.S. economy, government or military," The Post reported.
However, the Pentagon report “is still silent on a number of important issues, such as rules of engagement outside designated battle zones,” The Post reported. It also reflects the ambiguities and challenges inherent in crafting policy: While suggesting "a need for automated, pre-approved responses to some hostile acts in cyberspace," the report reiterated the Pentagon's policy that cyber-retaliation will require the president's direction, the Post reported.
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