Booz Allen Hamilton Vice Chairman Mike McConnell said during a recent speech that the U.S. has an arsenal of weapons that it can use to protect U.S. systems and destroy adversaries’ computer networks, Quartz reported Sunday.
Kevin Delaney writes McConnell, a former head of the National Security Agency and director of National Intelligence, revealed the government has developed cyber-based offensive capabilities but holds off on using them to avoid being a primary target of cyber attacks.
“Most of the communications in the world flow through the U.S. and we are the biggest user and beneficiary,” McConnell told an audience at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
“So there’s a great hesitancy to use anything in a cyber context because it’s relatively easy to punch back in a pretty aggressive way,” he added.
He added the Pentagon’s cyber command unit is meant to defend the national infrastructure and conduct offensive operations if necessary.
The U.S. and Israel reportedly created a cyberprogram for disrupting Iran’s nuclear development initiatives code-named “Olympic Games,” which is just one example of U.S. offensive cyber capabilities.