Science and Technology News

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sony Hacking Shows Need for Cyber Laws, Dempsey Says



By Amaani Lyle
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2015 – The recent hacking of Sony Pictures that the U.S. government has blamed on North Korea demonstrates a need for new cyber legislation that he has helped to champion for two years, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in an interview broadcast today.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace,” Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said the hacking incident didn’t teach him anything new.

“It's actually confirmed what I've been saying. Two years ago, I actually participated -- and I'd like to think in some way led with Gen. Keith Alexander at the time -- the National Security Agency directive: an effort to get cyber legislation passed to account for two things that are vulnerabilities in our ability to protect ourselves in cyber,” the chairman said. Alexander was NSA director at the time.

Need for Standards, Information Sharing

“One is some level of standards, cyber standards,” Dempsey continued. “And the other was information sharing -- the ability of the government and [the private sector] to share information about attacks, whether it's the signatures of attacks or the actual occurrence of attacks. And we didn't succeed two years ago.”

Cyber can be incredibly destructive and disruptive, the general said, with potential to disable critical infrastructure, which could lead to loss of life. Though the United States generally enjoys a significant military advantage, he added, that’s not the case in the cyber domain.

“We don't have an advantage,” he said. “It's a level playing field. And that makes this chairman very uncomfortable.”

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