Speaking before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Admiral Michael S. Rogers, director of the U.S. National Security Agency and the U.S. Cyber Command, advocated for the development of cyberweapons as a means of deterring cyberattacks like the one that struck Sony Pictures Entertainment last year.
Rogers told senators that beefing up digital defenses would never be enough to fully protect against such attacks, saying instead, "we also need to think about how can we increase our capacity on the offensive side here, to get to that point of deterrence."
Rogers advocated the use of cyberweapons as a deterrent when he came into office last year, arguing hackers from China and elsewhere who steal data from U.S. companies currently "pay no price." However, Rogers also acknowledged that deterrence in the cyber realm is complex, in part due to the diversity of possible attackers, from nations and businesses to criminals and activists, each of which would have to be deterred in different ways.
Rogers said he believes it is important to begin discussing the use of cyberweapons as a deterrent, in part because they are not currently working effectively in this role.
From The New York Times
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