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The USA is outraged that hackers have used the Solar Winds and other vulnerabilities to hack into computer systems within their nation.
Hacking is bad, or so they tell us.
Hackers should be punished they say, and we've seen plenty of instances where hackers that have targeted US systems have been punished very harshly for their crimes.
So, with ears still ringing from their own words, the USA has just announced that they will be launching a wave of cyber-attacks and computer hacking sorties themselves.
According to this MSN story, the US government is about to launch cyber attacks on Russia.
This is worse than a playground squabble. I've seen toddlers with a better grip on the importance of holding the high moral ground and not being seen to be an utter hypocrite.
Exactly what does the US government hope to prove by showing that they're prepared to stoop to exactly the same scummy sort of behaviour of which they accuse the Russians?
Tit-for-tat is never an effective strategy for defusing or ending a stand-off or conflict. It only ever escalates things to ever-higher levels of discord.
Of course the USA say is claiming that *their* attacks are simply a retaliation -- like we are expected to believe that they have never pre-emptively engaged in hacking or cyber-attacks against foreign systems. Do we really believe that the USA wasn't party to the StuxNet attacks on Iran?
Oh, but hang on, Iran is a "bad guy" right?
Who gets to decide who's "bad" and who's "good" and what gives them that right?
The sad reality is that these types of attacks are increasingly risking real lives.
If foreign hackers cripple the US power grid for example, I wonder how many deaths that would cause? Critical systems that are dependent on mains power could fail, leading to a small but significant number of fatalities -- as emergency and medical services are disabled.
Clearly, from a US perspective, that would be totally unacceptable -- so why is it any more unacceptable when their cyberwarriors go on an ideological crusade to disrupt key elements of an enemies infrastructure or systems?
Although they're not giving away any clues as to the exact nature of the planned attacks, I'm pretty sure that the US government will say that they're only attacking strategic military targets. Can they guarantee that there will be no unintended consequences? I suspect not.
I'm pretty sure that the targets finally chosen will have a fairly high mix of commercial entities thrown in for good measure -- perhaps using the justification that the SolarWinds attacks have adversely impacted a number of US companies.
The problem is, at least from where I'm sitting, that as soon as the USA starts hammering Russian, Chinese or *any* foreign country's computer systems then they lose the right to claim "victim" status when their own systems are attacked. By carrying out such attacks you are very much saying "this behaviour is acceptable".
I really wish that there were more adults in charge of the world. Such a shame that we give those people with the minds of children such power and authority.
Perhaps the USA would be far better off spending all the time, effort and money that these attacks will consume, to better sure-up their cyberdefenses. But no, that's just not "the American way", is it?
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