Pentagon prepares for cyberwar

Wednesday - 10/6/2010, 4:27pm EDT

Could the next big war be in cyberspace? That's the question Pentagon officials are grappling with.

Recent sophisticated attacks in cyberspace have prompted Pentagon officials look at ways to expand NATO's collective defense tenet.

But there are concerns. The Christian Science Monitor reports the military is struggling with some basics of cyber-warfare, including how to define exactly what constitutes an attack and what level of cyberattack warrants a cyber-reprisal.

The other big problem is how to pinpoint who exactly is launching the attack. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn highlighted the difference between traditional warfare and cyber-warfare by saying, "Nuclear missiles come with a return address."

Both the Pentagon and NATO are working to define their cyber-strategy in the upcoming months.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily Cybersecurity Update brought to you by Tripwire. For more cybersecurity news, click here.