When the Pentagon said that it declared cyber attacks a potential act of war, and it left no room for arguments. "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," a military official reportedly remarked. Ouch.
Before we start bombing chimneys, however, the Department of Defense plans to draft up some relevant guidelines, noting in a recent House Armed Services Committee hearing that it will be delivering a set of cyberspace-specific rules of engagement in the coming months. "We are working closely with the joint staff on the implementation of a transitional command and control model for cyberspace operations," said Madelyn Creedon, assistant secretary of defense for Global Strategic Affairs. In addition to setting ground rules for cyber-engagements, the DOD also plans to expand efforts to share classified information on possible threats with internet service providers and defense contractors.