Pandora’s Box Already Open on Cyber

The US military is more constrained in using a cyber tool against an enemy than nearly any other type of weapon, a former senior policy advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at AWS16. “When we think about using a cyber tool against an enemy, in whatever situation, the approval that is required … is the equivalent of allowing the release of a nuclear weapon,” said Lani Kass, senior vice president and corporate strategic advisor at CACI International. “We are more advanced and less shackled in using remotely piloted anything, not just flying machines, but underwater and ground systems, than we are in using cyber tools.” The concern is that “if we open that Pandora’s box … there is no end to what the enemy could do to us.” Kass noted the hack of Office of Personnel Management records, continuing: “We aren’t opening that Pandora’s box, the same way we didn’t open Pandora’s box on the reconnaissance-strike complex. We are using American ingenuity and American technology to … project power without projecting vulnerability.”