U.S. Doesn’t Use ‘Offensive’ Cyber Attacks, Roger Says

The U.S. doesn’t wage “offensive” cyber attacks, the chairman of the House intelligence committee said today.

Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, disputed news accounts of U.S.-orchestrated cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear program.

“The United States does not use offensive capabilities,” Rogers said today at a Bloomberg Government conference in Washington. “We just don’t do it.”

Asked by reporters about published reports that the U.S. and Israel cooperated on the Stuxnet virus that damaged Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, Rogers said, “I’m just saying don’t take all that at face value. I’d be very careful about ascribing authorship of that software.”

Asked if he was saying broadly that the U.S. doesn’t engage in offensive cyber operations, Rogers said, “We by policy haven’t worked out what our policy is in the U.S. about unilateral, military style cyber attacks much like what was described has happened in Estonia and Georgia.”

Websites in both countries were the targets of distributed denial-of-service cyber attacks, meaning they were knocked offline. The attacks in Estonia occurred in 2007 and those in Georgia happened in 2008 during a conflict with Russia.

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