U.S. to aid allies in cyber wars

June 8, 2013 at 5:36 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- The United States has pledged to help allies in Asia and the Middle East defend against cyberattacks launched by Iran and North Korea, officials said.

In a presidential directive made public Friday, President Barack Obama authorized various government agencies to begin working with allies in both regions to defend critical infrastructure from attacks by rogue states.

Though the directive doesn't list which particular countries are receiving the computer aid, unidentified security officials told The New York Times it is likely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, a trio of Arab countries generally at odds with Iran.

In Asia, the United States is helping allies Japan and South Korea defend against the North.

The Times said it's likely North Korea and Iran are working together to develop cyberweapons to attack America and its allies. The two nations have worked together to develop traditional weapons arsenals, particularly missile systems.

North Korea is believed to be responsible for a cyberattack against South Korea that forced several banks to close temporarily.

Iran, whose cyberattack capabilities have grown quickly, security officials said, was responsible for an attack on Saudi Aramco, the Arab kingdom's largest oil company. That attack rendered 30,000 computers useless but ultimately did not stem oil production capabilities.

The Times said aid to friendly nations is limited to defensive hardware, software and training. It does not include the broad spectrum of offensive cyberweapons at the military's disposal. Like nuclear weapons, U.S. cyberweapons may only be deployed by presidential order.

Topics: Barack Obama
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Newfoundland fossil is earliest evidence of muscled animals
Obama's plan calls for computer chip implants to help soldiers heal
Study: gamblers' brains not unlike those of pigeons
Washington State's Elwha River flows free once again
Tech industry All Stars developing 'Star Trek'-style communication badges
Trending News