Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan), the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the U.S. should conduct a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œshow of force or strengthÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â against North Korea for a supposed role in a round of attacks that hit numerous government and commercial websites this week.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhether it is a counterattack on cyber, whether it is, you know, more international sanctions . . . but it is time for America and South Korea, Japan and others to stand up to North Korea or the next time . . . they will go in and shut down a banking system or they will manipulate financial data or they will manipulate the electrical grid, either here or in South Korea,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Hoekstra said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOr they will try to, and they may miscalculate, and people could be killed.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
An ABC News commentator also called for an aggressive response. Michael Malone, who bills himself as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œone of the nationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s best-known technology writers,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â wrote in his Friday column that thousands could die in future internet attacks. One of his imagined scenarios is an eerie echo of the claim ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â heard prior to the first U.S. war with Iraq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â that Saddam Hussein was killing babies in incubators.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhen do we get out of our defensive crouch and actively go after governments that are attacking us through cyberspace?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Malone wrote. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWill it be after a web Pearl Harbor catches us by surprise and crashes our financial markets ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â or kills thousands of people trapped in computer-controlled transportation systems run amok, or in a darkened city trapped in a blizzard or heat wave, or babies in microprocessor controlled incubators? And long before then, why canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t we respond to such an attack by a foreign government not with bombs or missiles, but by crashing that countryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s digital infrastructure?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â