Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan), the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the U.S. should conduct a Ã¢â‚¬Å“show of force or strengthÃ¢â‚¬Â against North Korea for a supposed role in a round of attacks that hit numerous government and commercial websites this week.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Whether 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,Ã¢â‚¬Â Hoekstra said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Or they will try to, and they may miscalculate, and people could be killed.Ã¢â‚¬Â
An ABC News commentator also called for an aggressive response. Michael Malone, who bills himself as Ã¢â‚¬Å“one of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best-known technology writers,Ã¢â‚¬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 Ã¢â‚¬â€ heard prior to the first U.S. war with Iraq Ã¢â‚¬â€ that Saddam Hussein was killing babies in incubators.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When do we get out of our defensive crouch and actively go after governments that are attacking us through cyberspace?Ã¢â‚¬Â Malone wrote. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Will it be after a web Pearl Harbor catches us by surprise and crashes our financial markets 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 canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t we respond to such an attack by a foreign government not with bombs or missiles, but by crashing that countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s digital infrastructure?Ã¢â‚¬Â