That is not to say that the great powers are not also developing IW to supplement their offensive capabilities. One-hundred-twenty nations have either already or are currently in the process of establishing IW competence, including Russia and China.31 At least one press report has indicated a Presidential National Security Directive, NSPD 16, issued in July 2002 directed the U.S. to examine potential cyber attacks against enemy computer networks.32 The Department of Defense (“DOD”) has acknowledged this as a possible instrument of national security policy.33 PDD-63 calls for a national effort to ensure the security of increasingly vulnerable and interconnected infrastructures in the United States, and creates the National Infrastructure Protection Center (“NIPC”) under the Federal Bureau of Investigation.34 Funding has gone up from $1.14b in 1998 to $2.03b in FY2001 for intelligence and law enforcement efforts against cyber-attacks.35
Among its myriad applications, IT has a major role to play in the prevention, detection, and mitigation of cyber attacks. In essence, the United States’ IT predominance is both a target and a weapon. Counterterrorist IW thus seeks to reduce the probability and scope of attacks against valued IT targets.36 A passive defense against IW will not work, since even a single vulnerability given enough “free” attempts will compromise the system.37 Defensive information technologies make the determination of an enemy’s assets more difficult, thus complicating the task of setting up adequate
31 Joyner, supra note 15.
32 Bradley Graham, Bush Orders Guidelines for Cyber-Warfare, Washington Post, Feb. 7, 2003 at A1.
33 An Assessment of International Legal Issues in Information Operations, 2nd edition, DOD, OGC, Nov. 1999.
34 Joyner, supra note 15.
35 Anthony H. Cordesman, Defending America – Redefining the Conceptual Borders of Homeland Defense, CSIS Publications, Feb. 14, 2001.
36 There are several three primary modes of an IT attack: (1) an attack can come in through the wires (virus or Trojan horse) or as a denial of service attack; (2) some IT element may be physically destroyed (critical data center blown up) or compromised (IT hardware modified); (3) a trusted insider may be compromised. Id.
37 Lin, supra note 18.