Image representing Gmail as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

For the second time in 17 months, Google is pointing its finger at China for a security breach in one of its systems.

This time, Google says Chinese hackers were responsible for breaking into the personal Gmail accounts of several hundred people _ including those of senior U.S. government officials, military personnel and political activists.

The latest cyber attack isn’t believed to be tied to a more sophisticated one that originated from China in late 2009 and early last year. That intrusion went after some of Google’s trade secrets and triggered a high-profile battle with China’s Communist government over online censorship. (AP, ccg)

This seems pretty intrusive and targeted incident. I’m curious, what is a threshold trigger for declaring a cyber war between two countries. I understand this was not a very prolong incident but these small incidents here and there can certainly achieve some long term objectives for the other side. It is very difficult to prove the correct source of these incidents in the wild west of internet and also there is a lack of international law to pursue these cases as a criminal offense.

Apparently the pentagon recently concluded that computer sabotage can constitute an act of war and justify the use of military force, the wall street journal reported this week.

Well before the use of military force you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are targeting the correct culprit nation. Well if this is the criteria to declare a war against other nation we better buy a good error and omission insurance. In cyber world it hard to prove and easy to spoof, where some groups will be eager to setup an easy victim to justify the use of military force…

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