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U.S. says worried by cyber-attacks; committed to Asia

(Reuters) - The United States is seriously concerned about cyber-attacks and is prepared to use force against those it considers acts of war, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at a security meeting in Asia on Saturday.

He also assured Asian allies that the United States would protect sea lanes and maintain a robust military presence in the region despite a severe budget crunch and the protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We take the cyber threat very seriously and we see it from a variety of sources, not just one or another country," Gates said at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, an apparent reference to reports that several of the attacks may have originated in China.

"What would constitute an act of war by cyber that would require some kind of response, either in kind or kinetically?" he said.

"We could avoid some serious international tensions in the future if we could establish some rules of the road as early as possible to let people know what kinds of acts are acceptable, what kinds of acts are not and what kinds of acts may in fact be acts of war." More...

06-05-2011 01:40