- In April British newspaper The Guardian reported that the U.S. and China run periodic cyberwar games to help both prepare for attacks from third parties and to let each become familiar with the capabilities of the other to minimize the potential for military escalation in case of real cyberattacks from another superpower.
- An April 9 story in the Washington Post made public a Pentagon report to Congress urging the rapid development of new cyberweapons that could be deployed in days to counter quickly escalating threats.
- A more clear admission that the U.S. was already launching cyberattacks came following the admission in May by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the U.S. had hacked Al-Queda web sites to hose them down with American propaganda and attacking web sites in Yemen to take down messaged advocating the killing of Americans, according to a story in The Telegraph May 24.
- Three days later, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told ABCNews that a major cyberattack on U.S. electrical or other infrastructure would be considered an act of war on a par with the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
He named both China and Russia as potential attackers, but reiterated that major powers had to share information and de-mythologize cyberwar to avoid the potential for nuclear-armed countries to overreact to major attacks.
Adding less-than-lethal options to international confrontations
"We've got to engage other countries in an effort to try to develop some kind of standards that will assure that …we can take steps to prevent a mistake that could be damaging to our security," Panetta said in the interview.
Neither the U.S. nor Israel has admitted publicly any responsibility for Stuxnet, Duqu or the Flame malware attacks on Iran, though Israeli officials seem to be admitting their involvement with the same non-answer affirmations it has long used to avoid admitting it has nuclear weapons without reassuring its enemies that it does not.