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U.S. General Reserves Right to Use Physical Force, Even Nuclear, in Response to Cyberattack

The top U.S. commander for strategic combat said last week that the White House retains the option to respond with physical force — potentially even using nuclear weapons — if a foreign entity conducts a disabling cyber attack against U.S. computer networks.

While a nuclear response appears highly unlikely, it might be counted among a full range of options offered to the president following a major computer attack, suggested Gen. Kevin Chilton, who heads U.S. Strategic Command…

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