Earlier today, both President Obama and key Republican leaders responded to the recent Sony Hack attacks allegedly committed by North Korea.
In an interview conducted by Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union, President Obama was asked about the Sony hacks, and how he thought the United States should respond.
“I don’t think it was an act of war. I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately…”
Republican Senator John McCain appeared later on the broadcast and gave his opinion of the Sony hacks, as well as what he thought of how the president was reacting.
“The president does not understand that this is a manifestation of a new form of warfare. When you destroy economies, when you are able to impose censorship on the world and especially the United States of America, it’s more than vandalism. It’s a new form of warfare that we’re involved in, and we need to react and react vigorously.”
Last Friday, in his end of the year press conference, President Obama stated that he thought it was a “mistake” for Sony not to release the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy, The Interview, which allegedly caused the Sony hacking attacks. The hackers have been traced back to North Korea, though the North Korean government denies involvement.
Though he intends to deal with the Sony hacks as an act of “cyber vandalism,” President Obama refused to rule out a military response to the attacks.
“We have been working up a range of options. I will make a decision on those based on what I believe is proportional and appropriate to the nature of this crime.”
Experts believe that the options presented to the president as a response to the Sony hacks will include everything from economic sanctions to a cyber response to outright military actions.
Also this morning, Senator Marco Rubio appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation, and called the Sony hacks by North Korea “very serious,” and “not just a cyber-threat.”
On Fox News Sunday, Republican Congressman Mike Rogers wavered a bit about whether or not we even know what cyber-warfare is. However, he was quick to admonish the president for going to Hawaii for Christmas.
“Well, you can’t necessarily say an act of war. We don’t have good, clear policy guidance on what that means when it comes to cyber attacks. This was a nation-state attack on the United States, and saying Aloha and getting on an airplane going to Hawaii is not the answer really the world needs, let alone America. Just calling North Korea out isn’t going to be enough. So, I would argue you’re going to have to ramp up sanctions. It needs to be very serious and significant.”
What do you think? Were the Sony hacks an act of war perpetrated by North Korea against the United States, or just an act of cyber-vandalism? What do you think the United States should do in response?