U.S. Cyber Command’s top lawyer told attendees at a George Washington University event that lawyers could have helped develop the Stuxnet computer worm, AOL Defense reports.
The Department of Homeland Security determined the worm could threaten critical infrastructure.
Air Force Col. Gary Brown claimed lawyers may have helped develop the worm because it was designed to damage the system only under very precise circumstances.
Brown also noted that the computer worm was set to expire and erase itself from infected machines this coming June, according to AOL.
These efforts demonstrate an element of control in order to ensure there was no collateral damage, Brown said, adding this action is not typical of terrorists.
The worm is credited with destroying sophisticated equipment used by the Iranian government, which constitutes an attack in Brown’s mind.
Rules on freedom of speech, what constitutes an attack and cyber engagement differ from state to state.
China and Russia have notions of what is allowed in those areas, but Brown said he wants the U.S. to focus on maintaining freedom of speech in addition to its building cyber defense mechanisms.