Cyber-attack techniques used by the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State could also be used by other countries, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on Wednesday.
Speaking in California, Carter told reporters that the U.S.-led coalition used electronic techniques to disrupt and degrade the jihadist force’s ability to organize and said an unspecified number of other countries could do the same in other conflicts.
“These are not capabilities that only we have,” Carter said. “That is why good, strong cyber defenses are essential for us.”
The remarks add more detail to a campaign that has only recently been acknowledged and came during a press conference including Carter and the secretaries of Homeland Security and Commerce. All three cabinet secretaries were meeting at the Santa Clara headquarters of Intel Corp’s security wing.
The gathering was part of the first regular meeting of a presidential security advisory board to be held in Silicon Valley since the group’s inception more than 35 years ago.
The officials used their remarks at the event to call for greater cooperation between government and the private sector, especially to confront rising cybersecurity threats.
Tensions between the tech giants and the government continue to flare over President Barack Obama’s call for encryption that can be pierced at the government’s request. Relations had earlier hit a low point after the revelations by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden of tech-enabled U.S. surveillance,
The three secretaries stood behind that call during the press conference, and the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee did not address it in the first hours of its public sessions.
Instead, security company officials and prominent venture capitalists said they hoped the government would continue to ease the adoption of private-sector innovation and the officials said that they would.
Carter announced that he was expanding what is called the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental by adding an office in Boston, and he said he was hiring a recruiter to lure tech company leaders to temporary military jobs.