The Defense Department has clarified its position on cyber-attacks, labeling state-sponsored hacking as a potential "act of war" that may warrant a conventional military response, according to military officials discussing the Pentagon's soon-to-be-released cybersecurity plan. "A cyber-attack is governed by basically the same rules as any other kind of attack if the effects of it are essentially the same," said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap. News of the policy shift comes days after military contractor Lockheed Martin said it is boosting its defenses following a "significant and tenacious" cyber-attack against its networks.

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