Information Warfare: Chinas Secret Weapon

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February16, 2007: The U.S. government has a growing problem with China's covert Cyber War against the United States. The vast majority of recent hacker attacks on U.S. government and military computer networks are being traced back to China. These attacks are not looking for credit card numbers and data needed for identity theft. No, the action out of China is looking for military and technological secrets, data on how American military networks operate. There are also attempts to plant special "time bomb" software that could be used in wartime. China is quite open about its intention to use surprise and deception in any future war with the United States. Obtaining military secrets via the Internet fits in very well with this strategy.

China officially denies that it is doing any of this. But the Chinese military makes no secret of its desire to win any future Cyber War, and boasts of its intense preparations for such a conflict. So what does the U.S. government do, as the evidence against the Chinese builds up? No public statements are being made, but it is known that American Cyber War forces are studying the Chinese attacks carefully, nosing around in China as well, and preparing new Cyber War weapons.

At the same time, current laws prohibit many Cyber War techniques needed to thoroughly track enemy attacks (wiretaps, privacy and all that). Unlike the Chinese, the United States has several Cyber War forces, and they all use a lot of different software and techniques. These outfits don't cooperate a lot either, meaning the Chinese are not facing a powerful an opponent as they could. With the Democrats in control of Congress, it will be difficult to change laws in order to strengthen American Cyber War capabilities (offensive and defensive.) So the Chinese move forward with their not-so-secret secret plan for making war via the Internet.

 


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