The Approaching Chinese Cyber Storm
The Approaching Chinese Cyber Storm by Frederick W. Stakelbeck
Finding any funny characters on your PC lately? Might be the Chicoms messing with your computer. Makes bombs look like child's play. Something else to worry about.
On numerous occasions in the past, China’s authoritarian regime has publicly stated that the U.S. is its ideological enemy. Comments made by Chinese defector Chen Yonglin to Australian authorities in June support the theory that China’s leaders view the U.S. as their main adversary. “The U.S. is considered by the Chinese Communist Party as the largest enemy, the major strategic rival. The U.S. occupies a unique place in China’s diplomacy,” noted Yonglin.
With inflammatory statements like those noted by Chen Yonglin, it is easy to understand why national security questions still resonate in Washington from the December purchase of IBM’s PC division by China’s largest computer company Lenovo. Although eventually approved by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), critical questions concerning the ultimate use of the company’s state-of-the-art computers as they relate to state-sponsored cyber crime and hacking attacks, still remain largely unanswered.
Specifically, could Lenovo computers or other domestic computers be used by Beijing to initiate a coordinated cyber attack against the U.S. to fracture the stability of global financial markets, interrupt international communications, damage interconnected security networks and harm the overall effectiveness and rapid response capabilities of the U.S. military?
If history is any indication, the possibility of such an attack is authentic and should be given serious attention.
Washington should be deeply concerned about the growing possibility of a massive, state-sponsored cyber attack against U.S. interests originating from mainland China – however, the opposite seems to be true. Surprisingly, there seems to be a dangerous lack of leadership, information sharing, structural flexibility and vision in the area of cyber security. “They are ignoring cyber security and it poses an enormous vulnerability,” said Edward Lazowska, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington.