The Cyber Threat: Government Debates Cyber Counterattacks as Chinese Attacks Continue Unabated

Recent talks with Chinese delegation achieve little progress

China’s aggressive cyber espionage and military reconnaissance operations against both U.S. government and private networks show no sign of abating under the Obama administration’s policy of holding talks and threatening but not taking punitive action.

Typical of the administration’s approach has been the seemingly endless series of high-level meetings with Chinese officials, such as talks held last week in Washington to discuss “norms” of behavior in cyberspace.

For at least the past five years, President Obama and the White House have ignored appeals from security and military officials, as well as from Congress and the private sector, to show greater resolve and take some type of action against the Chinese, lest the country’s technology wealth be drained empty. Continue reading

Cybercom sounds alarm on infrastructure attacks

The commander of the U.S. Cyber Command warned Congress this week that Russia and China now can launch crippling cyberattacks on the electric grid and other critical infrastructures.

“We remain vigilant in preparing for future threats, as cyberattacks could cause catastrophic damage to portions of our power grid, communications networks and vital services,” Adm. Mike Rogers, the Cyber Command chief, told a Senate hearing. “Damaging attacks have already occurred in Europe,” he stated, noting suspected Russian cyberattacks that temporarily turned out the lights in portions of Ukraine.

Adm. Rogers said that unlike other areas of military competition, Russia is equal to the United States in terms its cyberwarfare capabilities, with China a close second.

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Chinese Military Revamps Cyber Warfare, Intelligence Forces

Changes meant to improve PLA high-tech warfighting

A recent Chinese military reorganization is increasing the danger posed by People’s Liberation Army cyber warfare and intelligence units that recently were consolidated into a new Strategic Support Force.

The announcement of the military reorganization made on Dec. 31 by the Chinese government provided few details of what has changed for three military intelligence units formerly under the now-defunct General Staff Department. Continue reading