Welcome to the new Cold War: China vs. the United States
When it comes to America’s cybersecurity, I’ve been concerned about China’s motivations and actions since at least 2008.
In The Coming Cyberwar in The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, I detailed rumors of a suspected Chinese cyberattack that took out 9,300 square miles of electrical service. Later, in 2009, I asked CNN’s audience if China is friend or foe.
More recently, National Defense Magazine reported that China apparently hijacked more than 15% of the world’s Internet routes for about 18 minutes (what is it with 18 minutes, anyway?) and had the potential to listen in on vast amounts of traffic.
In my article, “State-sponsored cyberterrorism” for Counterterrorism Magazine (no online link, sadly), I wrote about how the 2009 Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission described Chinese penetration attacks against U.S. security facilities going back to 2007. Here’s the important summary quote:
A large body of both circumstantial and forensic evidence strongly indicates Chinese state involvement in such activities, whether through the direct actions of state entities or through the actions of third-party groups sponsored by the state.
Our relationship with China is complex.
China is also America’s largest creditor. When our government decides to spend more money it doesn’t have, it’s often China that covers the check. Our debt to them is reputed to be in the trillions of dollars.