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Pentagon Finally Accuses China Of Cyber Attacks

From the New York Times:

U.S. Blames China’s Military Directly for Cyberattacks

By DAVID E. SANGER | May 6, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Monday explicitly accused China’s military of mounting attacks on American government computer systems and defense contractors, saying one motive could be to map “military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.”

While some recent estimates have more than 90 percent of cyberespionage in the United States originating in China, the accusations relayed in the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military capabilities were remarkable in their directness. Until now the administration avoided directly accusing both the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army of using cyberweapons against the United States in a deliberate, government-developed strategy to steal intellectual property and gain strategic advantage.

“In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the U.S. government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military,” the nearly 100-page report said.

The report, released Monday, described China’s primary goal as stealing industrial technology, but said many intrusions also seemed aimed at obtaining insights into American policy makers’ thinking. It warned that the same information-gathering could easily be used for “building a picture of U.S. network defense networks, logistics, and related military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.” …

Totalitarian regimes never want to let a crisis go to waste.

It was unclear why the administration chose the Pentagon report to make assertions that it has long declined to make at the White House. A White House official declined to say at what level the report was cleared. A senior defense official said “this was a thoroughly coordinated report,” but did not elaborate.

It’s interesting that this came from the Pentagon and not the White House. Is Obama afraid of the Chinese?

On Tuesday,  a spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, criticized the report.

"China has repeatedly said that we resolutely oppose all forms of hacker attacks,’’ she said. ‘‘We’re willing to carry out an even-tempered and constructive dialogue with the U.S. on the issue of Internet security. But we are firmly opposed to any groundless accusations and speculations, since they will only damage the cooperation efforts and atmosphere between the two sides to strengthen dialogue and cooperation." …

The "cooperation" here would seem to be that they attack us with impunity, and we lie back and take it.

[T]the Pentagon report [says] China that has now leapt into the first ranks of offensive cybertechnologies. It is investing in electronic warfare capabilities in an effort to blind American satellites and other space assets, and hopes to use electronic and traditional weapons systems to gradually push the United States military presence into the mid-Pacific nearly 2,000 miles from China’s coast…

The Pentagon report also explicitly states that China’s investments in the United States aim to bolster its own military technology. “China continues to leverage foreign investments, commercial joint ventures, academic exchanges, the experience of repatriated Chinese students and researchers, and state-sponsored industrial and technical espionage to increase the level of technologies and expertise available to support military research, development and acquisition.” …

Meanwhile, Obama is encouraging all of this. For instance, we have now more students from China studying in the US, than from any other foreign country.

Last week Michael Riley & Ben Elgin of Bloomberg reported, citing two former Pentagon officials, that "Chinese computer spies raided the databanks of almost every major U.S. defense contractor and made off with some of the country’s most closely guarded technological secrets" over the last six years or so.

Nevertheless, we will probably be hearing from Janet Napolitano that ‘our computer systems have never been more safe!’

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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