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U.S. Accuses China of Cyber Warfare

 

The Pentagon this week accused the Chinese military of what was long reported: that it was backing cyber-espionage by hackers attacking government and commercial computer systems.

It's the first time the U.S. government unambiguously accused China of backing and engaging in protracted cyber-warfare, potentially putting a rift in relations between the two countries.

"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 Pentagon said in its annual report to Congress.

While the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the accusations, an editorial in The New York Times said "there seems little doubt that China's computer hackers are engaged in an aggressive and increasingly threatening campaign of cyber-espionage directed at a range of government and private systems in the United States, including the power grid and telecommunications networks."

To be sure, the U.S. government has had to answer charges that it and Israel were behind the Stuxnet attacks against Iran, in an effort to subjugate its alleged nuclear warfare ambitions.

But a number of major banks and government agencies have sustained crippling attacks, as this month's Redmond magazine cover story points out. President Obama back in his February State of the Union Address pointed to cyber threat as a major risk to the nation's security. The warning came with an executive order mandating government agencies share information about cyber threats between state and local governments, and the private sector.

It looks like the Pentagon has upped the ante.

 

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 05/08/2013 at 1:15 PM


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