Sunday, November 23, 2008

Congressional Panels Warns of Cyber Security Threat from China

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission issued its 2008 Annual Report to Congress warning of Chinese cyber attacks, authoritarian rule, and trade violations. In particular, the report warns that China has advanced capabilities for launching cyber attacks at any time and cites a number of recent incidents directed against the U.S. government and defense contractors. The report argues that China is "likely to take advantage of the U.S. dependence on cyber space for four significant reasons. First, the costs of cyber operations are low in comparison with traditional espionage or military activities. Second, determining the origin of cyber operations and attributing them to the Chinese government or any other operator is difficult. Therefore, the United States would be hindered in responding conventionally to such an attack. Third, cyber attacks can confuse the enemy. Fourth, there is an underdeveloped legal framework to guide responses."

The full report is available online.