China has Cyber Army Poised to Strike at U.S. Computer Infrastructure says Pentagon Report

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London’s The Times newspaper is reporting that a Pentagon report indicates that China has amassed an enormous, well-armed “cyber army” that is focussed on taking out the United States computer infrastructure, along with that of other “enemies”, such as the UK and South Korea.

Says the report, “China’s ambitions extend to crippling an enemy’s financial, military and communications capabilities early in a conflict.” The source of this information is, says the report, Chinese military documents, and speeches made by Chinese generals.


Highlighted in the report was a plan to hack into and disable a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group, authored by two officials of China’s People’s Liberation Army’s air force.

Larry M. Wortzel, a leading authority on China and Asia intelligence issues, and author of the U.S. Army War College Report, explained “The thing that should give us pause is that in many Chinese military manuals they identify the US as the country they are most likely to go to war with. They are moving very rapidly to master this new form of warfare.�

And mastering it they are, by all accounts. According to the report, China has already successfully hacked into both U.S. State Department and the U.S. Naval War College’s computers.

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So what is China likely to target? The U.S. financial (banking) infrastructure, the communications infrastructure, and of course the military infrastructure. Even the power grid. In fact, Sami Saydjari, an expert who has been working with the Pentagon since the 1980s on cyber defense, testified this April to Congress that such a cyber strike could leave as much as 70% of the entire United States without power for as long as six months.

Saydjari, in an interview with The Times, said that there are at least one-thousand attacks on American computers every hour, and that “China is aggressive in this.”

Now, what can you, as an individual, do about this?

 

Think about this. What is one of the leading causes of major computer network attacks right now? Botnets. Botnets are massive networks of hijacked PCs controlled by a thug, available for hire. You can be sure that any widescale cyber attack is likely to employ botnets for hire. And what makes botnets possible? Infected PCs. Your infected PC. Because make no mistake about it, if you have a PC that connects to the Internet, odds are good that your PC is infected. Oh, you’ll never know that it’s infected, but even early in the year a conservative estimate was that 1 in every 4 PCs had – unknown and never discovered by its owner – become part of a botnet. And given how aggressive Storm has been over the summer, we’d be astonished if it wasn’t 1 in 3 now.

Think about this again. If you are reading this on a PC, the odds are good that the very PC you are using to read this is silently waiting for a botnet boss to flip the switch, and use your PC as part of a massive Internet attack. If it hasn’t already. Again, you’d never know – it just happens, silently – in fact maybe it’s happening right now, as you are reading this.

We can’t emphasize enough – you wouldn’t even know – a botnetted PC usually displays no symptoms.

For the sake of all that is sacred to you, take that PC offline and switch to a free version of Linux, or to a Mac. If you can’t do that, then at least scrub your PC clean of any spyware or malware, run more than one anti-virus and anti-spyware program, daily, and turn your PC off when you are not using it! (Or, at least disconnect it from the Internet, so that the amount of time it can be used as part of the botnet is drastically reduced.)

Because here’s the frustrating thing – it is the complacency of those with PCs who don’t believe it can happen to them that is going to cause it to happen to all of us.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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2 thoughts on “China has Cyber Army Poised to Strike at U.S. Computer Infrastructure says Pentagon Report

  1. Why is the United States not protesting a demanding. That China stop this cyber war on our country. If China denies they are not attack our computer system in America. And America has great knowledge that China is doing so with there cyber attacks Well the United States should return the favor. Start attacking there cyber network in China. Why are we on the defensive the United States.Should put China on the Defensive and maybe this well either slow down these cyber attacks against America. Our make them very coastly to Chinas on vast secuity system.

  2. A lot of people now really like Ubuntu, which is a free Linux-based system which comes with tons of support, is easy to install, and provides all of the same sorts of programs as Windows, without the security risk.

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