The China CyberSyndrome



Another report was released last week that warned of China's growing cyber capabilities. It went on to discuss China's cyber military training program and warned that expansion of personnel training in Information Warfare Specialties that include offensive network attack skills may expand to meet the demand among field units for skilled cyber personnel. While China's growing capabilities and training in the cyber domain are a growing risk, the threat does not stop there! What was missing in the report was a warning that China is not the only adversary the United States faces in the cyber warfare domain! It is important to note that the commission that funded the study was purely focused on China. However in the testimony I gave before this same commission back in April 2009 Russian capabilities, and the capabilities and activity of terrorists groups and criminal organizations' cyber ambitions came up and was also discussed by a colleague from Canada that reported on GhostNet.

We cannot allow ourselves to have tunnel vision and fixate on China alone. A recent report on malicious activity showed that we must address the significant number of compromised computers used in acts of cyber aggression within the U.S. borders as well as those compromised computing assets in a number of countries. Many people fail to realize that by far, the largest percentage of computing capabilities used in several attacks against the United States and our Interests were compromised computers within our own borders. Cyber defense must be elevated by the Obama Administration to a top national priority and the answer is a public/private/industry/military partnership that addresses this national security threat.

-- Kevin Coleman

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