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Tech

Are Chinese attacks blunders?

Now the British press is reporting infiltration of Whitehall by the People's Liberation Army. You have to ask yourself is this just bad hacking on the part of the PLA?
Written by Richard Stiennon, Contributor

Now the British press is reporting infiltration of Whitehall by the People's Liberation Army. You have to ask yourself is this just bad hacking on the part of the PLA? After all, a good cyber attack would either be super stealthy, thus undetected and never reported or, it would serve some purpose to be blatant and cause network outages. If the recent incidents at the Pentagon, the German Chancellery, and now Whitehall are blunders then it points to what is probably the tip of the iceberg. In other words, hacking by China is so prevalent that accidents happen and these few incidents get discovered. That is my current theory. The Chinese are very bold, there are no negative repercussions from being discovered, and they are probably still in the early phases of exploratory hacking just to see what happens and what can be gained from hacking.

The other theory that comes to mind is a little more disturbing. That would be that the Chinese are already so confident in their hacking ability that they are using attacks to demonstrate their ability. In other words they *want* to be discovered. Just as shooting down a satellite is a demonstration of military prowess, attacking a foreign network is saber rattling. If that is the case China had better be prepared for the consequences of starting a cyber war. Not an all-out Winn Schwartau kind of cyber war. It's more like a trade war. The Western world has the ability to pretty effectively shut China out from the Internet. The repercussions from losing Internet connectivity could be pretty harmful to a growing economy. China might wake up the other sleeping giant: the combined democracies of the world.

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