Cyberwarfare - long rumored - became a reality in 2007, as Russia (it is generally agreed) let loose prolonged cyber attacks on little Estonia, China attacked military and government computers in the US, India and Germany, and, in all, 120 countries are using the net for espionage. So says the McAfee Virtual Criminology Report. It's time - seriously time - for intelligence and defense establishments to take resource hardening seriously, Reuters reports.
"Cybercrime is now a global issue," said Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert Labs. "It has evolved significantly and is no longer just a threat to industry and individuals but increasingly to national security."
Those attacks in Estonia - in which thousands of government and business sites ground to a halt under the attack - were just the "tip of the iceberg," the report said.
"Attacks have progressed from initial curiosity probes to well-funded and well-organised operations for political, military, economic and technical espionage."
And don't forget about the Chinese. The report says China has launched attacks against the U.S., India and Germany. "The Chinese were first to use cyber-attacks for political and military goals," James Mulvenon, director of the Center for Intelligence and Research, is quoted.
"The Chinese have publicly stated that they are pursuing activities in cyber espionage ... they speak of technology being a large part of war in the future."
China's a law-abiding victim of cyberwarfare, too, the government said, AP reports.
"China has also been attacked by hackers of some countries, so the Chinese government attaches great importance to and participates in the international law enforcement cooperation in this area," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a briefing Thursday.