Opportunities in China for conducting computer network operations and cyber espionage -
Material posted: Publication date: 29-04-2012

The Commission on U.S.-China relations in the field of Economics and security March 7, 2012 presented to the U.S. Congress a report entitled "Occupying the information high: opportunities in China for conducting computer network operations and cyber espionage -". The document details the activities of China in enhancing its capacity to conduct computer network attacks, organizations protect digital systems from external intrusion, and exploitation of network resources of foreign States in the interests of the country.

It also describes the problems associated with cyber security and potential risks that China poses to national security and economic interests of the United States.

The report contains the following sections:

  • General information.
  • Information warfare: doctrine, strategy, training.
  • Conducting computer network operations (CSR) China in war time.
  • The main divisions of China for research in the cyber domain and operations in the framework of the information war.
  • Research state-sponsored CSR in the Chinese Academy.
  • Research and development of telecommunication equipment in China – cooperation of the public and commercial sector contributes to the growth of production.
  • The vulnerability of the supply of telecommunications equipment in the United States.
  • Comparative analysis of the operation of network resources by the state and criminal structures.
  • The cooperation of firms in the U.S. and China, dealing with information security: risks and reality.
  • Conclusion.
  • A Glossary of technical definitions.
  • Bibliography.

Directly report to the Commission was engaged Corporation "Northrop Grumman". The document is a continuation of the previous 2009 report entitled "Capability of the Chinese people's Republic on the conduct of hostilities in the cyber domain and exploitation of computer networks".

It should be noted that the Commission on U.S.-China relations in the field of economy and security ("The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission") was established by Congress in 2000 and received the authority to monitor and investigate various aspects trading-economic and military relations with China. The organization regularly reports to the U.S. Congress, and has the ability to develop recommendations for amending legislative and administrative measures that affect the relations between the two countries.

In turn, "Northrop Grumman" is one of the most high-tech companies, the US military industrial complex (along with "Lockheed Martin"), who make real research in field of electronics and information technology, aerospace, shipbuilding etc. in addition, the Corporation develops advanced weaponry for the defense Department, as well as research aimed at improving the means and methods of information protection.

Presenting the document to Congress, Commission Chairman Dennis Shea said that "in the United States are constantly conducted cyber operations sanctioned or permitted by the Chinese government... national and economic security are under threat, and while the Chinese government will continue funding research on expanding its capabilities in the cyber domain, these threats will continue to grow. The present report is timely as the U.S. Congress is currently considering legislation in the field of cybersecurity. The Commission hopes that this work will be useful to Congress because it contains proposals to enhance the security of our networks".

At the same time, according to another representative of the Commission, Michael Wessel, "the report notes that, in the interests of achieving a leading position on the world stage, China is actively engaged in the development of cybersect. The Chinese leadership is becoming harder to show your ignorance and innocence when conducting active reconnaissance of our electronic means and the implementation of intrusion in cyberspace USA. The report reflects their specific doctrinal intentions, as well as information on financial support for China of cyber-espionage, which, in turn, indicates a growing real danger".

According to the report, military experts in China believe that the success of warfare based on the ability to exercise control over information and information systems of the enemy. In this regard, the leadership of the people's liberation army (PLA) sees computer network operations through information warfare and seeks to unite all elements of information warfare (electronic and non-electronic, offensive and defensive) into a single system.

In turn, the activities of analysts, the PLA is directed on studying of the automated control systems (ACS) of the critical infrastructure of the U.S., as well as the identification of possible modalities for the participation of China in ensuring their own radio-electronic means of production. "These objects probably will be attacked in case of conflict and, most likely, before the beginning of actual combat actions, which will contribute to the weakening of the United States and delays the beginning of their active phase of the military operation," said Dr. Shea.

As possible consequences of the use of Chinese electronic equipment and components of the ACS in the US are named: obtaining a hidden access or monitoring of "sensitive systems", remote management, low efficiency, or intentional faults.

At the same time, the close relationship of the PLA with a major Chinese telecommunications companies engaged in the production of radio-electronic equipment and supplies in the U.S., facilitates sponsored and state-driven intrusions into critical infrastructure of the country.

The report also noted that the existing regulatory framework of the United States does not provide a response appropriate structures at full-scale cyber attack on military and civilian targets of the country, which, in turn, "can lead to delays of process of decision making and can be used by Beijing."

Special attention in the report given to the expansion of the capacity of China in the cyber domain due to the interaction with commercial organisations and the education sector. Thus, in Chinese universities, the national government is funding various grant programs aimed at supporting research in the field of organizing and conducting cyber-attacks and cyber-security (including related to the information war).

PLA cooperation with commercial organizations, in turn, contributes to obtain access to advanced research and technology, including telecommunication systems for military and dual-purpose. Often this work is carried out through interaction with foreign partners, conducting research in the field of "critical technologies".

In the final part of the report presents the following key findings:

China has sufficient capacity to conduct operations in computer networks, which, in turn, can pose a real threat to U.S. national security in the event of a conflict;

The PLA has access to cutting-edge research and technology through the interaction of commercial companies with foreign partners, carry out research in the field of "critical technologies";

the close relationship of the PLA with major telecommunications companies, engaged in the production of radio-electronic equipment and supplies in the U.S., provides the ability of China to affect the critical infrastructure of the United States.


Gregory Yurchenko

Source: http://www.belvpo.com/9984.html

Tags: USA , information war , China