US wary of Chinese cyber-threat
By Stuart Turton
Posted on 16 Nov 2007 at 11:37
A US congressional advisory panel has warned that Chinese cyber attacks and espionage now constitute the "the single greatest risk" to US technology.
The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a bipartisan body comprised of six democrats and six republicans, was established in 2000 to examine potential Chinese threats to US national security.
Speaking on the use of cyber-warfare the panel says, "China is convinced that, financially and technologically, it cannot defeat the United States in a traditional force-on-force match up."
"However, as Chairman of the Defense Science Board Dr. William Schneider highlighted, if it can acquire niche weapons systems that are relatively inexpensive and that can exploit US vulnerabilities, it stands a chance of deterring or defeating the United States in a limited engagement."
Among its recommendations the panel asks Congress to examine "military, intelligence, and homeland security programs that monitor and protect critical American computer networks and sensitive information, specifically those tasked with protecting networks from damage caused by cyber attacks."
The recommendations are certain to enflame the row that erupted when the US admitted that Chinese hackers had breached its defence network; an accusation denied by China and promptly deflected back before US lawmakers proposed legislation to ban its internet companies from cooperating with Chinese authorities.
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