Chinese Hack Attacks Worry Pentagon

By Matthew Harwood

A new Pentagon report issued Monday worries about hacking attacks emanating from China but stops short of accusing the country's government directly, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Computer network intrusions at the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies, think tanks and government contractors last year "appeared to originate" in China, according to the report .... The Pentagon report does not directly accuse the Chinese military or government of the attacks but says the incidents are consistent with recent military thinking in that country. David Sedney, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for East Asia, said cyber-warfare was an area of growing concern and he called on the Chinese to clarify their intentions.

European governments have also faced similar attacks from China. The vice president of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, Hans Elmar Remberg, publicly accused the Chinese government of sponsoring daily hacking attacks against German computer networks. France and Great Britain experienced China-based hack attacks as well last year, according to the Pentagon report.

The U.S. military, according to the L.A. Times,  believes China's cyberwarfare capabilities, combined with "neutralizing information-transmitting satellites," is part of Beijing strategy to cripple foes, especially militarily superior ones such as the United States, before a war or an international crisis begins.

And despite being the United States' second largest trading partner, the U.S. military report admits it does not know its chief global competitor well, stating:

"The lack of transparency in China's military and security affairs poses risks to stability by increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation. This situation will naturally and understandably lead to hedging against the unknown."

China also announced today that it will raise it's military budget by 17.6 percent this year to $59 billion after a record leap last year of 17.8 percent, although many Western observers believe the budget is already much bigger.

The Chinese government, however, assuaged fears of a military build-up stating their military budget was still a fraction of the U.S.'s and that most of the money will be spent on "pay raises and equipment upgrades," according to the L.A. Times.


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