Ever wonder why China seems to be eating the US’s cyber security school lunch? Apparently this is the tactic the Chinese are employing to make their cyber espionage activities so effective (emphasis added):
As the US still attempts to formulate a response to China’s massive hack of the US government’s Office of Personnel Management — a breach that affected some 22 million people, including federal employees with security clearances — the massive size and scope of Beijing’s intelligence gathering operations continues to come into focus.
Unlike other nations, China uses a broad array of both professional and citizen spies to gather data, Peter Mattis explains for War On The Rocks.
As Mattis describes it, the first level of Chinese intelligence-gathering resembles that of just about any other government. A Ministry of State Security carries out surveillance of targets within China and monitors potential threats, while the Ministry of Public Security has control over China’s national databases and surveillance networks.
China also has various levels of military intelligence organizations within the People’s Liberation Army. Most of the operatives for these organizations are also based in China, although Mattis notes that “defense attachés and clandestine collectors do operate abroad.”
If anyone believes the US is still attempting to formulate a response to the OPM breach then I have some wonderful swamp-land in Arizona to sell you. In no universe has the US allowed this activity to go unanswered. Likely, the US offensive capabilities have launched many retaliatory attacks against China. It is just US policy not to mention offensive cyber operations in the news.