Sean Lyngaas at FCW writes about how the Pentagon is fretting over China’s cyber capabilities and acting as if the United States is on higher moral ground even after all the Snowden disclosures:
In an annual report to Congress published May 8, Defense Department officials expressed pointed concerns about China’s pursuit of offensive cyber capabilities. The report came a week after China’s defense ministry objected to what it said was the offensive nature of the Pentagon’s cyber strategy.
“Chinese offensive cyberspace operations could support [anti-access and area denial] by targeting critical nodes to disrupt adversary networks throughout the region,” the Pentagon report states. Furthermore, researchers from China’s People’s Liberation Army “advocate the key to seizing ‘cyberspace superiority’ is to deter or stop an adversary by developing and employing offensive cyberspace capabilities.”
DOD released its report just hours after the State Department said it had asked Beijing to investigate reports that China has attacked U.S. websites using a unique cyber weapon known as the Great Cannon. The weapon “hijacks traffic to (or presumably from) individual IP addresses, and can arbitrarily replace unencrypted content as a man in the middle,” according to a report from the Citizen Lab, a research and development center at the University of Toronto.
I recently discussed The Great Cannon with a client and in the midst of my research I was unfazed by this capability. It is a no-brainer and nobody on the planet should be surprised that any nation state – China, Russia, USA, UK – has such a weaponry. If anyone believes the US does not have the ability to do the same, if not worse, then they are fooling themselves.
Offensive capabilities on the internet is to today what the Space Race was to the sixties and seventies. As the internet continues to mature, offensive cyber weaponry will become stronger and ever more capable.
Guess who will be in the middle while this fight plays out?
Guess who will have their iMessage, SMS, social networking traffic, email, instant messaging, and MMRPG traffic captured – not to mention our more private, salacious interactions – by governments all across the globe? We are all in the crosshairs, whether we want to be or not.