China: The world’s biggest economic superpower, or the world’s deadliest cyber threat?

China is the world’s second largest economy (after the U.S.), exporting and importing goods throughout the world. Economy growth rates average 10% over the past 30 years, with its GDP increasing tenfold since 1978.

The Chinese government is the main reason behind this growth, with huge state investment and a decision to permit China to be used by multinational corporations as an export platform. This has led the country to be seen as a major competitor against other key platforms such as South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.  

But the People’s Republic of China has increasingly come under the spotlight with reference that they and/or the military are behind a large number of cyber threats. Analysts and U.S officials agree that most of the cyberattacks seeking intellectual property or other sensitive or confidential data is done by China-based hackers.

According to a recent Reuters special report, cyberattacks from China have been steadily increasing in frequency and velocity – all with intent and purpose of gathering and harvesting economic information from foreign companies.

William T. Hagestad II, author of 21st Century Chinese Cyberwarfare, claims that a conclusion could be reached that the “People’s Republic of China drives the intent to use information warfare in the cyber realm, and thus that the use of cyberwarfare is state-sponsored.” Furthermore, William Hagestad has picked up on the notion of the ‘Blue Army’: a Chinese military unit assigned to specifically carry out cyberwarfare, concentrating on offensive and defensive cybermissions.

If this is true, then the western world is facing a cyber battle with the world’s second largest economic superpower; a battle that will be hard to beat. With such power, money and influence behind China, the deep roots to Europe and America’s trade links could be severely affected.

It is worth noting that the People’s Republic of China denies that anyone in an official capacity is doing any of the cyberattacking.  

For more information, read William’s book titled 21st Century Chinese Cyberwarfare, available to buy from IT Governance – the official publishers of this title.

Click to go to the IT Governance website >>

“21st Century Chinese Cyberwarfare is not just another text describing the information warfare capability of the Chinese. Moreover this book is about time, and also about understanding. Through the eyes of Lt. Col. Hagestad, the reader gains insight into the culture, history and language of the Chinese. “

Michael L Kearn, CISSP

Source: Wikipedia, 21st Century Chinese Cyberwarfare, Reuters