Cy­ber­at­tacks on China show US double face

Global Times US Edition - - FORUM - The article was compiled by Global Times reporter Xu Hailin based on an in­ter­view with Shen Yi, head of Fu­dan Univer­sity’s Cy­berspace Governance Re­search In­sti­tute. [email protected]­al­times.

The Xin­hua News Agency re­ported on Mon­day that most cy­ber at­tacks on China orig­i­nate in the US. Ac­cord­ing to an an­nual report re­leased by China’s Na­tional Com­puter Net­work Emer­gency Re­sponse Tech­ni­cal Team (CNCERT), in 2018, 3.34 mil­lion com­put­ers on the Chi­nese main­land were con­trolled by more than 14,000 Tro­jan or botnet com­mand and con­trol servers in the US, a rise of 90.8 per­cent com­pared to 2017.

The US has been ac­cus­ing China of be­ing the main cy­ber­se­cu­rity threat, but based on CNCERT data, US topped the list of sources of such on­line as­saults, Xin­hua quoted an ex­pert as say­ing.

In terms of se­cu­rity, the US always adopts double stan­dards. In fact, it has been proved that the US is the prin­ci­pal threat to global cy­ber­se­cu­rity. This threat refers not only to Tro­jan pro­grams that orig­i­nate in the US; it is prob­a­bly the only coun­try in the world that pur­sues of­fen­sive cy­ber­se­cu­rity strat­egy and con­sid­ers a unipo­lar hege­monic or­der dom­i­nated by it in cy­berspace as its strate­gic goal.

What the US is seek­ing has never been an equal or­der in cy­berspace, but the ex­clu­sive free­dom of action and asym­met­ric, Us-cen­tered hege­monic or­der. This is the big­gest threat faced by the on­line world to­day.

We should do away with as­sump­tions that the US is a fair, ra­tio­nal and re­spon­si­ble hege­monic power. It never

was, and that is an il­lu­sion it has tried to cre­ate. In April 2019, the Wash­ing­ton D.c.based In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy and In­no­va­tion Foundation found in its re­search that China “now leads the US” in some sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal ar­eas com­pared to a decade ago. Although there could be var­i­ous mo­tives be­hind the US crack­down on Chi­nese high­tech en­ter­prises that only the Amer­i­cans know, we can rea­son­ably con­clude that Wash­ing­ton is doing so to seek hege­mony in the in­ter­net sphere.

Wash­ing­ton founded the Cy­ber Com­mand in 2009 and cre­ated 133 Cy­ber Mis­sion Force teams. Mean­while in Fe­bru­ary, US Army Gen­eral Paul Naka­sone, who also di­rects the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency, said he wants to re­cruit more peo­ple to these teams. These are some ways the US uses to dom­i­nate cybe­space, which will def­i­nitely add to its mil­i­tary cy­ber ca­pa­bil­i­ties. On the ques­tion of the US

gird­ing to launch a cy­ber war, ex­perts said there is not enough in­for­ma­tion to sup­port the con­jec­ture. How­ever, what is clear is that there will be no winner in cy­ber war­fare, and China will not be crushed given its might. Wash­ing­ton has listed Bei­jing as its main tar­get for cy­ber­at­tacks. Such be­ing the case, what we can do in the first place is to im­prove our sys­tem­atic de­fense ca­pa­bil­i­ties at the na­tional level.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said in his speech on cy­ber­se­cu­rity in April 2016 that the coun­try needs to build and per­fect cy­ber de­fense and de­velop its own cy­ber de­ter­rence ca­pac­ity. China must aug­ment its cy­ber de­fense and de­ter­rence ca­pa­bil­i­ties to pre­vent ri­vals from act­ing – just like the nu­clear sphere.

Such cy­ber ca­pa­bil­ity it­self is neu­tral. It can be ei­ther de­fen­sive or of­fen­sive while it can be used to ei­ther safe­guard peace or dom­i­nate the world – de­pend­ing on which coun­try masters it. As a peace-lov­ing coun­try, China must have suf­fi­cient tech­ni­cal ca­pa­bil­ity to main­tain peace and de­fend a just or­der.

The US ac­cuses China and Chi­nese companies of posing a threat to its na­tional and cy­ber­se­cu­rity. In my view, peo­ple shouldn’t be­lieve a word of Wash­ing­ton’s ac­cu­sa­tions. The US is not a con­sci­en­tious hege­mon but a Janus-faced rogue. Why should we care about what the US says?

The halo of a soft power can­not pre­clude the US from be­ing la­beled a cy­ber hege­mon. US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s words and deeds have laid bare Wash­ing­ton’s real in­ten­tions.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Liu RUI/GT

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