Advancing a Free Society

What is the Government’s Strategy for the Cyber-Exploitation Threat?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cybersecurity studies distinguish between a cyber-attack, which alters, degrades, or destroys adversary computer systems or the information in or transiting through those systems, and cyber-expolitation, which involves no disruption of an adversary computer system, but rather merely monitoring and related espionage on computer systems, as well as the copying (and thus theft) of data that is on those systems.  To date the main threat to the United States has come from cyber-exploitations, especially, according to government and press reports, from China.  Michael Joseph Gross’s recent essay in Vanity Fair summarizes the latest allegations about “China’s aggressive campaign of cyber-espionage” against U.S. government agencies and U.S. firms.  It is a scary story about Chinese infiltration into government and private computer systems (including the systems of high-end cybersecurity firms like RSA), and of massive theft of important information and intellectual property found on those systems.

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