Thus far no classified systems have been breached. But authorities are concerned because even seemingly innocuous information can yield useful intelligence to an enemy when pieced together from various sources.
"The scope of this thing is surprisingly big," said a government official who spoke anonymously to the Washington Post about the incidents, which stretch back as far as three years and have been code-named "Titan Rain" by American investigators.
Also, the Chinese published a military manual in 1999 entitled "Unrestricted Warfare." The book calls for "computer" warfare against the
Not everyone agrees
But why would civilian hackers be so focused on
Pentagon figures reveal that more attempts to penetrate Defense Department systems come from
Lt. Col. Mike VanPutte, vice director of operations for the Pentagon's Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations, said this doesn't mean that China is the original source of the attacks, only that it is "the last hop" before they reach their targets.
Last year the number of attempted attacks from all sources totaled about 79,000, and hackers succeeded in gaining access to a Defense Department computer in about 1,300 cases, officials said.
The Pentagon's latest annual report on Chinese military power contained a section on the development of computer attack systems by
It said the People's Liberation Army views computer operations as "critical to seize the initiative" in establishing "electromagnetic dominance" early in a conflict.
"The PLA has likely established information warfare units to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks," the report stated.
The CIA's translation of the manual reveals that
The manual was developed after the Chinese witnessed
The gist of the matter is this: We need to protect ourselves because we live in not only a weird but at times a dangerous world. With computers becoming more and more needed in our society and with computers all being linked by the internet it is more likely that an enemy, not just
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