Thursday, August 08, 2013

cyberattacks an unprecedented (and non-falsifiable) threat to u.s. national security...,

energyskeptic | Here are excerpts from this 75-page document, some of which I’ve paraphrased [brackets], consolidated, or shortened.  Read this document for a greater, more nuanced, understanding.

Hearing before the subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and emerging threats of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. House of Representatives 113th Congress 2nd session   MARCH 21, 2013

Mr. Rohrabacher: The type of targets hackers assault are often placed in 2 categories:

1) Strategic targets attacked by military means in a war such as transportation systems, power grids, defense industries, communications, and government centers.

2) Commercial warfare. The scale upon which it is being conducted is beyond anything we have experienced and far exceeds traditional espionage. [Last month the Mandiant report identified a military unit of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army that has been conducting commercial warfare since 2006, hacking business and industry targets.  These attacks cost the American economy $250 billion per year and affect our economy and the balance of power.]

Over the last 10 years the United States trade deficit in goods with China was over $2.4 trillion. Entire industries have been moved across the Pacific to create what we see as the rise of China. We cannot just rely on technology to defend against these type of attacks. We must use diplomacy to deter them by telling Beijing and others in clear terms that we will not allow their hacking to continue without retaliation. We should sanction states that support hacking just as we sanction states that support terrorism or engage in other hostile actions. This war will not just be waged in cyberspace, but across every front and using every lever of American power to defeat an aggressor and to take the profit out of attacking our businesses, our defenses, and yes, our country.

There have been several Congressional hearings on cyber warfare, but most have concentrated on the technology involved and how we can devise defenses to block hackers from breaking into our government and business computer networks. The greatest dangers to our nation are not, however, really about technology. It is about international relations. Foreign governments that employ cyber warriors to attack other countries, or which “allow” hackers to attack other countries should be considered as hostile as governments which support terrorism. These are acts which put our country in severe jeopardy and must be met with the same national security and diplomatic measures that we use to meet any other external threat.
Chinese firms are dominated by state-owned enterprises with ties to Communist Party officials and their families. It is a matrix that not only serves to grow the wealth and power of China but also the personal fortunes of its leaders. The transfer of wealth by the theft of technology and other information vital to the development of industry is then used to gain a competitive advantage in world trade, which brings even more wealth to China.

The people of China are being cheated in that the apparatus that has been set up to protect them is being used to enrich the elite, and at the same time put China into a hostile relationship with the United States and other free countries of the world. And on top of that, the elite in China are using this not to protect China, not to make it more prosperous, but also to repress their own people.  The elite in China, their vanity and their desire for more wealth and power has led China down a wrong path, and I would urge those people in China, which is the vast majority, the people of goodwill there, to push this elite that is running their country that is raping their country and putting us on a path to conflict, to push them out of power.

Yesterday, several banks and broadcast outlets in South Korea were attacked, and apparently the assumption was that the cyber attacks were from North Korea. However, the news this morning is that South Korea is claiming that these attacks were located, the attacker was located in China. [This] raises questions as to whether China and North Korea are cooperating in cyber warfare against people that they think are their enemies.

Duncan: The director of National Intelligence on 12 March, James Clapper, said “there is a remote chance of a major cyber attack against U.S. critical infrastructure systems during the next 2 years that will result in a long-term, wide-scale disruption of services such as regional power outage.’’

If they are stealing the plans of an F–35 and so we have to send F–35s against a comparable aircraft, that is taking some of that competitive advantage away that we have militarily to protect this country.

Mr. STOCKMAN. My district encompasses everything from NASA to petrochemical plants. We were touring some of the plants, and they said they were getting very little cooperation from the government to help deter cyber attacks, which could cripple our nation. Just by turning off a few valves a plant could be blown up.  One plant alone in my district produces about 600,000 barrels a day. If that were to be taken off the market you would see a quick crisis occur. And if you took off several plants it would shut down the United States.

This reminds me of 9/11 when we knew about the Philippines. We picked up documents which showed that they wanted to use planes as weapons, yet we ignored all the signs. I feel like we are ignoring all the signs.  I have plant managers telling me their concerns and I am asking you, is there any kind of game plan to help critical infrastructure?