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Asymmetric warfare

China haz it:

One day in late summer 2008, FBI and Secret Service agents flew to Chicago to inform Barack Obama's campaign team that its computer system had been hacked. ... The McCain campaign was hit with a similar attack.

The trail in both cases led to computers in China, said several sources inside and outside government with knowledge of the incidents. In the McCain case, Chinese officials later approached staff members about information that had appeared only in restricted e-mails, according to a person close to the campaign.

China is significantly boosting its capabilities in cyberspace as a way to gather intelligence and, in the event of war, hit the U.S. government in a weak spot, U.S. officials and experts say. Outgunned and outspent in terms of traditional military hardware, China apparently hopes that by concentrating on holes in the U.S. security architecture -- its communications and spy satellites and its vast computer networks -- it will collect intelligence that could help it counter the imbalance.


By Ezra Klein  |  November 12, 2009; 7:24 AM ET
Categories:  China  
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Comments

I wonder if the hundreds of billions we're spending in Afghanistan would have been any use in solving this problem?

Maybe the bazillions we spent on the F-22? And let's not get started on how we'd have been better off spending the last 10 years learning how to defend our networks, as opposed to becoming experts in spotting and defusing IEDs in cities where no American citizens live.

I feel like the aliens in Independence Day, the day after Jeff Goldblum uploaded the virus. You've got to think there were guys who were opposed to this whole "invade earth" nonsense: "Dangnabbit, we TOLD you this invasion could be brought down by two schumucks and a mac. But did the brass listen? Noooo...and we got caught up in machismo and never honestly ran the pros and cons of this overseas mission...wouldn't we have been better off trading with the humans for their natural resources? The humans would have liked interstellar travel! They'd have traded us a rainforest for that. But nobody listens to Zarquon, Zarquon is a wimpy dove...oh, I'm sorry, can you not hear me over the sound of our starfleet exploding?"

Posted by: theorajones1 | November 12, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

That's just messed up. The military has billions and billions of taxpayer money, no questions asked, and they can't even protect us from hackers???

Seriously, that's just messed up.

Posted by: JERiv | November 12, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Theorajones1: That is hilarious.

Posted by: Klug | November 12, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

" Outgunned and outspent in terms of traditional military hardware, China apparently hopes that by concentrating on holes in the U.S. security architecture -- its communications and spy satellites and its vast computer networks -- it will collect intelligence that could help it counter the imbalance."


lack of protection. vulnerability. access to information.
sadly, grimly....it is a smart and efficient tactic.
much like guerrila warfare.
just as the tiniest bite of a mosquito can ravage a whole community of people.

Posted by: jkaren | November 12, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The U.S.A. has no hackerz?

Posted by: msoja | November 12, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Man, theorajones1 hits it out of the park with the first post. I must say, I can't remember when I said that I laughed out loud on the internet and actually meant it.

Posted by: MosBen | November 12, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

wapo editor

obama is going to china, let's get some stories up

let's do a china cyberspace war story - play on what are china secret intentions

get ezra klein to put a link in his blog


Posted by: jamesoneill | November 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

What does the military's ability to respond to the Chinese have to do with Obama's and McCain's campaign computers?

And you don't really think that the military isn't working on this problem, do you? In addition to attempting to build defenses, we're undoubtedly hacking away into China's military computers, and Russia's computers, and Germany's and Israel's, and they're all busily defending themselves and hacking into ours and each other's as well.

Posted by: ostap666 | November 12, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"Haz?"
China as LoLcat, Ezra?
Really?

Posted by: adamiani | November 12, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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