Seeking Alpha

MissionIR's  Instablog

MissionIR
Send Message
We know our reputation is based on the integrity of our clients and go to great lengths to ensure the companies represented adhere to sound business practices. It is our unwavering commitment to connect the investment community with companies that have great potential and a strong dedication to... More
My company:
MissionIR
My blog:
MissionIR Blog
  • Chinese Cyber Attacks Change The Game 0 comments
    Feb 12, 2013 3:46 PM

    As long as there have been human conflicts, there has been spying, the penetration of secrecy to discover the plans and tools of the other side. For most of history, spying was based almost exclusively on physical infiltration, getting human eyes, ears, and hands inside the opponent's wall, or capturing and decoding physical messages. The development of electronic and radio communication added a new level to the game, allowing messages to be intercepted over the wire or out of the air. But never has the access to critical information been as profound or far-reaching as it is today. Digital electronics and the Internet have followed a natural course based upon the inherent desire of human beings to find answers, resulting in a worldwide network that touches every corner of the human data store, including our secrets.

    But the latest revelations regarding the ongoing cyber threats from China suggest that more than technology has been changing. Key national security assessment documents, known collectively as the National Intelligence Estimate, reportedly point to China as a major source of recent cyber attacks, and indicate that the attacks are part of a well-orchestrated campaign targeting America's private sector economy.

    Everyone, including the United States, feels compelled to engage in some form of electronic spying, and government agencies are routinely secured against attacks, though some inevitably get through. (The Department of Energy is the latest victim of a breach, also traced to China.) But, in a free-wheeling capitalistic economy, the private sector is decentralized, and every company is essentially on its own, creating a world of tempting targets. Companies that used to have to worry only about their like-sized competitors suddenly find themselves up against a massive and sophisticated espionage campaign backed by the resources of China, the world's second biggest economy. Instead of government versus government, it's government versus XYZ, Inc., a fight that is distinctly lopsided.

    Stealing America's private sector technologies represents a valuable short cut for China in its effort to fast-track its own economic development. Instead of just buying American companies and technologies, another source of concern, China has shown that it can use cyber-theft to acquire critical technologies directly, without even leaving home. The attacks are far ranging, and many industries have found themselves on the receiving end of security breaches which are now known to be Chinese in origin. Because of the decentralized nature of the private sector, it's an especially worrisome threat, with no easy response. Referring to a recent spate of cyber attacks against major U.S. financial institutions, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta used the term "cyber Pearl Harbor."

    In addition, it's far more than a threat to America's economic competitiveness. For China it offers a possibly unguarded doorway into the country's vast military-industrial complex, and the myriad of defense technologies and secrets it holds.

    Sign up for "The Mission Report" at www.MissionIR.com

Back To MissionIR's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (0)
Track new comments
Be the first to comment
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers

StockTalks

More »
Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.