Article by William Hagestad II
With increasing frequency, news of cyber-attacks by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) intrude our daily consciousness in the form of newspaper articles, magazine exposés and even loose attribution by official government sources within many western nations.
However, since 1995, there have been no direct 100% proof positive links of attribution or definitive evidence given to a cyber-hack having originated within or from China.
This Capstone seeks to define what organizations within the PRC may have the motive, opportunity and opportunity for carrying out cyber based hacking attacks against other non-Chinese nation states.
Note: For this paper, the term cyber warfare is defined as the calculated use of both offensive and defensive computer network attacks (CNA) and computer network exploits (CNE) to take advantage of computer network vulnerabilities (CNV) at the geo-political level, nation to nation, fighting in what is now defined as the 5th dimension – cyber space. A military doctrine which includes the use of net centric warfare (NCW), including but not limited to the use of CAN and CNE as a part of computer network operations (CNO) is called information warfare (IW).
Conclusions of the research and accompanying analysis indicate that there is a direct and quantifiable historical linkage between the People’s Republic of China and cyber warfare. This correlation is divided into three sectors as a nation state information warfare initiative; these three separate and distinct aspects are the Communist Party of China (CPC), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and commercial corporate entities.
Given current events in the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) 5th domain of warfare, cyber and information warfare, the conclusion can be made that indeed there are clear and present dangers emanating from cyber-space, whether it is an individual acting alone, a non-governmental organization (NGO), a military or even a government sponsored cyber initiative.
However, at some point the research must conclude and a response from the U.S. is imminent. It is fair to say that there is a true danger from the People’s Republic of China from a cyber-warfare perspective. The China cyber threat is omnipresent and is manifested by official Communist Party of China (CPC) edicts, the People’s Liberation Army, commercial enterprise espionage and civilian hacktivists.
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