Fraser Nelson makes some astonishing revelations about cyberspying in The Spectator magazine. It seems that China is to blame, although that’s often impossible to prove.
Here are a few examples:
• When a US army officer plugged into his laptop a memory stick conveniently left for him to find in a Mideast car park, it penetrated the US Central Command network and embedded itself in the system. There it lay undetected for weeks, in the words of US deputy defence minister William J Lynn, able “to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary.”
• A “Chinese software trap” was found in the American National Grid, able when triggered to shut down the nation’s power distribution system. In 2009 for a short time, in what seems to have been a test of its capability, China took control of the internet, routeing 15 per cent of the world’s data and email traffic through its own servers.
• Businessmen report that, as one British chief exec puts it: “As soon as you strike a deal with China, your computer systems come under attack.” Its purpose is to discover what the company is willing to pay or to steal proprietary intellectual property, especially in advanced engineering technology. A director of a major bank reports: “We daren’t even take our laptops into China – they will swipe all the information from it at the airport.”
Britain recently identified cyber-warfare as one of four major threats facing the country, and the US has established a Cyber Command to prepare for digital combat.