You’ve read the stories on this here at Neocon News before. Now there’s more on just how vulnerable we are to electronic subversion, should the Chinese Military choose to pursue it.
This past January, two brothers from Texas, Michael and Robert Edman, appeared in court to face federal charges of selling counterfeit computer equipment to, among others, the Air Force, Marine Corps, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Energy, numerous universities and defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin. According to prosecutors, the pair, working largely out of Michael Edman’s house in the rural town of Richmond, bought cheap network cards from a supplier in China. They also purchased labels and boxes carrying the logo of Cisco Systems, the U.S.-based hardware giant. Until a source in China tipped off the FBI, no one could tell that the parts were Cisco knockoffs rather than the real thing.
An attorney for the Edmans says that they, too, were victims-duped by overseas suppliers. But one thing is clear: The case is about a lot more than trademark infringement. Security experts warn that as supply chains become more global and more opaque, no one can be sure what parts are going into the computers that run, well, everything-from air traffic control towers to banks to weapons systems.
Here is an excerpt from a previous post, where the Chinese manufactured chips were in a much less dangerous guise- electronic photo frames. The same can be said for this latest revelation so long as you up the likelihood and extent of damage a few hundredfold.
… the Chinese military has a massive branch of hackers working around the clock testing our defenses. They are always trying to find a way into our military/governmental networks.
Since the virus was transmitted by peripheral devices, in this case electronic picture frames, which were somehow infected during the manufacturing process in China, it isn’t too far out there to believe that military entities would be permitted to add in the virus. Especially not in a communist country like China, where you already have a government hand reaching into every export business and quasi-capitalist enterprise.
While the article doesn’t touch on what the “larger target” might be, if you read between the lines not only is it obvious that this is the Chinese military, but you can be sure the real target here is our military. In the event of a conflict over Taiwan, which seems to be drifting closer and closer every day, the Chinese would love to be able to instantly disable our tech-dependent military. They would be able to turn what is one of the most impressive aspects of our armed forces, the technological superiority, against us in an instant.
The same thing can be said for their satellite-killer weapons. If you can physically disable the GPS that our military depends on for every planning system we employ, you’ve blinded the United States. Equally crippling would be a virus that gave the Chinese access to our networks, where they could simply ‘turn off’ our ability to contact the military communication/targeting systems. That is the best case scenario. Worst case scenario would see Chinese military hackers sending false orders to military units deployed around the globe, fake satellite data that could lead to attacks on friendly units, or unauthorized launch of American defense systems.
Let’s not even get into what would happen if the Chinese interrupted the financial systems of Wall Street. I find this less likely given their heavy investment, but if a conflict was actually initiated, all bets would be off. The Chinese would have planned for it well ahead of time.
We may be seeing that all preparation now. I hope I’m just being too pessimistic.