PRAYER ALERT: For the first time, the US is aiming criminal charges of computer hacking against foreigners. The Justice Department has indicted five members of the Chinese military for using cyberwarfare to steal trade secrets from top US companies in the steel, nuclear plant and solar power industries. The five Chinese hackers operated out of the “Unit 61398” military tower in Shanghai.
Unit 61398 became notorious after report published last year by Mandiant, a US security firm. Mandiant confirmed that 141 attacks had been launched by Chinese hackers from military Unit 61398 since 2006. The victims included the US Defense and State Departments, Coca Cola, Apple, Facebook, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and many more. Other experts have estimated that thousands of such attacks have originated from Unit 61398. The attacks are difficult to confirm because the targets want to hide their vulnerability from the public eye.Many say that the US is in no position to bring charges against the Chinese hackers. America’s own NSA has been exposed for widespread cyber-spying at home and abroad. James R. Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, admits that the NSA has spied on foreign trade negotiations. And the NSA has passed on this data to US trade officials.
But here Clapper tries to draw a fine line. He concedes that US trade officials do use this data to create conditions in which US companies can prosper. But the US does not pass on this data directly to US companies. Nor does it steal trade secrets, which the US accuses China of doing. The US argues that spying for national security purposes is an accepted practice. But spying for the benefit of specific companies is not. It gives Chinese companies an unfair advantage—in product development and trade. In other words, businesses must play by rules that militaries don’t have. All’s fair in war, but not trade.
China wants to beat the US at both. As a communist country, China makes less of a distinction between business and war. Many of China’s businesses are state-owned and are directly protected by the military. And both its economy and its armed forces are growing by leaps and bounds. If trends continue, China will surpass the US as the world’s top world economic and military power in 15-20 years. Winning the cyber war could help China do both even quicker. Its only other real competitor in cyberwarfare is Russia…
Read more on how Russia and China are joining forces, and how to pray about this.
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