There's a $23 billion price tag attached to protecting national infrastructure, computer networks, and developing cyber offensive capabilities, according to the Pentagon's five year cybersecurity budget obtained by Bloomberg News. In March, the Intelligence Community said that the top national security threat to the US was no longer terrorism, but was instead in the cyber arena, cyber espionage and cyberattacks. The Pentagon's budget through 2018 "shows 'increased investment will be made in protecting critical infrastructures,' cyber-attack capabilities 'for use against our adversaries and enhancing overall security of DoD networks and systems'." This spending "may benefit defense contractors."
When President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met, they discussed cybersecurity and the fact that North Korea's nuclear program "must be dismantled." White House national security adviser Tom Donilon saidObama talked to Xi about Chinese hackers targeting US secrets, weapon designs, and intellectual property before warning it "was going to be a very difficult problem in the economic relationship and was going to be an inhibitor to the relationship really reaching its full potential."
In return, Xi's senior policy advisor told The Associated Press, "Cybersecurity should not become the root cause of mutual suspicion and frictions between our two countries. Rather, it should be a new bright spot in our cooperation."
Apparently "Beijing was furiousabout the sudden elevation of cybersecurity and Chinese espionage on the meeting's agenda." That's when the director of China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team claimed to have "mountains of data" about the US hacking China. The Chinese version of CERT also disclosedthat between January 1 and May 31, "4,062 US-based control servers hijacked 2.91 million mainframes in China." Another 3,551 "US-based mainframes" used backdoor programs to remotely control "27,818 websites in China." 54 US-based IP addresses hijacked Chinese official websites, although China admitted "it's hard to judge whether the US government supported or got involved in the hacking. Besides, hackers can easily hide their real location and identities."
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden told The Guardian, "We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world. We are not at war with these countries." To that end,Foreign Policy ran an interesting article about an ultra-secret NSA office at Fort Meade that has been successfully hacking China's computer and telecommunications systems for the nearly 15 years, "generating some of the best and most reliable intelligence information about what is going on inside the People's Republic of China."
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