Cyberwarfare: the new reality

Dylan Bushell-Embling
30 May 2011
00:00
News
Daily News

Recent news out of China and the US has driven home the growing threat of cyberwarfare.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin and the US Department of Homeland Security on Saturday confirmed that the company had come under a cyber attack, Priyosaid.

On Sunday, CFO Sondra Barbour revealed the company was a frequent target of attacks from around the world, stating that this had become “the new reality.”

But the company, the Pentagon's main supplier, stated it had responded immediately to the latest attack, and that no customer, program or employee data was lost.

The confirmation comes after reports on Friday that Lockheed Martin systems were experiencing a major disruption due to a network security issue.

Also last week, China acknowledged the existence of a cyber security squad, described as an Online Blue Army, to defend state systems from online attacks.

The organization, which has a budget running into the tens of millions of yuan, is believed to have existed for at least two years. It employs 30 staff with advanced security training.

China Postpoints out that while the unit has been portrayed as primarily defensive, the news could increase tensions with foreign governments such as the US, Australia and Germany, which have already alleged that Chinese hackers are carrying out systematic attacks on foreign governments.

China already raised eyebrows in the US this month by unveiling a video gamedesigned as a recruiting tool for the PLA, which appears to pit the player against US troops.

While no state was involved, Sony was also taken to task by a security expert last week for not taking seriously threats that the company would be targeted in a cyber war of revenge from hacker collective Anonymous.

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