In the continuing saga of the widespread hacking of various top tech firms, the latest update is concerned with the previous arguments between U.S. and Chinese authorities regarding the hacks.
Everything started when various top technological companies of the United States reported that they have unearthed evidence of hacking against their companies. Tech titans Twitter, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft all admitted that malware has bypassed its securities and breached its databases.
Following government investigations, a report published by the New York Times pointed the finger of blame towards China. It cited a detailed report by American computer security firm, Mandiant. The said report also claimed that the level of sophistication of the hacking attacks means only one thing, the hackers are state-sponsored.
However, Chinese authorities were quick to retaliate that its government does not engage in computer hacking. In response to the allegations, Chinese authorities revealed that a staggering 144,000 cyber attacks per month were being made towards its military sites. It further expounded on that by saying that the origin for more than 63% of the attacks came from the United States.
The United States’ White House has also made its voice heard. Tom Donilon, the U.S. president’s national security adviser, said that companies in the United States are reporting that intellectual property were being stolen through cyber attacks “emanating from China on an unprecedented scale”. Donilon put further emphasis on the White House’s stance towards the cyber attacks by his words:
“We need a recognition of the urgency and scope of this problem and the risk it poses — to international trade, to the reputation of Chinese industry, and to our overall relations… Beijing should take serious steps to investigate and put a stop to these activities. Finally, we need China to engage with us in a constructive direct dialogue to establish acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace.”
In a recent article published by Reuters, it has declared that China has issued a response towards the United States’ invitation to enter in a dialogue. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chuying said that, “China is willing, on the basis of the principles of mutual respect and mutual trust, to have constructive dialogue and cooperation on this issue with the international community including the United States to maintain the security, openness, and peace of the Internet.”
Let us all hope that the dialogues comes to fruition soon and that the results it puts forward are favorable to all. Indeed, cyber space is a place for freedom and expression, not another battleground for political intrigue and one-upmanship. Let’s all hope that this is not the primer for a third world war, to be fought this time on virtual battlefields.