Chinese checkers

Chinese checkers
Chinese checkers

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By Gurmeet Kanwal
Financial Express
Sept 27, 2009

In all the hype and hoopla surrounding China=E2=80=99s incursions across the 
Line of Actual Control (LAC) into Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, 
a more sinister plan to attack cyber networks has gone almost completely 
unnoticed in India. In front page news reports published abroad 
recently, Chinese cyber spies were reported to have hacked into 
computers and stolen documents from hundreds of government and private 
offices around the world, including those of the Indian embassy in the 
US. Earlier it had been reported that the Chinese army uses more than 
10,000 cyber warriors with degrees in IT to maintain an e-vigil on 
China=E2=80=99s borders. =E2=80=9CChinese soldiers now swipe cards and work on laptops 
as they monitor the border with great efficiency=E2=80=A6 electronic sentinels 
functioning 24 hours a day.=E2=80=9D On June 23, 2009, Robert Gates, the US 
Secretary of Defence, authorised the creation of a new military command 
that will develop offensive cyber-weapons and defend command and control 
networks of the US armed forces against computer attacks.

While information about the People=E2=80=99s Liberation Army=E2=80=99s (PLA) cyber 
warriors has begun to appear in the public domain only recently, PLA 
watchers globally have known for long about China=E2=80=99s well conceived 
doctrine on information operations and cyberwar. China=E2=80=99s cyberwar 
doctrine is designed to level the playing field in a future war with 
better equipped Western armed forces that rely on Revolution in Military 
Affairs (RMA) technologies and enjoy immense superiority in terms of 
weapons platforms and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance 
(ISR) and command and control networks.

In the first decade of the new century, China=E2=80=99s Central Military 
Commission (CMC) had called for a detailed study of the concept of 
=E2=80=9Cpeople=E2=80=99s war under conditions of informationisation=E2=80=9D, implying 
increasing attention to the application of IT to the conduct of 
conventional conflict. Since then the scope of the cyber war doctrine 
has been expanded to develop the capabilities necessary to take control 
of all the major networks that drive the world=E2=80=99s economic engines. =2E

Analysts of the PLA have called the ongoing RMA an informationised 
military revolution with Chinese characteristics. Informationisation 
relates to the PLA=E2=80=99s ability to adopt information technologies to 
command, intelligence, training and weapon systems. The PLA is seeking 
to contest the information battle space with its space-based, airborne, 
naval and ground-based surveillance and intelligence gathering systems 
and its new anti-satellite, anti-radar, electronic warfare and 
information warfare systems. 

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