Russia, China, and Cyber Espionage



In the wake of a series of hacks against government and private networks, it is clear that Russia and China are among the most act cyber operations. One needs to only review the most high-profile breaches to see that many of them are believed to be the work o be behind the OPM hack and has been hacking a large number of American businesses to steal trade secrets.

code was developed by Chinese or Russian speakers, and that the attacks were launched from within their territory. However, tha charges of blame to be levied against either country.

Cyber operations are also an essentially asymmetric tool, in that they level the playing field between nations that may have wide d their conventional forces. However, this cuts both ways, as the United States also conducts a considerable number of cyber operat This leads into the third primary advantage of cyber as it relates to espionage, which is that cyber-capabilities make ex easier than would be the case otherwise.

These advantages translate directly into gains towards foreign policy goals for both Russia and China. Leo Taddeo, Chief Security that “while both of them are engaged in both types of activity, I think the emphasis by the Russians is on diplomatic and military i Chinese is on business information.” Russia wants access to military and diplomatic information in order to in interests.

In contrast, China needs access to foreign intellectual property in order to keep their economy going. According to Justin Harvey, Cybersecurity, the Chinese “have reached a point with technology and their economy where it’s been boosted and injected full of sustain that technological advancement requires a lot more infrastructure, education, and people that they don.

Cyber operations have proven to be an extremely subtle and flexible tool that nations can use to pursue their objectives while min escalating tensions into outright war. For this reason, it is reasonable to assume that Russia will continue to exploit cyber vulnera battlefield preparation efforts. There is no incentive for Russia to stop doing either, as both support their goal of countering the U Europe.

Likewise, the Chinese will continue to use cyber to gain advantage in terms of economic growth. While there is evidence that Chi economic espionage against the United States, it has plenty of other targets to pick from in Europe and Asia. And, despite their fo will likely continue to engage in traditional espionage as well.

Both nations will almost certainly continue to grow in sophistication and will work to make their actions even harder to attribute, cyber operations. The United States will need to work to keep pace in terms of detection and cyber-forensics if there is to be any h against these adversaries.

Luke Penn-Hall is a cyber and technology producer a t The Cipher Brief.


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