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In the great digital age we live in, the world is awash with information, and with the rise of social media and global travel, many people travel extensively. But despite advances in technology, we haven’t really addressed the inefficiencies and pitfalls of not only physically moving information, but also keeping information secure. The benefits of globalization and digitization are clear – but the unintended consequences are often difficult to address.
The Defense Intelligence Agency’s report to the US President on China’s military strategy outlines a comprehensive and well thought out Chinese plan to launch cyber-attacks on key industries around the globe. Much of the infrastructure in the US, including power, water, transportation and manufacturing, is wired to the internet, and Beijing may be able to execute its plan over the long term.
That’s why today, the US, along with our allies, launched an offensive in cyberspace in response to the Defense Intelligence Agency report. It was a tenfold increase over the cyber-counter offensive America launched during the Obama administration, and the first time the US and UK have launched coordinated cyber-attacks in cyberspace.
This launch of a new offensive comes just as President Trump and President Xi Jingping are meeting in Argentina to discuss pressing issues of the day, including bilateral trade, China’s currency manipulation and the South China Sea. The Defense Intelligence Agency report, which suggests that China is building a data pipeline that could be used to infiltrate US infrastructure, is clearly an issue the two leaders need to be addressing.