China’s Cyber Espionage

The United States continues to pay “very careful attention” to China’s growing cyberspace capabilities, said Dave Helvey, acting deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia. “There is the potential for these types of operations to be very disruptive” to the United States and its allies, said Helvey in briefing reporters May 18 on the contents of the Pentagon’s newly issued annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments. The China report claims that “many” of the cyber intrusions and data thefts conducted on US systems in 2011 originated in China. The report infers that the Chinese government was behind at least some of those attacks, although Helvey declined to offer specifics. He also said he couldn’t say whether such attacks are increasing in frequency. “We note that China’s investing in not only capabilities to better defend their networks, but also they’re looking at ways to use cyber for offensive operations,” he said. “We also highlight a number of areas where we see China engaging in cyber activity focused on computer-network exploitation. That continues to be a concern of ours,” said Helvey. (China report; caution, large-sized file.) (Helvey transcript)