[ISN] Newt Threatens China and Russia With Cyberwar

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2012 00:54:22 -0600 (CST)

By Noah Shachtman
Danger Room
January 25, 2012

Newt Gingrich isn’t the only politician who’s freaked out by China and 
Russia’s online spying. But the new Republican presidential frontrunner 
may be the highest-profile political figure all but openly calling for 
cyberwar with Moscow and Beijing.

“I think that we have to treat state-based covert activities as the 
equivalent of acts of war,” Gingrich said in response to a question 
about countries that target U.S. corporate and government information 
systems. “And I think that we have to respond to that and create a level 
of pain which teaches people not to do it.”

American officials have grown increasingly concerned about massive and 
strategic efforts by China and Russia to use U.S. network 
vulnerabilities to steal American know-how. “Trade secrets developed 
over thousands of working hours by our brightest minds are stolen in a 
split second and transferred to our competitors,” Robert Bryant, the 
national counterintelligence executive, said in November. Sen. Sheldon 
Whitehouse, who chaired a classified task force on the subject, called 
it “the biggest transfer of wealth through theft and piracy in the 
history of mankind.”

But most American policymakers have been reluctant to publicly entertain 
the idea of attacking China or Russia in response to that economic 
espionage. The U.S. is trying to work with Moscow and Beijing to corral 
rogue states from Iran to North Korea. The three countries already share 
information on terror threats. Most importantly, the economies of the 
three nations are rather deeply intertwined, which means an overt online 
attack could harm more than just the intended target.


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Received on Wed Jan 25 2012 - 22:54:22 PST

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