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What a Cyberwar With China Might Look Like


Cyberwar

A cyberwar scenario hypothesized by former U.S. State Department diplomat Christopher Bronk in a report published in the U.S. Air Force's Strategic Studies Quarterly paints a different picture from many people's assumptions.

"Most likely, cyberconflict will be an 'always on' engagement, even if international policy is enacted to forbid it," Bronk writes. "The only certainty in cyberconflict is that conflict there will not unfold in the ways we may expect."

In Bronk's scenario China would prepare for an attempt to annex Singapore by first launching a cybercampaign designed to cripple allied nations' communications capabilities. Chinese military hackers would start by infiltrating U.S. defense, government, and corporate networks to manipulate and control them. When the Chinese finally make their initial move against Singapore, U.S. armed forces' communications would be greatly compromised, with denial-of-service attacks hamstringing key military networks and servers while forces in the field are driven to distraction by deliberately injected false information.

Bronk says a cyberwar will likely always be a component of a broader campaign rather than an isolated event, and its objective will be to bring as much of an opponent's networks under control during a conflict. However, Bronk does not expect a cyberwar to lead to power grid outages or other apocalyptic events.

From Computerworld
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