Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsChina

Chinese 'Honkers' Launch Computer Wars

April 30, 2002

Re "CIA Warns of Chinese Plans for Cyber-Attacks on U.S.," April 25: Although China's cyber-warfare discourse has hitherto outpaced its capability, it is perilous to underestimate Beijing's fancy for "asymmetric war."

Beijing seeks to capitalize on the advent of the information revolution and rising nationalism in China and turn the Internet into a curious "weapon of the weak" for achieving its political objectives (e.g., subduing Taiwan and deterring American intervention). Last May the "honkers" (from the Chinese wordplay "red hackers") launched coordinated attacks that defaced thousands of U.S. Web sites, paralyzed an untold number of computer systems, penetrated the public information page of the White House and destroyed all data on Web servers to which they were able to gain access. However, their attacks also triggered furious retaliation by hackers in the U.S.

Last year's episode shows that although presently an "electronic Pearl Harbor" may seem far-fetched, the U.S. risks surprise if it fails to seriously deal with China's clear strides in that direction.

Vincent Wei-cheng Wang

Associate Prof., Political Science

University of Richmond

Richmond, Va.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|