“On the outskirts of Shanghai, in a run-down neighborhood dominated by a 12-story white office tower, sits a People’s Liberation Army base for China’s growing corps of cyberwarriors.”—New York Times
No, that’s not the start to our latest futuristic dystopian novel. It’s the beginning of David E. Sanger, David Barboza, and Nicole Perlroth’s article in the New York Times today, “Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S.” In the buzzed-about piece, the three journalists unravel the Mandiant report—a 60-page study that concludes that P.L.A. Unit 61398 is behind a great mass of cyber-hacking attempts on American companies, government agencies, and critical infrastructure.
The article highlights the growing and necessary focus on cyber-security in recent years, quoting a senior-level defense official who claims that the U.S. government now pays as much attention to computer servers in Shanghai as they paid to nuclear command centers in Moscow during the Cold War.
If you want to learn more about the real and present threat of cyber-warfare and cyber-terrorism, you may be interested in a much-lauded title of ours on the subject, Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by Richard A. Clarke and Robert Knake. The book, written by a former presidential advisor and counter-terrorism expert, offers a comprehensive exploration of the menace of this new kind of warfare, and the steps we need to take to protect ourselves against it.