This is a guest post from Jay McGraw, a blogger for Illinois Internet Providers that is worth a read.

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Cyber Wars: USA vs. China

Just a short time before delivering his first State of the Union address of his second term, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order that directly addresses the 21st century version of the Cold War: The ongoing cyber war being waged by nations such as the United States, China, Russia, and Iran.

President Obama’s latest Executive Order on the threat of cyber war aims to establish a framework of cooperation between national defense agencies and corporate America that would enable intelligence sharing from the government to business entities. This framework is not reciprocal, which means that companies will not be required to share information with the government, but the underlying issue is that cyber espionage and attacks conducted from within the People’s Republic of China on American computer networks are increasing.

A Clear and Present Cyber Danger

After President Obama signed the Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cyber Security, he addressed the nation on the cyber war issue. He started by stating what the public already knows about identity theft, email infiltration and corporate espionage. He then mentioned the more ominous prospect of sabotage, mentioning that American air traffic control, financial networks and even utility power grids could be compromised.

Cyber war is here, at least according to a group of lawmakers and government officials who moved quickly to press the issue in Congress on the day following the State of the Union address. General Keith Alexander, the top figure at the U.S. Cyber Command and head of the National Security Agency mentioned that the government is often painfully unaware of major networks attacks until it is too late.

President Obama did not mention China as a threat, although recent news headlines have made it clear that companies such as Google, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have been recent victims of attacks that originated from behind the Great Firewall. Another company that has detected cyber-attacks originating from China is Bloomberg, although those attempts were thwarted by security measures.

Losing the Cyber War

House Representative Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) told the Washington Post that the U.S. is now on the losing end of a cyber war. The Chinese Embassy in the U.S. has reacted strongly against the allegations. They called the accusations irresponsible and issued a statement that indicated the Chinese government’s interest in preventing cyber criminality within its borders.

This article was submitted by Jay McGraw, a blogger for Illinois Internet Providers. He specializes in political events, media and internet.

Further related readings

Executive Order – Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

Cyber Wartime President Obama's Executive Order Enlists Private Businesses

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