Chinese intelligence agencies and hackers are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to attack US military computers and defence contractors, according to the draft of an annual report on cyber security mandated by Congress.
“China’s persistence, combined with notable advancements in exploitation activities over the past year, poses growing challenges to information systems and their users,” the U.S.- China Economic and Security Review Commission said in the draft obtained by Bloomberg News. “Chinese penetrations of defense systems threaten the U.S. military’s readiness and ability to operate.”
The draft concludes that China’s network of civilian and military cyber specialists includes units of the People’s Liberation Army.
China employs a “cyber warfare militia,” PLA civilian units “usually comprised of workers with high-tech day jobs” that focus on military communications, electronic warfare and computer network operations, the draft said.
According to San Francisco-based company CloudFare Inc, which provided data to the commission, hacks account for about 15% of daily global internet traffic.
That “plummeted to about 6.5 percent” around Oct. 1, 2011, China’s National Day, “when many workers take leave,” according to the draft report.
The China commission’s annual report last year disclosed that computer hackers, possibly from the Chinese military, interfered with two U.S. government satellites four times in 2007 and 2008 through a ground station in Norway.