Will China Retaliate?
I received an interesting phone call today, from a well respected authority in the ‘cyber’ field. Apparently the Intelligence and Cyber Communities are spinning up, thinking that China is about to launch retaliatory cyber attacks in response to the Mandiant report.
I couldn’t help but voice my disbelief. China has nothing to gain and everything to lose by launching attacks in cyberspace, therefore I do not believe they will respond by launching electrons downrange at US targets as a response to a commercial (but well advertised and covered) report. Sure, China received a bloody nose in the process and lost face (which is a major factor in China), but what would they have to gain by launching electrons, such as code, at US targets? They might take down a few web pages, but that accomplishes nothing, it gives them no advantage. They might launch reports which blame the US for launching the vast majority of cyber-attacks in the world, but as I’ve been saying for years, that’s because we have the most compromised servers. They might close a few sites down with a DDOS attack, but as we have seen often, that is a temporary effect. Sprearphishing? That’s not an attack but it is useful to get into a company’s system. I could go on and on, but China would gain little they do not already have and would only succeed in further smearing their reputation.
No. China, the PLA and all the cyber minions UNDER GOVERNMENT CONTROL will not attack the US. There are no positives in attacking the US and cooler minds will prevail.
But who might? Cyber punks, script kiddies, immature, knee-jerk actors and wanna-bes. Otherwise, future cyber soldiers in training using emotion as their motivation. They’ll launch at WhiteHouse.gov, military.com, Mandiant.com and other convenient targets, I’m sure CyberCommand, DHS.gov and others connected with ‘cyber’ in the US will get hit… but life will go on. The good news is that if they do this, their IP addresses may now be stored for analysis. So thank you, cyber punks, for letting us know who you are. This makes the intelligence community’s job a little easier in the future.