“The PLA has demonstrated the ability to conduct attacks
that disable our system... and the ability in a conflict situation to re-enter
and disrupt on a very large scale,” said a former official to the Financial Times. The official also
said that the PLA was able to penetratedefence and think-tanknetworks.
Both the Chinese military and the U.S. defense bodies are
believed to take part in active probing of one another. Hackers from China
supposedly spent weeks testing the Pentagon before launching the attack. In
response to the intrusion, the Pentagon took offline vulnerable parts of its
Although the Pentagon will not discuss in detail the effects
of the attack, sources familiar with the matter said that the information accessed
by the hackers were “unclassified,” and thus, likely not to contain sensitive
The Pentagon said that the attack on its system has urged
greater attention to the matter of security. “These are multiple wake-up calls
stirring us to levels of more aggressive vigilance,” said Pentagon top Asia
official Richard Lawless.
The compromise of the U.S. defense system has forced
officials to reconsider the type of information that is transmitted via email
or with BlackBerry mobiles.
of cyberwar is not one that is new to the U.S. government. A number of
government websites have been the target of attacks by both foreign governments
and independent hackers. The U.S. and China, in particular, are no stranger to
spying on one another. In April 2001, a US spy plane collided with a Chinese
fighter jet, sparking the first major cyberwar between the two countries.