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Wang Jianwei never expected his paper on a theoretical attack on the U.S. power grid would get so much attention.  (Source: Du Bin for The New York Times)

China reportedly has a thriving cyberwarfare program, and some in the U.S. government fear that it could be turned against us. Others dismiss such concerns as paranoia.  (Source: Right Democrat: A Mainstream Populist Voice)
Authors of controversial Chinese paper argue it was a mere research exercise

Wang Jianwei, a graduate engineering student in Liaoning, China, never imagined his paper on cyberattacks and the U.S. power grid would draw so much attention.  However, concern about the paper is mounting due to the fact that it reportedly highlights a very real vulnerability of the U.S. power grid, the backbone of our nation's civilian, commercial, and military infrastructure.

The report went largely unnoticed and unreported until Larry M. Wortzel, a military strategist and China specialist, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10 that "Chinese researchers at the Institute of Systems Engineering of Dalian University of Technology published a paper on how to attack a small U.S. power grid sub-network in a way that would cause a cascading failure of the entire U.S."

Tensions over cyber security and the internet have been high between the U.S. and China in previous months.  Google has pulled the plug on its Chinese search engine after cyber attacks and Chinese censorship demands.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently gave Chinese politicians an earful over these problems.  China denies the attacks on Google originated from within China and says that online control is essential to preserve a stable society.

As to Mr. Wang's paper, “Cascade-Based Attack Vulnerability on the U.S. Power Grid”, published in the journal 
Safety Science, Mr. Wang claims that his goal was protect the U.S. by illustrating a potential vulnerability.  In an interview with The New York Times he states, "We usually say ‘attack’ so you can see what would happen.  My emphasis is on how you can protect this. My goal is to find a solution to make the network safer and better protected."

Experts tend to agree.  According to their analysis, the paper was very appropriate academically and hardly gave someone a comprehensive plan to take down the U.S. power grid.  Nart Villeneuve, a researcher with the SecDev Group, an Ottawa-based cybersecurity research and consulting group equates Mr. Wortzel's analysis to paranoia.  He comments, "Already people are interpreting this as demonstrating some kind of interest that China would have in disrupting the U.S. power grid.  Once you start interpreting every move that a country makes as hostile, it builds paranoia into the system."

Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) disagrees.  He was very interested in the paper and Mr. Wortzel's presentation.  He commented during the briefing that the issue was of particular concern to Californians, alluding to claims by 
The Los Angeles Times that attackers in China's Guangdong Province were responsible for power grid network intrusions in 2001.

So is the U.S. at risk from a Chinese cyberassault on the power grid?  That depends on who you ask.  John Arquilla, director of the Information Operations Center at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.  opines, "What we know from network science is that dense communications across many different links and many different kinds of links can have effects that are highly unpredictable.  [Cyberwarfare is] analogous to the way people think about biological weapons — that once you set loose such a weapon it may be very hard to control where it goes."

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It's all good
By hiscross on 3/23/2010 8:00:54 AM , Rating: -1
China is communist. America is now a socialist country that Will use force to keep it's people in-line.The US needs China (because no else is stupid enough to give us a loan anymore) to initially fund the US socialist state. In the end they both collapse so all is good.

RE: It's all good
By sbtech on 3/23/2010 8:40:10 AM , Rating: 2

RE: It's all good
By hiscross on 3/23/2010 12:30:24 PM , Rating: 2
Really! It took the socialist 65 years to put health care into law. It only took the Chinese the same day once Mao become it's leader. There is a reason why Onlt China will lend the US money. Only a Nut would deny that fact.

RE: It's all good
By Donkeyshins on 3/23/2010 12:39:03 PM , Rating: 1

Now go back to your Ayn Rand books and John Birch pamphlets.

RE: It's all good
By hiscross on 3/23/2010 2:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
"who is Jogn Galt?" Gotto love those lefty socialist. I wish I could pass a law that makes stealing hard working peoples money legal. Oh, course I do have morals and I propduce, so you see reading does have it's strenghts.

RE: It's all good
By FaaR on 3/24/2010 12:29:31 AM , Rating: 1
Explain to me why having a federal army is not socialist and not bad, but having federal health care is socialist and bad.

Apparantly; army that kills people = hunky dory, hospitals that heal people = COMMUNISM!!!

Sheesh, where do you stupid loonies come from, Planet Bizarro perhaps? It's not any place that values rational thought and logical reasoning, that's for sure.

RE: It's all good
By hiscross on 3/24/2010 8:59:45 AM , Rating: 2
Without a strong military the US would cease to exist it's that simple. If you think you live without a strong military ask Berry to shut it down. Where do I come from? My roots are from Sparta. I am Greek and I am free.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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