Will Cyberspace be the Next Battleground?


Complex Security

When a grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania indicted six Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers on May 19, 2014 on 31 counts of hacking and cyber espionage against American companies, there was a flurry of media coverage of the incident. The indictment charged that the six PLA officers, all associated with China’s infamous Cyber Unit 61398, conspired to hack into the files of six American companies in order to steal trade secrets and give Chinese state-owned companies an unfair trade advantage.

As might be expected, most of the post-indictment coverage emphasized the economic aspects of hacking. The economic cost of hacking is truly staggering – in a PBS Frontline show in 2000, for instance, it was estimated that a disrupted denial of service attack could cost publishing giant Amazon as much as $600,000 an hour. Seemingly ignored in all this, however, are the social and political costs…

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