A leading defence expert has dismissed hysteria about Chinese cyber warfare.
Desmond Ball, a professor in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, has just penned a paper which claims that China’s offensive capabilities are limited.
While the world seems to be fearing China’s s cyber warfare capabilities, Ball said that the Glorious People’s Republic has problems of its own.
He said that Australia and other Western nations have little to worry about when it comes to their national security.
While China had carried out a number of high-profile and successful hacks, denial of service attacks and website defacements in recent years, the countries cyber warfare capabilities were “fairly rudimentary.”
The paper said that China had little proficiency when it came to more sophisticated hacking techniques. Viruses and Trojan Horses which it has used have been fairly easy to detect and removed before any damage has been done or data stolen.
There is no evidence that China’s cyber warriors can penetrate highly secure networks or covertly steal or falsify critical data, Ball said,
At the moment China would be unable to cripple command and control, air defence and intelligence networks and databases of advanced adversaries, or conduct deception operations by secretly manipulating the data. All these things are vital for a good cyber war.
To make matters worse, China’s own cyber defences were rubbish.
“China’s cyber-warfare authorities must despair at the breadth and depth of modern digital information and communications systems and technical expertise available to their adversaries,” the paper reads.
It will take decades before China’s cyber warfare capability will be better than its rivals. At the moment they would only work if they were deployed first and no one noticed.