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U.S.: Top Threat to Global Cyber Security

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-09-22 10:10:06 | Author: GONG Qian


By GONG Qian

Evidence has come to light, in early September, showing that the U.S. is responsible for the cyber attack on Northwest Polytechnical University (NPU) in west China's Shannxi province, according to two reports by China's National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center (CVERC).

NPU announced in June that teachers and students at the university received phishing emails with Trojan horse programs, attempting to steal their data and personal information.

The reports showed that the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) which is affiliated to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), conducted the cyber strike. TAO used 41 specialized cyber weapons to launch cyber theft operations for more than 1,000 times against NPU and stole core technologies.

The U.S. actions "pose a serious danger to China's national security and citizens' personal information security," said China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning.

Is NPU a victim of random cyber attacks by the U.S.? Probably not. NPU is well-known in aeronautics, astronautics, and marine technology engineering. The university has made significant contribution to China's national defense.

In fact, this is not an isolated case. China has become one of the main targets of NSA cyber attacks. China captured over 42 million malicious program samples in 2020, and those came from the U.S. were up to 53.1 percent of all the samples originating from outsides of China's borders, according to a report by the CVERC last year.

In June, a Trojan horse program "validator" was found to have been planted by NSA in hundreds of key information systems in China, according to Internet security company 360 Security Technology Inc.

Furthermore, the U.S. is threatening global cyber security. For a long time, the U.S. has been conducting mass, systematic and indiscriminate surveillance on governments, companies and individuals at home and abroad under the banner of international "cyber guardian." But its real purpose is in pursuit of its own self-interests on cyber-related issues.

In 2013, the notorious Prism Project, one of the U.S. surveillance programs, was exposed. The event stunned the world and sparked overwhelming outrage and protest. The program allowed NSA to have access to targeted communications without having to request them from major U.S. service providers such as Google and Apple.

Years later, the U.S. did something similar. Tom Burt, a Microsoft vice president, criticized the U.S. government for abusing gag orders at a hearing in 2021. He said to CNN that Microsoft alone received as many as 10 secrecy orders every day and 3,500 every year to obtain user data.

So, has the U.S. gone too far? In 2021, Danish media reported that Denmark's intelligence service helped the U.S. spy on European leaders including former German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Anzer, a cyber security information platform, revealed this June that NSA remotely stole more than 97 billion pieces of global internet data, along with 124 billion phone records in 30 days. This severely invaded the privacy of citizens around the world.

Facts speak louder than words. But ironically, the U.S has been accusing China of using cyber weapons to pose a threat to its national security.

The international community should jointly expose and reject U.S. practices that endanger global cyber security and undermine global rules. As the country that possesses the most powerful cyber technologies and capabilities, the U.S. should immediately stop conducting theft and attacks against other countries, and play a constructive role in defending cyber security, said Mao.

Editor: 汤哲枭

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