Cyberwarfare: US and China

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September 20, 2020

Not every war is fought on the battlefield.

Before COVID-19, you’d be hard pressed to find a news network that would go a few hours without mentioning something about the U.S.-China relationship.

It’s no secret it’s not the type of relationship that exchanges Christmas cards every December. And although this has nothing to do with a physical attack, it’s deeply personal. In 2015, the U.S. and China reached an agreement to refrain from hacking and cyberattacks after years of going after one another. However, there are allegations neither side really held up their end of the bargain. Reports have come out that both countries have allegedly gone against the agreement.

The U.S. charged four members of China’s military with hacking into Equifax in 2017. The hack of one of America’s largest credit reporting agencies resulted in stealing trade secrets and the personal data of about 145 million Americans.

But then the U.S. was in the hot seat of the same agreement. Qihoo 360, a highly-respected cybersecurity firm, published a report accusing the CIA of being behind an 11-year-long hacking campaign against several Chinese industries and government agencies. The researchers found the cyberattacks stemming from September 2008-June 2019.

"Two wrongs don't make a right"... Or do they?

Needless to say, there has been a lot of mistrust between the two countries in recent history -- and that hasn’t changed. The Equifax hack stole names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers of nearly half of all Americans. That information could be used to access information like medical histories and bank accounts.

The researchers at Qihoo 360 found the CIA “may have already grasped the most classified business information of China, even of many other countries in the world,” over the 11 years of its attacks.

Countries allegedly going against their agreements isn’t exactly breaking news. But it’s a reminder that people are constantly looking for a leg up and quite often willing to bend -- or shatter -- any rules or agreements to achieve their end goal.

These hacking allegations go back decades -- and that trend doesn’t seem ready to be changed. Whether defending a nation’s secrets or your employees’ personal information, up-to-date security measures must always be at the forefront. Bad actors will always be at play and trying to adapt to get an advantage, and the best way to counter that is top-tier security. 

Schedule a time to speak with an Atlas7 representative and partner up with some of the best security networks in the world. Be ahead of the curve and ensure whatever secure information residing inside your network remains that way - secure. It may not be a measure of potential life-and-death like international affairs, but when personal information is infiltrated, there are no winners in a cyberwarfare battle.