America’s greatest threat! No hypersonic missiles, but China’s secret weapon that is invasive, destructive, and a silent killer

China’s frequent testing of hypersonic missiles has attracted the world’s attention. Beijing’s rapid progress, in contrast to Washington’s relatively slow pace, in developing hypersonic weapons has increased threat perception.

However, a newer, more unique weapon with which China has made progress also threatens the United States and its allies.

Hypersonic is the new buzzword

Now, it has come to light that China is in possession of the deadly Hypersonic Glide Vehicle (HGV) missile, the Dongfeng-17 (DF-17). These medium-range weapons can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and have a speed of Mach 5-10. China also has its own truck, the DF-ZF.

In July, the country surprised the world by testing a hypersonic rocket that orbited Earth in low Earth orbit and launched a hover vehicle, which continued to launch its own ballistics. .

China then conducted its second nuclear missile test on August 13 with a truck on it. This means that Beijing is moving forward with the development of a weapon that the United States would be difficult to defend or even detect.

The Chinese DF-17 missile has a supersonic glide vehicle capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional payloads. (via Twitter)

While China seems to have made hypersonic technology one of its top priorities, in reality, the US stopped its efforts in this area in the mid-2010s. As a result, Beijing has tested at least 10 more missiles than Washington in the past five years. The US military is not expected to deploy hypersonic weapons before 2023.

While hypersonic missiles are a major threat to the West and countries in the Indo-Pacific region, the threat of cyberwar is also a danger; and it is an arena where China is making progress faster than the US and its allies.

Cyber ​​warfare – China’s new tactic

Over the years, China has given a huge boost to technology that can help in cybersecurity and warfare. Analysts believe state-sponsored hacking nationwide is at an all-time high. Experts say Beijing is engaged in a growing form of low-level warfare despite efforts by the US and Britain, among others, to contain it.

Chinese missile test
China’s hypersonic missile tests (via PLA Daily)

Furthermore, China is accused of directing these covert operations to steal intellectual property. Over the years, these efforts have grown bolder and more reckless. Beijing has consistently denied claims it sponsored hacking and accused critics of hypocrisy.

The intelligence services, however, thought otherwise. While the CIA was concerned that China had infiltrated secret communication channels used by the US, the British MI6 listed China as a top priority.

Mode operand. from beijing

It has been observed that luring officials from other countries by posing as recruiters on LinkedIn is a common Chinese espionage tactic in cyberspace. Typical is the profile of a woman trying to get officials and executives in major industries to disclose information about their jobs in exchange for a (fake) job offer.

Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, MI5, estimates 10,000 people have been targeted over the past five years. It even says that the activity is happening on an “industrial scale”.

China has put in place a strong regulatory structure, offers attractive government contracts and a wealth of resources – all aimed at creating a favorable vehicle for the AI ​​industry. Both state-owned and private enterprises participate in the central strategic directions. The interests of the state are a top priority for both types of companies. As a result, China looks set to become an AI superpower.

Technological espionage, which has become one of the Asian giant’s main strategies, is helping it open up a much easier and cheaper route to threatening the sources of US military power. The Diplomat notes that China uses machine learning and AI algorithms to reconstruct a target’s defense pattern, find an ideal attack sequence, and practice optimized attack patterns. The information obtained from the cyberattack is then transformed into military capabilities.

Instead, the US has yet to make a unified effort to incorporate AI assurance across the entire US national security enterprise. This was highlighted by a report prepared by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.

Cyber ​​War | Raytheon Intelligence & Space
File Image: Cyber ​​Warfare | Intelligence Raytheon

The United States and its allies take steps

The US and its allies, especially Britain and Japan, appear unprepared to defend themselves in cyberspace. The example of Nicolas Chaillan, a senior cybersecurity official at the Pentagon, highlights this. Chaillan, the first software director for the US Air Force (USAF), said he quit because he believed the US could not compete with China in AI.

Chaillan has worked to equip the US Air Force and the Pentagon with the most advanced and secure software available. However, he left the position on September 2, citing the Pentagon’s lack of enthusiasm for prioritizing cybersecurity and AI as the main reason he left the LinkedIn Post.

He told the Financial Times that China was ahead of the US in this area, adding:[w]e has no chance to compete with China in fifteen to twenty years. At this point, it was a foregone conclusion; I think it’s over. ”

The United States and Japan pledged earlier this year to strengthen cybersecurity cooperation in a number of areas. (via Twitter)

On the Japanese side, one of the country’s public broadcasters, NHK, recently reported that unnamed people working with the police had revealed that the Chinese military had ordered a group of hackers to perform Cyberattacks on nearly 200 Japanese research facilities. and companies.

Investigators discovered that a member of the Chinese Communist Party had signed a contract to lease a server in Japan under a false name. These servers were used in the 2016 attack on the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Investigators believe the attacks were carried out by a group known as Tick. Cybersecurity company FireEye Inc. describes Tick as a potential Chinese spy group with attacks dating back to at least 2009. The group is suspected of targeting hundreds of Japanese organizations, including government agencies and research agencies. assist.

To counter such threats, Japan signed a cybersecurity agreement with Vietnam last month. It also strengthens defense cooperation with the US, Australia and other partners. In addition to participating in a NATO cyber exercise in April this year, the bloc has also conducted cybersecurity talks with Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.

For its part, the UK has prioritized technological advances to counter the growing threat from China and has also allocated more capital. The country wants to outsource some of the engineering and data work to private companies.

It remains to be seen how quickly this skill gap can be closed. America’s greatest threat! No hypersonic missiles, but China’s secret weapon that is invasive, destructive, and a silent killer

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