Is America meeting the cyber-security challenge?
As the U.S. remains engaged in a persistent cyber-war, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an alert yesterday in reference to the Ongoing Cyber Threats to US Water and Wastewater Systems. The alert was a reminder of the persistent dangers that exist to America's critical infrastructure.
For the past several years, the United States has endured attacks from North Korea; Russia; Iran; and, in particular, China. During this time, the Chinese cyber-threats have been among the most prolific, as we learned back in 2015 that the NSA had already documented over 600 occurrences of "corporate, private or government 'Victims of Chinese Cyber Espionage' that were attacked over a five-year period, with clusters in America's industrial centers," according to reports.
Despite American efforts to mitigate these attacks behind new cyber-initiatives, the waves of attacks have persisted, with last week's attack against Amazon's livestreaming platform Twitch being the most recent.
Amid the endless reports of attacks this year comes the revelation that a top Pentagon official involved in identifying the most secure software available for the Department of Defense (DOD) quit his position due to his belief that U.S. "AI capabilities and cyber defenses of some government departments were at kindergarten level."
Nicolas Chaillan, in his first interview since resigning, told the Financial Times, "We have no competing fighting chance against China in fifteen to twenty years. Right now, it's already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,"
Chaillan also published a LinkedIn post where he wrote that he was "just tired of continuously chasing support and money to do my job. My office still has no billet and no funding, this year and the next."
Failing to fund the DOD effort to keep systems secure is just the latest example of the Biden administration's incompetence and failure. Weak cyber-security joins a list of self-inflicted crises that includes the border, the economy, and Afghanistan. The totality of these matters has worked toward sinking America's reputation as the planet's leading superpower.
And this lack of respect for America, especially in the wake of the Afghanistan disaster, is inviting opportunistic aggression. This has been seen as China has begun to terrorize Taiwanese airspace over the past two months while using its state media to repeatedly criticize the United States.
Further contributing to this "respect deficit" were the empty threats of economic sanctions against the Chinese that came from the United States and Europe after the massive Microsoft Exchange hacking attack that affected around 60,000 public and private entities in the United States. The Advanced Persistent Threat group Hafnium, which is thought to be associated with the Chinese government, was responsible for the attack. Hafnium uses virtual private servers (VPS) that are located in the U.S. and regularly targets political groups in the U.S., including think-tanks, U.S. military contractors, and researchers.
The Chinese were handled very differently under President Trump, who last summer, post-tariffs and after the start of the Phase One Trade Deal, placed major Chinese companies Huawei Technologies Co. and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. on the Pentagon's list of "Communist Chinese military companies operating in the United States," subjecting them to potential sanctions.
Conversely, under Biden, China is behaving recklessly while the administration's Kindergarten Cops fail to respond to an increasingly brazen Red Dragon.
Just since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has threatened the safety of U.S. citizens by attempting to withhold vital personal protective equipment in addition to failing to comply with the Phase One trade deal negotiated by President Trump.
Are the seeds of a potential conflict being planted in real-time? If so, the question becomes, do Americans trust that the Biden administration can stand up to the Chinese?
It is becoming clearer that just like last November, China will be one of the more critical issues in the 2022 elections, as voters must seek new leadership before irreversible damage occurs.
Julio Rivera is a business and political strategist, the editorial director for Reactionary Times, and a political commentator and columnist. His writing, which is focused on cyber-security and politics, has been published by websites including Newsmax, Townhall, American Thinker, and BizPacReview.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.