Chinese cyber attacks are currently the biggest threat to the security of the United States. This is what the joint chiefs of US security services conclude in their annual report to the Senate.
In the document released today, the cyber threat is put at the top by China and Russia respectively. The day after the allegations to the Chinese telecom giant Huawei – accused, among other things, of stealing American IT companies – China is firmly on top of the US concern list.
Directors of the security services FBI, CIA, NSA and NI (National Intelligence) warn about what China can do and to a lesser extent what Russia can do. Behind these two, Iran and North Korea profile themselves as digital enemies.
China has the most and best abilities to hurt the United States, the rapporteurs write. For example, China can disrupt strategically important infrastructure such as the central gas pipelines ‘for days to weeks’ by hacking.
In other areas too, the Chinese can lay the land down for a more extended period, where Russia still has limited attack capacity when it comes to essential hacking companies.
However, the Russians would be engaged in military cyber exercises that are intended to damage the ‘American military and civil infrastructure in the event of a crisis’. The Russians are reliable when it comes to influencing public opinion in the United States, the report confirms.
China would become more active in that field and made the necessary progress. Both countries are keen to play the United States against friends and allies. “They want to see us fighting and being divided. Russia and China use different tools for this, “says a US senator in response to the 42-page report.
The security service bosses are indirectly very critical of President Trump’s foreign policy. His jubilee remarks and claims about North Korea (‘there is no longer a nuclear threat’), Iran (That country is more dangerous than North Korea because it violates agreements and secretly works on an atomic tree, according to Trump) or the terrorist organization Islamic State ( ‘we won, we chopped them up’) are refuted.
According to the report, there is no concrete indication that North Korea is going to disarm. The regime would not intend to abandon nuclear weapons or the production capacity.
Iran does keep to the agreements and is therefore not secretly continuing the atomic program – but it is worrying that Tehran is working on the development of medium-range missiles. Islamic State is still far from defeated, according to the report.
“IS still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria, still has eight branches, a dozen networks and thousands of scattered supporters around the world. Every reduction in pressure is exploited by IS to develop its clandestine presence and to strengthen strategic capacity. ‘
Donald Trump reacted indignantly to the report this afternoon with a tweet in which he states that Syria is now much better off than when he took office.
He also received peace negotiations in Afghanistan, according to the American president. And about North Korea? “Time will tell, but at the end of the previous government, the relationship was horrifying and very bad things were about to happen. Now it is an entirely different story.
I look forward to meeting Kim Jong-un. Progress is being made – big difference! ‘