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Chinese cyber-attacks: The threat posed to the U.S. economy

May 8, 2013
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This week, the Pentagon for the first time used its annual report on China to directly accuse the Chinese government and military of conducting cyber-attacks against the U.S.

How dangerous are the cyber-attacks? What threat do they pose to America’s innovation economy? How do the hackers operate? Is there such a thing as a secure system? These questions are addressed by Michael Bailey, a cyber security researcher in computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan:

An excerpt:

“One of the competitive advantages we have in the U.S. is this innovation economy, the idea that we create wealth through the creation of new intellectual property. That intellectual property oftentimes is stored digitally, unlike for example, in olden times, the printing press, where if you wanted to make a copy of the printing press, you needed physical copies of the blueprints or you needed to get in and see how a machine actually works.

“Now, I can actually make a perfect digital replica of your blueprints and take them out of your network, out of your organization, without setting foot inside of your network. … Inherently there’s a risk. There’s no such thing as a secure system. Unless you’re going to lock something in a room, you’re not going to get security.”

 

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