By Zhou Ningnan
Recently, at the hearing of the US House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the US and China, the US again exaggerated the alleged "cyber threat from China to the US, claiming to have dismantled a Chinese hacker network called "Volt Typhoon" that targeted US infrastructure and accusing China of being the world's largest perpetrator of hacking activities.
The so-called accusation that China is preparing to destroy the infrastructure of the US through cyber attacks is an attempt to falsely link China with military activities in cyberspace, which is a desperate move by the US to divert attention. The US was the first to establish a Cyber Command in the world, and recently it is preparing to establish "Cyber Command 2.0". The US' disclosed cyber warfare weapons are the primary driver of the global militarization of cyberspace and pose the greatest public threat to cybersecurity and stability. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg in the US' cyber attack toolbox.
China has consistently and strongly opposed the militarization of cyberspace. Recently, it has exposed numerous cases of global cyber attacks by the US, declassified its own cyber warfare weapons, and advocated for the victims of global cyber security. The US has unfairly blamed China for alleged "cyber attacks" over the years, tarnishing the image of the righteous forces of global cybersecurity.
At the hearing, senior US cyber officials claimed that cyber attack groups such as Volta Typhoon pose a cyber threat to US national security. Objectively speaking, the attack capability of global cyberattack organizations has indeed grown stronger in recent years. The US is responsible for its misguided cyber warfare policy of blindly developing network attack capabilities. The US has allowed domestic hackers to "fight for the country" and turned a blind eye to the explosive growth of the domestic network vulnerability market, resulting in uncontrolled network vulnerabilities and profitable hacking activities. It is the main culprit behind the increasing number of high-level cyber attacks suffered by countries worldwide in recent years.
The use of Israel's NSO Group's Pegasus and other network surveillance tools to spy on political leaders around the world has caused international outrage. Intelligence contractors in the US have even willingly exported cyber-attack weapons around the world. If the US is truly threatened by advanced cyber attack organizations, it would be as a result of its own cyber warfare policies. Instead of self-reflection, the blame is shifted to China, which responsibly controls cyber-attack technology and reversed black and white.
The US often tarnishes China's reputation in the international community, mistakenly believing that it can divert global attention from its own history of launching cyber attacks and infiltrating the core networks of various countries. However, the fact that the US is a habitual cyber offender has become widely recognized internationally, which has increased vigilance against the spread of misinformation by member states of the US. In 2021, the US warned Japan about alleged "Chinese infiltration of Japan's core network." However, the US ended up shooting itself in the foot by raising the so-called "Chinese cyber threat" instead. Japan suspects that the US has such "sensitive information" and is unable to allay Japan’s concerns about US surveillance of its core networks.
The US is the world's largest perpetrator of cyber attacks, but its pursuit of cyber supremacy contradicts the collective aspirations of countries around the world to build a shared future in cyberspace. The more dominant the US becomes in terms of cyber power, the more it exacerbates conflicts with other nations over cybersecurity. The US has provoked global outrage over issues such as cyber surveillance, prompting the European Union to twice suspend the agreement on data flows between the US and the European Union.
In recent years, the US cyber-weapons have been continuously exposed, which has helped countries around the world accelerate their ability to detect and prevent cyber-attacks from the US. In 2023, the scandal of the US government using iPhones for network surveillance was quickly exposed. In early 2024, Russian cybersecurity firms defied US sanctions to expose US cyber attacks on China. In an unprecedented move, nations around the world are exposing and opposing the blatant cyber attacks carried out by the US. US cyber hegemony is collapsing at an accelerated rate, making it difficult for anyone to be fooled by the trick of a thief crying thief.
(The author is an Assistant Research Fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations)
Editor's note: Originally published on t.m.china.com.cn, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.