The US government might be all ready to grant US businesses the permission to retaliate against foreign hackers as a means of self-defense. This can prove to be a major step in the traditional back-and-forth trading of accusations and denials by US and Chinese government officials.
The cases of hacking attempts US government websites and US businesses have been increasing every single day. Moreover, majority of these attacks seem to be originating from China, according to the US. Keeping in mind that the Chinese Government is routinely accused of maintaining a secret force of hackers to target foreign targets, especially US networks, this is a serious issue facing the largest (US) and the 2nd largest (China) economies in the world.
The new Chinese Premier, Xi Jinping, is due to arrive in the US very shortly and US businesses have been pushing the US government to include this point in the list of discussion.
According to report published by the US DoD, or Department of Defense, the main responsibility of digital attacks on US businesses lies squarely with Chinese government and its military. Similarly, a security firm by the name of ‘Mandiant’ has reported that a huge number of digital attacks against US targets were perpetrated by China.
According to one of the leaders of the private Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property,
“China is two-thirds of the intellectual property theft problem, and we are at a point where it is robbing us of innovation to bolster their own industry, at a cost of millions of jobs. We need some realistic policy options that create a real cost for this activity because the Chinese leadership is sensitive to those costs.”
The report on cyber theft on US soil also discusses the measures that can be taken to avoid such incidents in the future. One solution involves the Securities and Exchange Commission to scrutinize every foreign company before listing it on the stock exchange.
Another brilliant suggestion given in the report was to grant more and more green cards to foreign students studying in US institutions and got a job offer as this will ensure that they do not move to other countries and offer their education and skill to competitors of the US.
The suggestions listed as self-defense means to US businesses involve techniques to prevent data theft by foreign hackers through self-destruct mechanism in files. Moreover, one suggestion also proposed counter-attack by US businesses as a means of retaliation.
While the report proposes self-defense as a solution to prevent cyber attacks, it also proposes the law enforcement agencies to be involved and aware of every step taken in the form a counterattack. The report considers the impact of designating a counterattack as the best option against foreign attacks as a precursor to an uncontrollable cyber war between nations.
Another option proposed in the report is to place restrictions or high duties on items from China that have been produced using stolen technology from the US. Such a bill has already been introduced in the US Senate.
Although the meeting between the leaders of China and US is very near, any substantial change in foreign attacks is not expected. The measures proposed in the report might very well be considered by the US government to help US businesses take a stand against entities that stole their secrets and dent their business. The cyber war might already be on!