Letters: Prepare better for cyberwarfare

The ensuing brouhaha is easy to anticipate: China

The ensuing brouhaha is easy to anticipate: China would deny the charge and, even if we were somehow correct, the world financial system would fall apart if the United States were to renege on even part of a debt. However, other rational countries would understand that we refuse to be technological victims. (Credit: amNY Photo Illustration)

The cyberattacks on everything from our government security to power plants to businesses large and small seem destined to ruin parts of our economy, security and even daily life ["Prepare for cyberwarfare," Editorial, Feb. 25]. What, oh what, can possibly be done? Plenty, actually.

One of the first and most effective responses to, say, China hacking into various business and security systems would be to simply charge them for the affront. How? Easy. China holds more than $1 trillion of our debt. Simply deduct the costs from the money we owe them -- or other foreign nations -- when the source of an attack can be proven.

If I owed my cousin $50,000, but then discovered that her husband was stealing thousands from my checking account, would I say, "I'll just have to pay for more security and be more careful"?

Or would I say, "You stole $5,000 from me, so I only owe you $45,000."

I could go to the police, just as the United States can appeal to the world court. But it wouldn't prevent another theft, no more than if my cousin's husband were warned not to do it again and fined a meager $200.

The ensuing brouhaha is easy to anticipate: China would deny the charge and, even if we were somehow correct, the world financial system would fall apart if the United States were to renege on even part of a debt. However, other rational countries would understand that we refuse to be technological victims.

Steven Blasko, Sound Beach
 

My thanks to Newsday for your informative editorial highlighting the growing potential threat cyberwarfare poses to our nation's security and economy. Newsday identifies the genuine threat China poses. According to a White House report that identified 19 cases that resulted in charges and convictions, 16 involved theft intended to benefit entities in China.

Here's one example: In September 2012, Sixing Liu was convicted in federal court for exporting U.S. military technology to China by stealing thousands of electronic files from his employer, L-3 Communications.

L-3 Communications is an American company that supplies command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems and products, avionics, ocean, space and navigation products. Among L-3's clients are the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. intelligence agencies, NASA, aerospace contractors, commercial telecommunications and wireless customers.

Recognizing China as one of the largest holders of U.S. debt, combined with its increasing cyberattacks against the United States, should underscore just how essential it is for the United States to responsibly address our current deficit. It is also critical that Congress support commonsense legislation insisting on technology standards that provide early detection and real-time management information capabilities to monitor and mitigate potential future cyberwarfare threats.

Michael P. Mulhall, Rockville Centre

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