Sneaky Petes:

China, unlike North Korea (see above), is among America’s “peer competitors” in cyber warfare, Lt. Gen. Robert Elder told Washington-based defense reporters Wednesday morning. The Air Force point man to establish a Cyber Command, Elder explained that the cyber arena is one of the areas where China’s military doctrine says the country must become dominant; the others are land, sea, air, and space. China, however, refers to cyberspace as the “electromagnetic spectrum,” said Elder. He added that China’s preferred method of advancing its capabilities is to steal network technologies rather than develop them on their own, and China routinely attempts intrusions in US defense and academic networks. According to Elder, China also practices “social engineering” in cyber warfare, which involves bypassing firewalls and security systems through human action. Free discs, links in innocent e-mails, games, videos, and other sneaky approaches get “insiders” to unwittingly permit malicious programs and operators to gain network access. Elder said a big job is to educate the Air Force rank and file that they are the first line of cyber defense and to be wary of anything that could circumvent security.