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China Trying To Gain Cyber Dominance?

China is attempting to depose the United States as the dominant power in cyberspace, according to an American Air Force general.   8th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Robert Elder has been givencommand of a 25,000 strong unit at Barksdale Air Force base in Louisiana. The unit has been charged with keep the U.S. the dominant cyberspace power.  It was only last month that a Defense Department report claimed that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had set up information warfare unitsthat would develop viruses to attack enemy networks and systems. The Chinese Foreign Ministry denied the report, stating that the country’s measures were purely defensive.   Elderdidn’t make quite the same expansive claims as the Defense Department, saying instead that the majority of current Chinese cyber-ops were actually industrial espionage by criminals and hackers.However, he warned, most U.S. enemies were constantly scanning networks to try and obtain defense and trade information.   In October of last year, cyberspace was defined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as “characterized by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to store, modify, and exchange data via networked systems andassociated physical infrastructures.”   That definition goes well beyond computer networks, and Elder said his group would ensure that the U.S. continued its grip on cyberspace.  “We have peer competitors right now in terms of doing computer network attack … and I believe we’re going to be able to ratchet up our capability. We’re going to go way ahead.”

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