Defense Department officials are struggling to plan for a massive cyber-attack from Beijing – and fend off spies in the meantime. Tara McKelvey reports on the secret warfare.
Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III never said the word China in his speech on Thursday about “Cyber Strategy,” but he didn’t have to. The threat of a cyber-attack from Beijing weighs heavily on the minds of military commanders. And while officials have not said publicly who was behind the newly disclosed theft of 24,000 files from a defense contractor in March, one of the worst cyber-assaults in Pentagon history— it may well have been a Chinese operation. And even if Beijing officials were not involved in the theft, they have been implicated in other matters—so many, in fact, that federal officials are discussing publicly what do to about cyber-attacks, without saying explicitly who their number-one villain is.