Northrop Grumman Corp. warned Congress in a report Thursday that China poses a genuine cyberwarfare risk to the U.S. military in conflict, Reuters reports.
Northrop issued a 136-page report to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, suggesting China is adamant in creating diverse and technically advanced cyberspace abilities.
Northrop said Chinese cyber capabilities have the potential to cause catastrophic system and network failure on national and public infrastructure, report authors wrote.
Beijing’s military and national development strategies have focused on computer network operations for the past decade.
The aerospace and defense technology company published the report as a follow up to a similar report conducted in 2009, which said China to be conducting a computer network exploitation campaign against the government and government contractors.
The report said the Chinese military also has close relationships with large Chinese telecommunications firms, creating a path for China to penetrate supply networks for commodities used by the U.S. government, military and the private sector.
An unnamed senior U.S. military official testified that the government is already working to improve the country’s cyber capabilities. He said people should not think that China could seriously impede U.S. military operations, according to Reuters.
Dmitri Alperovitch, president of Asymmetric Cyber Operations LLC, told government insiders to be mindful of nation-coordinated attacks in December, viewing them as a higher threat than rogue hackers.
Commission Chairman Dennis Shea said he hoped Northrop’s report will help Congress move forward with impending cybersecurity legislation, according to Reuters.