After Raytheon began selling missiles to Taiwan in 2006, the defense company's computer network came under a torrent of cyberattacks.I put this article up first because it bears on the Michael Swaine piece that I linked to a few posts below this one, whose link is hilariously titled "US-Provoking-China-Over-Taiwan" -- though that is not the current title of the piece. If you compare the links and titles of other National Interest pieces, you'll soon find that the link and title are generally the same. This suggests that the original title or original topic was the outrageous US Provoking China Over Taiwan. A wise change. Swaine writes:
"We truly had the 'come to Jesus moment' five years ago because we decided ... to sell missiles to Taiwan," said Vincent Blake, head of cyber security at Raytheon U.K., during a panel session at the RSA security conference in London on Wednesday.
"For some reason, a country next door to Taiwan didn't really like that so they got very interested in our IPR [intellectual property rights]," he said. "We've had to very, very rapidly catch up with our own internal networks."
Blake described a "huge leap in attacks" that prompted the company to make cybersecurity one of its top five priorities, and eye security companies for acquisition. Since that time, Raytheon has continued to be an attractive target for hackers, given its breadth of defense technologies that supply militaries around the world.
Now, the company sees an incredible 1.2 billion -- that's billion -- attacks on its network per day, Blake said. About 4 million spam messages target Raytheon's users, and the company sees some 30,000 samples per day of so-called Advanced Persistent Threats, or stealthy malware that seeks to stay long-term on infected computers and slowly withdraw sensitive information.
For many U.S. observers, the only "solution" to the intensifying problem created by these factors is to keep selling arms to Taiwan, plow ever-more scarce U.S. resources into maintaining military predominance in the Western Pacific, keep providing verbal assurances to Beijing that it does not support unilateral moves by Taiwan toward independence, and continue urging Taipei and Beijing to work out their differences peacefully. But China's military buildup, its increasing economic and political leverage, and its growing nationalism suggest that a serious future crisis over arms sales will likely occur before any significant movement toward a stable modus vivendi between Beijing and Taipei emerges.Dear readers, as the piece on Raytheon shows, a serious crisis is already occurring, in the computer networks of companies that sell arms to Taiwan, as 1.2 billion attacks on its network per day. Multiply by alleged Chinese attacks on other US firms.
Keep this childish yet dangerous behavior in mind because Swaine then suggests:
Only the United States can alter China's calculus toward Taiwan in ways that would facilitate a military drawdown and genuine movement toward a more stable cross-strait military and political relationship. It is time for Washington to consider negotiating directly with Beijing, in consultation with Taipei, a set of mutual assurances regarding Chinese force levels and deployments, on the one hand, and major U.S. arms sales and defense assistance to Taiwan, on the other hand—linked to the eventual opening of a cross-strait political dialogue on the status of Taiwan. Success in such an effort would be difficult but not impossible. It would require political courage, diplomatic acumen, and a recognition that the current U.S. approach to Taiwan is probably unsustainable and could prove disastrous.I noted a few posts below that this is really a bad idea.
- Would China keep such an agreement? Hahaha see history, Tibet. See FTAs with nations around it.
- If an agreement on force levels and deployments were reached, how could it distinguish between forces poised to hit the Senkakus or the South China Sea and those aimed at Taiwan, especially with Taiwan having a major base in the Spratlys?
- Swaine means that Taiwan must be in some way handed over to Beijing, since Beijing cannot accept any other outcome. This will just mean more demands, since the US will have shown that Beijing's current tactics will produce successful, low-cost outcomes.
Think Taipei will give that base up?
How can a nation that allegedly launches a billion cyberattacks on just one of your firms per day be trusted with anything as important as this kind of agreement? Would you accept an assurance from it?
- Way Cool: Reforestation in the wake of the Amerind die-off triggered by European arrival may have caused the Little Ice Age. Those of you who have read Charles Mann's 1491 and 1493 will love this.
- Philippines unfazed by Taiwan's plan to put missiles in the Spratlys
- Bloggers in China laud Taiwan's democracy.
- The Writing Baron visits Chang Hsueh-liang's house.
- Laowiseass on why Taiwanese regulators don't like foreign firms buying into their local companies.
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.