In case you missed it yesterday, there was a massive hack possibly exposing the personal information of at least 4 million U.S. federal government employees.
This morning reports show the hack came from the Chinese government, which has been engaged in a series of adversarial behaviors with its military toward the U.S. throughout the past two weeks. They're denying it and ironically asking for more trust.
China responded Friday to allegations it was involved in a hacking attack on U.S. government computers by saying such claims are unproven and irresponsible, and that it wishes the United States would trust it more.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing Friday that Beijing hopes the U.S. would be "less suspicious and stop making any unverified allegations, but show more trust and participate more in cooperation."
"We know that hacker attacks are conducted anonymously, across nations, and that it is hard to track the source," Hong said. "It's irresponsible and unscientific to make conjectural, trumped-up allegations without deep investigation."
Cybersecurity analysts who study hacking attacks believed to originate in China have cited evidence suggesting they are state-sponsored rather than independent actions, including that they seem to be highly organized teams that focus on the same kinds of targets, sometimes for years, and tend to work regular hours excluding weekends.
While the U.S. has been focused on chaos in the Middle East, China has been making big moves in the South China Sea by building entire islands dedicated to military force.
China has been extremely active in the South China Sea. Over the past 18 months, Beijing has been engaged in an aggressive campaign to build islands on three features in the region in an apparent effort to create new sovereign territory.
So far, it has built up some 2,000 acres -- the equivalent of about 1,500 football fields -- worth of territory on submerged reefs and rocks. As the building has continued, the threat to freedom of navigation -- including the United States -- has increased. Subi reef, for example, is a submerged feature that lies some 660 miles from the Chinese coast, yet it has been transformed into a massive artificial island, apparently to accommodate a 3,000-meter airstrip that could handle the largest military aircraft.
While China beefs up its military, we continue to cut ours. China is coming and we aren't prepared for it. What could possibly go wrong?