The Chinese government is under scrutiny after posting a military video that reportedly shows the country engaging in a cyber attack on an American target. The video could represent a smoking gun, demonstrating that China does engage in unsavory cyber warfare tactics, despite its protestations to the contrary.
The video is also a stark reminder that the major battles to come won't take place on land, sea, or in the air -- but in cyber space. That means that the U.S. government as well as American businesses and citizens need to be prepared.
In the past year alone, the Chinese government has been accused of being involved in hacking Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party; launching a DDoS attack on WordPress; temporarily shutting down the Change.org website; and spawning an infected Word document that spread via email. China has also been accused of having a role in the Google Aurora attacks in 2010.
The alleged video evidence can be seen in a 20-minute military documentary titled "Military Technology: Internet Storm is Coming," which China showed on its government-run TV channel CCTV 7, according to the Epoch Times and F-Secure. In the video, which covers cyber warfare, there's a brief scene showing a custom-built Chinese application being used to launch a cyber attack against website for the spiritual movement Falun Gong -- made possible by a compromised IP address belonging to the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
According to the Epoch Times, the application shown in the video includes the name of the software and the Chinese university that build it: the Electrical Engineering University of China's People's Liberation Army. In the video, the software prompts the user to "choose attack target"; the user than selects the IP address 18.104.22.168 from a list, followed by choosing a target from a menu labeled "Falun Gong website list." Finally, the user is shown clicking a large button labeled Attack.
The video can be viewed online (at the time of this writing); the segment is at around the 13-minute mark.
Jason Ma, a commentator for New Tang Dynasty Television, said that the Chinese government has "leaked its top secret here."
"This is the first time we see clearly that one of the top Chinese military universities is doing this research and developing software for cyber attacks," he said. "They're also extending their persecution of Falun Gong overseas, attacking a civil website in the U.S. These are the clear messages revealed in these six seconds of video."
This article, "Report: Military video shows China mounting cyber attacks," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.