China’s Secret Weapon in the South China Sea: Cyber Attacks

“Despite China’s great power aspirations, its cyber warriors threw a fit after losing a legal battle to the Philippines in The Hague. Within hours of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s unanimous rebuke of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea last week, at least 68 national and local government websites in the Philippines were knocked offline in a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This is not the first time the landmark legal dispute over the South China Sea has flared up in cyberspace. Last summer, Chinese hackers allegedly breached the court’s servers during a hearing on the territorial dispute, leaving anyone interested in the landmark legal case at risk of data theft. Last fall, Jason Healey and I predicted that ‘the Philippines (and its U.S. allies) should […] start preparing now for a massive digital tantrum by Chinese patriot hackers if the ruling […] goes against the Middle Kingdom.’ And while the Philippine government has not yet publicly assigned blame for the most recent attacks, context and timing serve as damning evidence.”

Source: China’s Secret Weapon in the South China Sea: Cyber Attacks | The Diplomat

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