Recent comments from prolific National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden have caused alarm in the intelligence community that he may defect to China, reports ABC.
Snowden recently said China was under a tidal wave of U.S. cyber war, suffering “hundreds” of successful hacking attempts on everything from universities to public officials.
Snowden also disclosed that the U.S. has conducted at least 61,000 cyber operations globally.
“We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” he told the South China Post.
The response from officials was immediate.
“I think if a foreign government learned everything that was in Edward Snowden’s brain, they would have a good window into the way we collect signals intelligence… He had access to highly classified information,” Jeremy Bash, former CIA and Pentagon Chief of Staff, told ABC.
“He could do tremendous damage.”
It goes without saying that Snowden’s intimate knowledge of the NSA would be very useful to the Chinese.
Another senior intelligence official told ABC that Snowden defecting was a “very legitimate” concern.
Although, Snowden’s not quite saying something new. Chinese officials have been complaining for quite some time that the U.S. was attacking them in cyberspace.
There’s also section of the NSA with the explicit mission of hacking into Chinese networks. Apparently they’ve been pretty successful too.
According to a Foreign Policy report, the U.S. government pretty much knows everything it needs to know about the makeup of China’s Communist Party and it’s growing military.
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