In a few days time, Tom Donilon, the White House national security advisor, is expected to board a US government plane bound for Beijing, and meet with top Chinese officials.
At the top of the agenda are cyber-attacks, and how to stop them.
You have to think that we live in a world where a digital weapon is more valuable than a physical one right now .... It's the new era, it's the new Cold War. They will continue using these kinds of weapons because the one who dominates this kind of information warfare and digital warfare will be the one who will control the whole internet.
The meeting will take place just days after a major attack allegedly implicating the Chinese Army was uncovered.
According to an American security company Madiant, "Cyber Unit 61398", attached to the People’s Liberation Army, has been involved in massive operations targeting US government and corporate computers.
During these attacks, reams of sensitive information, including results from clinical trials, blueprints, pricing documents, and negotiation strategies were stolen.
These revelations came just two months after an attack in South Korea, where more than 30,000 computers and servers at the country's two largest broadcasters, one cable channel, and three banks were out of commission; customers were unable to access their accounts for hours.
After first pointing fingers at North Korea, and then China, the confused South Korean Communications Commission said it was difficult, maybe impossible to identify the perpetrators.
But one man, Jaime Blasco, says he was able to identify the hackers as originating in China. And his words carry weight.
The 27-year old is the director of AlienVault Labs and one of the world’s most experienced private investigators of cyber-attacks.
Born in Spain and now working in the United States, his clients include several governments in Europe as well as corporations in banking, energy, defence and telecommunications, who turn to him in emergencies.
It is a dark world that Blasco inhabits. While China is a big source of attacks, so are governments and entities in the West, including the United States. And Blasco warns there is more to come.
This week, Talk to Al Jazeera sits down with security analyst Jaime Blasco, to discuss the implications of cyber-attacks, and the threats we might face in the future.
Source: Al Jazeera