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[Slashdot] - China's Cyber Power At Least a Decade Behind the US, Study Finds

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Hmmmmmm shares a report from the Financial Times: China's strengths as a cyber power are being undermined by poor security and weak intelligence analysis, according to new research that predicts Beijing will be unable to match US cyber capabilities for at least a decade. The study, published on Monday by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, comes as a series of hacking campaigns have highlighted the growing threat of online espionage by hostile states. IISS researchers ranked countries on a spectrum of cyber capabilities, from the strength of their digital economies and the maturity of their intelligence and security functions to how well cyber facilities were integrated with military operations. China, like Russia, has proved expertise in offensive cyber operations -- conducting online spying, intellectual property theft and disinformation campaigns against the US and its allies. But both countries were held back by comparatively loose cybersecurity compared with their competitors, according to the IISS. As a result, only the US is ranked as a "top tier" cyber power by the think tank, with China, Russia, the UK, Australia, Canada, France and Israel in the second tier. The third tier comprises India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, North Korea, Iran and Vietnam. Greg Austin, an expert in cyber, space and future conflict at the IISS, said media reports focusing only on the positive sides of China's digital advances -- such as its aspirations to become a global leader in artificial intelligence -- had contributed to an "exaggerated" perception of its cyber prowess. "On every measure, the development of skills for cybersecurity in China is in a worse position than it is in many other countries," he said. What set the US apart in the first tier, according to the IISS, was its unparalleled digital-industrial base, its cryptographic expertise and the ability to execute "sophisticated, surgical" cyber strikes against adversaries. Unlike opponents such as China and Russia, the US also benefited from close alliances with other cyber powers, including its Five Eyes partners.

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