The Ukraine war could provide a cyberwarfare manual for Chinese generals eyeing Taiwan
The idea that China is watching what’s happening in the cyberspace element of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is more than informed speculation. As threat intelligence analyst Zoe Haver detailed for the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, Beijing has long shown a fascination with Russia’s cyberattacks in Ukraine, especially its 2015 attack on the power grid that left hundreds of thousands of citizens without power for hours.
“Perhaps you’ll see them invest more in offensive cyber operations and keep them hidden, so that unlike in Ukraine, where we were able to — between the United States, our allies, partners and the Ukrainian force — determine where Russia would strike and defend against it successfully,” said Tatyana Bolton, a former Department of Homeland Security cyber official who leads the cybersecurity and emerging threats team at the R Street Institute think tank. “I’m concerned that they’re going to take away from it that they put everything into the first attack.”
Both Harding and Bolton said that China has to be worried about how active U.S. Cyber Command — the Pentagon’s offensive cyber wing — has been in countering Russia during the invasion.