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China Developing Cyber Weapons to Gain Control of Enemy Satellites

According to a leaked US intelligence report, China is developing capabilities to “deny, exploit or hijack” enemy satellites as a core part of its goal to control information. This capability would allow China to take over a satellite, rendering it ineffective to support communications, weapons, or intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. This capability would far exceed anything Russia has deployed in Ukraine, which has taken a brute-force approach, and the US has not disclosed whether it has similar capabilities.

China is making huge efforts to counter the asymmetric advantage that the US has in the cyber and space domains. General B Chance Saltzman, commander of the US Space Force, told Congress last month that Beijing is aggressively pursuing counter-space capabilities in an effort to realize its “space dream” of becoming the foremost power beyond the Earth’s atmosphere by 2045. He said China had deployed 347 satellites, including 35 launched in the past six months, aimed at monitoring, tracking, targeting, and attacking US forces in any future conflict.

Firing on all cylinders: Charlie Moore, a retired Air Force general who served as deputy of US cyber command, said China was making huge efforts to counter the asymmetric advantage that the US had in the cyber and space domains. He said China was “working on all the capabilities that they want to have from a defensive and offensive standpoint, and from an ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] standpoint. They’re firing on all cylinders.”

More advanced than Russia’s brute-force approach: China is developing sophisticated cyber weapons to gain control of enemy satellites. This is part of China’s goal to control information, which it considers to be a key “war-fighting domain”. These attacks are far more advanced than Russia’s brute-force approach in Ukraine, which had little effect. The capability would allow China to take over a satellite, rendering it ineffective to support communications, weapons, or intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. The US has not disclosed whether it has similar capabilities.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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