China May Use Leaks to Their Advantage

China May Use Leaks to Their Advantage

( – Many people say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Taking this analogy further, one could say a government is only as secure as its weakest cybersecurity vulnerability or personnel. The recent leak of confidential information from the Department of Defense, allegedly by an Air National Guardsman from Massachusetts, is forcing the Pentagon to rethink who has access to top-secret information and how it is stored. House Oversight Committee Chairman Representative James Comer (R-KY) recently shared that this leak highlighted how vulnerable the United States is to cyber-attacks.

Comer Speaks on Fox News Podcast About Leaks

On Monday, April 17, Representative Comer spoke on the “Fox News Rundown” podcast with host Mike Emanuel about the repercussions of the recent leak. During the chat, the Kentucky lawmaker emphasized that this leak was not “an isolated event” but rather just one incident in a clear pattern of government breaches. He acknowledged that if the documents and photos put on Discord and other social platforms are correct, it would be “very troubling.”

During Comer’s six years in office, he has received multiple reports about how the Department of Defense, and specifically the Pentagon, are “very vulnerable from a cybersecurity standpoint.” Some reports have even said that US cyber defense would not make the top ten list for best cybersecurity, which is “very concerning.” He also pointed out that a low-ranking National Guardsman was allegedly able to carry out a massive leak. Understanding this, he asked listeners what nations with extensive cyber programs, such as China and Russia, could do or have already done without our knowledge?

Leaks Often Inspire More Leaks

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a US military analyst, released the now-notorious “Pentagon Papers” that helped lead to the end of the Vietnam War. Many people, especially those wary of secret government papers and top-secret intel, looked to Ellsberg as inspiration. For example, Julian Assange, the man who started Wikileaks and released hundreds of thousands of government documents, met with Ellsberg soon after he began posting to his site. Another notable leaker is Army soldier and intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who managed to publish at least 750,000 documents and communications about military operations in the Middle East.

These US government insiders were able to gain access and release information relatively easily, although most have had to pay a price for the decisions one way or another. Now, though, in order to keep US secrets safe, as well as protect our relationships with our allies, the government must figure out how to keep documents secure from cyber attacks, spies, and disgruntled government employees.

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