23:15 GMT31 March 2020
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    According to reports, the US Navy has been restructuring and reviewing its sensitive information systems for some months now to be more in line with safety requirements and deter identified cyber threats. This has not been enough though, military officials have warned.

    The US Navy is not in a confident position to defend itself from constant cyberattacks from China and other “malign actors” due to outdated and “fragmented” technology, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing quotes from an internal strategy memo circulated by acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.

    According to the document, Navy officers were often prevented from doing simple tasks like file sharing due to worn-down systems, some of which have been in operation for decades, thus failing to a “deliver modern user experience”.

    “Our adversaries gain an advantage in cyberspace through guerrilla tactics within our defensive perimeters. Once inside, malign actors steal, destroy and/or modify critical data and information”, the memo reportedly said, warning about the threat this posed to the US military as a whole.

    Modly reiterated these worries to the WSJ, insisting that old tech has left America’s sensitive data exposed to hackers from all over the world, causing information to leak “like a sieve”.

    This comes almost a year after an internal audit in the Navy concluded that it was “under cyber siege” by hackers from China and some other states, who have allegedly been stealing America’s national secrets for years.

    Although the service has already been addressing some of the issues identified, leading to the restructuring of its information management, this apparently has not been enough, not only due to technological but also due to cultural problems, Modly asserted, as cyber defence has sometimes been viewed as subordinate to primary military functions by Navy commanders. 

    The news is especially surprising considering the fact that Washington has always been anxious about its cybersecurity and sensitive technologies, warning about surveillance activities by Chinese hackers and industrial espionage on behalf of Beijing by such companies as Huawei, thus effectively banging the tech giant from working with American businesses.

    Tags:
    Cyberattacks, China, US Navy, United States
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