Chinese Academics’ Paper on Cyber War Sets Off Alarms in U.S.
An interesting article appears in the New York Times regarding the vulnerability of the US power grid and a paper written by a Chinese engineering student.
A Chinese student, Wang Jianwei, above, and his professor, wrote an academic paper on the vulnerability of the American power grid to a computer attack. Scientists said the paper was merely a technical exercise.
It came as a surprise this month to Wang Jianwei, a graduate engineering student in Liaoning, China , that he had been described as a potential 'cyber-warrior' before the United States Congress.
The New York Times reports that Larry M. Wortzel, a military strategist and China specialist, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10 that it should be concerned because “Chinese researchers at the Institute of Systems Engineering of Dalian University of Technology published a paper on how to attack a small U.S. power grid sub-network in a way that would cause a cascading failure of the entire U.S.”
Larry M. Wortzel, a military strategist, recently drew attention to the paper.
When reached by telephone, Mr. Wang said he and his professor had indeed published “Cascade-Based Attack Vulnerability on the U.S. Power Grid” in an international journal called Safety Science last spring. But Mr. Wang said he had simply been trying to find ways to enhance the stability of power grids by exploring potential vulnerabilities.
“We usually say ‘attack’ so you can see what would happen,” he said. “My emphasis is on how you can protect this. My goal is to find a solution to make the network safer and better protected.”
Independent American scientists who read his paper said it was true: Mr. Wang’s work was a conventional technical exercise that in no way could be used to take down a power grid.