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Cyber Clash With China

A magnifying glass over a segment of code with a map of China overlaid on top of it

Case Overview

Tensions escalate between the United States and China as the Nasdaq Stock Market faces a devastating cyberattack from an underground hacker collective possibly supported by the Chinese government. 

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The Situation

Cyberspace is a new domain of conflict that has few accepted standards of behavior, and basic questions about it—including how countries should respond to cyberattacks—are still unresolved. In recent years, China has exerted authority over areas of the South China Sea also claimed by other Asian countries, leading to tension with the United States. Last week, following a near miss when the U.S. Air Force conducted a flight near a shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea, the Nasdaq stock market was hacked, which significantly harmed the U.S. economy. U.S. intelligence agencies believe some in the Chinese government knew about the attack, for which a Chinese hacker collective claimed credit. UN Security Council members need to control the issue before it escalates further.   





  • U.S.-China relations 
  • Territorial disputes in the South China Sea 
  • Definition of standards for behavior in cyberspace 
  • Military, economic, and other activities in cyberspace 
  • Information and communications revolution 

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