Michael Kugelman, deputy director of Asian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Study Center, said in an interview with the British newspaper Express UK that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by dictator Xi Jinping could carry out a cyberattack against its enemies amid the crisis caused by the CCP Virus.
According to Kugelman, a well-planned attack could cause a disaster in the United States without risking military casualties and avoiding sanctions before the international community.
“Nation-states are always looking to hit their enemies where it hurts,” Kugelman said.
Kugelman said a cyberattack could cause great destruction. “The world of the internet has never been more prominent and the power of telecommunications has never been more pronounced,” he said.
Faced with a critical scenario, Kugelman raised the possibility that the CCP would employ a targeted attack on air traffic control systems at U.S. airports.
“Suddenly you have got all these planes in the air and you have got air traffic control having no way of communicating with them, obviously increasing the risk of crashes,” Kugelman said.
Meanwhile, he said that another benefit the CCP would gain from a cyberattack would be to strike a blow without losing troops and with a greater chance of denying it.
“You could simply deny anything has happened as, initially, it is not easy to know who stages these attacks,” he said.
“I think the bottom line is it is a cost-free way to push back in a way that could have some pretty deleterious consequences for your most bitter enemies,” Kugelman added.
The CCP was at the center of criticism last month, mainly from the United States, after the arrests of Li Xiaoyu and Dong Jiazhi, two former electrical engineering students accused of hacking into computer systems, governments, and organizations around the world, according to The Mirror.
The two men were allegedly involved in spying on U.S. companies conducting coronavirus research and receiving help from state agents to carry out other thefts, according to the BBC.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in July, “I am deeply concerned by the evidence announced yesterday that China [the CCP] is engaged in malicious cyberattacks against commercial, medical, and academic institutions, including those working to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.”