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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

China has developed its own operating system for cyber war with U.S.

A leading cyber security specialist said last week that China has developed its own ultra-secure operating system for a strategic edge in its cyber warfare with U.S. computer systems.   

Kevin G. Coleman, a specialist with the Technolytics Institute and consultant to the office of the Director of National Intelligence, said in congressional testimony that the United States is woefully unprepared to counter cyber attacks on its electronic infrastructures.

Part of the cyber arms race includes China’s creation of Kylin, a new "hardened" operating system. It began converting systems to it in 2007, according to the current edition of

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“China’s military strategists view our dependence on space assets and information technology as ‘soft ribs’ and a strategic weakness,” Coleman told the U.S.-China Economic Security Review Commission.

“This action also made our offensive cyber capabilities ineffective against them, given the cyber weapons were designed to be used against Linux, UNIX and Windows,” he said.

Coleman said he recently planned to meet Chinese counterparts involved in electronic research, including the co-author of the alarming book, “Unrestricted Warfare” in which co-author Wang Xiangsui advocated all methods, including terrorism, to win future conflicts. However, China’s government blocked the meeting, due to their concerns about him.

Coleman also said the meeting was cancelled amid reports of Chinese scanning of the U.S. power grid and the discovery of a Chinese cyber spying network in 103 countries.

“It is my belief that this threat is real and we must take a proactive posture on acts of cyber aggression and espionage,” he said. “For over two decades, China has been attempting to do what the Soviet Union never accomplished — covertly acquire Western technology, then use it to move ahead of the West.”

Coleman said cyber spying is a serious and evolving threat “that requires immediate attention.” One academic study concluded that sophisticated computer attacks have been "devastatingly effective" and that "few organizations, outside the defense and intelligence sector, could withstand such an attack," he said.

Coleman also noted that the U.S. government has been unable to determine when a cyber attack constitutes an act of war.


We had our own hardened secure OS for the goverment. It was developed by Digital Equipment Corp. in the late 1970 to early 1980's. It's still around and is owned by HP. For some odd reason the goverment stop using this highly secure OS.

R. Mandry      9:40 p.m. / Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Chinese Kylin operating system is only a copy of the freely downloadable FreeBSD operating system (which has been around for years) with the name changed to Kylin. The Chinese have simply customized FreeBSD slightly and set the operating system language to use Chinese characters. There is no reason for this operating system to be considered something new and dangerous because it has been freely downloadable on the Internet and has been used by millions for years.

Aaron Booner      4:46 p.m. / Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I strongly concur. I never do do any business at all with Chinese sources because of danger of being scammed. However, a Chinese source broke into my PayPal account last week and completely withdrew all my funds. Fortunately PayPal replaced it and stopped the transfer before it was completed.

Bill Kinsland      8:50 a.m. / Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I am affraid he is right. I just found some information on Kylin via Google. The problem is we don't know how widely they are using the operating system.

Brian      7:50 p.m. / Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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