System design is described as simply the designs of the systems. A system is defined as an interconnected set of elements which are organized in a manner that achieves something. A system consists of element, interconnection, and purpose. This paper will focus on examining a system design problem.
According to an article in the Washington post, the US weapons system designs were compromised by Chinese cyber spies. According to this article, there are many designs of the most sensitive advanced weapon systems of the nation, which have been compromised by hackers in China. Some of the systems designs that have been stolen by Chinese hackers include missile defense systems like Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the patriot advanced capability 3, and the terminal high attitude aerial defense. Some other systems that were compromised included aircrafts like E/A 18 and F-35 fighter planes, the UH-60 Black hawk helicopter, and the C-17 cargo plane (Nakashima, 2012).
There were also several control and information systems which were compromised by the Chinese hackers. United States has started increasing its pressure on China and tries to prevent state sponsored hackers to continue harming the US economic and national security. There are stronger actions that the nation has taken so that to deter any future cyber aggression. From them look of why the country has for long been attacked by Chinese, it is possible to conclude that US government has failed to ensure that all their systems are secure which include the systems that are used for storing information and also the participants in the departments.
According to this post, it is reported that, in the past years, there have been numerous computer systems around the country including those, which are owned by United States government, are being targeted for intrusion, which are attributed to the Chinese military and government. The Washington post, states that the US designs, which were compromised included those for combating ships and aircrafts and also missile defense vital for Asia, The Gulf, and Europe. From the post, it indicates that the report about the attack did not specify the time and extent of the cyber theft or even if the theft involved computer networks in US government, subcontractor, or contractors (Nakashima, 2012). The reason for the report not providing information about the method of getting the data was because it would provide Chinese people with knowledge which would be exploited in conflict like the ability of corrupting data and knocking out communication. The information would also help in speeding up china development of defense technology.
According to this book by Meadows, she focuses on offering some insights for solving problems on scales which range from personal to global. In order for a problem to be involved in the system design, the book explains that there is a need for team Cooperation. This will help in focusing the mind of the members to getting solutions that will, help solve this problem of attacks on US systems. The system designers must make sure that they think in the systems so that to avoid helplessness and confusion (Meadows, 2008). This is something that these people should do so that to find effective and proactive solution to the situation.
The issues of cyber spies are normally connected with system designs. The means in which the hackers were able to compromise the systems of US is connected with problems in system designs. According to this article, it indicates that the majority of these problems are part of a growing and ongoing Chinese cyber espionage campaign to stealing United States technology, to advance the development of the Chinese weapons, and later turn them against their creator. The electronic intrusions tend to give China the access to advanced technology, which could accelerate the development of the weapon system and also weaken US military advantage in any future conflict (Hargroves, & Smith, 2013). The problem can be solved by US government making sure that the people they trust with the information are people who have a positive intention for the nation.
Something that US should focus on is securing the military systems. This current situation of hackers being able to have access to US weapon secrets is as a result of lack of secure system design. US have worked hard at making sure that they keep their information system secure through hardening of the military systems. From what can be seen regarding this issue, the data was stolen from the military subcontractors and contractors. Therefore, in order to ensure that such an event does not happen again, it is necessary for the systems of the military contracts to be secured. China has not been able to attach the military systems, but have introduced other tactics that they can use which is attacking the military contractors (Nakashima, 2012). All the changes that have been done to harden the military systems need to be applied to the military contractors systems or any of the organizations which are normally trusted with the classified military plans.
A system need to be created that will cover this issue of cyber attacks.According to the book by Meadows (2008), she states that there is a need for the system designer to understand the layers of limits. The choice of the system that will help in avoiding attacks for the system is by making a choice that will provide security and also provides a limit to live within. When providing a limit for the military contractor’s systems, it will be necessary to change codes, communication, and encryption so that to, make sure that the hardware in the military system is not compromised (Kamara, 2007). According to Meadows (2008), she states that when a system is attacked it is extremely essential to analyze the system so that to determine what the attackers would have gained.
Therefore, the military defense system need to analyze the system so that to determine what China would have gained through having the designs and capabilities which will need to be modified in order to avoid being made obsolete. Another way that US can do so that to help in avoiding attacks on its system is through counter attacks. Counter hacking is a method that has been used by many people, which would help the military in destroying the stolen data or even recovering the data (Hargroves, & Smith, 2013). The system designers can also decide to create sites that contain bogus, but at the same tantalizing information that contain backdoors or malware that may affect the attacking system. This will allow United States to connect back into them.
A means in which these problems can be solved so that to prevent from happening ever again, it is necessary for United States to ensure that they start naming and shaming china. In order to do this, nation will require issuing more information that indicates China as a country with bad cyber actor. Later, the US leaders will use this information in calling out for china in speeches and also in diplomatic discussions. According to reports about the system design being hacked, it is because US has been seeking collaboration with China about cybercrime (Nakashima, 2012). This is not the way to go because, it indicates that US is inviting China to steal US secrets. Instead of inviting China, US need to take a tougher line with china so that to cease cooperation with China on the issue of cyber security (Meadows, 2008).
Another possibility that could have resulted to increase on US system designs being compromised by Chinese hackers is that US has been engaging in cyber exchanges, and cyber war games with Chinese when these hackers have been taking advantage of the information that they acquire from the association, and they get to learn how to better hack United States systems (Kamara, 2007). The continued collaboration with China proves that United States known about the problem, but they feel to do anything about the issues which emboldens China. This is the reason as to why China is still attaching United States system designs because US is not taking steps to help in solving the situation. It is necessary for US to consider working with allies who will help in taking legal and economic actions against the Chinese companies who tend to peddle the stolen property.
There are lots of United States military and business secrets which are being stolen by the Chinese as part of the extensive cyber campaign. From the information that Chinese get from US, they are using this information in advancing their economy and weapons capabilities; thus, making United States system design be useless. Therefore, in order for such cases to be avoided, US need to stand up to china and make them feel the pain of stealing their secrets (Meadows, 2008). Failure to do this will result to more incidences of hackers stealing US weapons system designs. With the increasing rate in which secrets are being stolen from US military, it indicates that the nation fail to provide a better system that will ensure the safety of its secrets. A factor that would have resulted to United States military system being attacked is failure of ensuring the viability of the cyber capabilities and defenses.
There is a lot that the military system should do in addressing the issue of security by addressing cyber threats in establishing the right balance of integrated cyber forces, defenses, and capabilities. In order to understand the cause of the problem facing the nation, it is necessary to start restructuring the systems that they are using (Meadows, 2008). The system that is being used in storing information regarding the military operations should be changed through conducting research that will help in determining strategies that then military department with the use, so that to avoid hackers from accessing into US information systems.
Hargroves, K & Smith, M (2013). Whole system design Routledge
Kamara, F (2007). System design activities AuthorHouse
Meadows, D (2008). Thinking in systems Chelsea Green Publishing
Nakashima, E (2012). Confidential report lists US weapons system design compromised by Chinese cyber spies Washington Post retrieved from http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-05-27/world/39554997_1_u-s-missile-defenses-weapons-combat-aircraft