Asked if China was planning a cyber “Pearl Harbor” surprise attack, Maj. Gen. William Lord, the cyber forces commander, said numerous Chinese-origin probes may be “reconnaissance” intrusions to determine if cyber warfare capabilities are detected as part of preparation for some future attack. “So when the lights go out, when the traffic lights don't work, when the data in the stock exchange has been manipulated, when the cell phones don't work, when the escalators in FAO Schwartz don't work, imagine what happens within the United States. Imagine that now laid over a command and control ability of any force,” he said at a conference of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Air Force Col. Jeffrey Kendall, who appeared with Lord, said China has been among the most active players in the cyberwarfare arena. Chinese hackers took down a White House website in 2001 and in June 2007, the Chinese military was behind an attack on the secretary of defense’s unclassified email systems. And in August 2007, 28 defense contractors were targeted by Chinese hackers.
In the final drill a hospital in the northern city of Afula was evacuated during a simulated chemical weapons strike, a military spokesman said.
The home front manoeuvre was aimed at preparing Israel for possible attacks involving conventional weapons as well as missiles equipped with chemical or bacteriological warheads.
The exercise, which began on Sunday "worked very well, everything worked according to what we planned. We thought we would have many more problems," said defence ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror.