Book Review: The Chinese Information War: Espionage, Cyberwar, Communications Control and Related Threats to United States Interests by Dennis Poindexter

There is a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) surrounding the threat of the Chinese to world-wide computer networks.  Dennis Poindexter has attempted to cut the FUD out through fact based research and help the reader understand the truth:  We are in a Cyberwar with China.

In less than 200 pages Mr. Poindexter takes the reader on a fact based journey to the heart of the risk China represents to both businesses and governments.  The author uses evidence from non-partisan sources such as court case files to illustrate security concerns such as  the connection between Huawei Technologies and Chinese intelligence, the relative ease foreign companies  share information with China in return for short-term economic gains, and the similarity between the economic war Russia was waging during the Cold War and the economic war China is against most of the world now.

Although there are no shocking new revelations on how China is hacking the world blind.  What makes this book worth reading is how well Mr. Poindexter frames the case against China through the use of fact based research.  Furthermore, Mr. Poindexter explains the differences in culture between China and the western world in and attempt to help the reader better understand the long-term threat China represents.

The single most important take away from this book is that China is working to become the super power in the world.  China is accomplishing this using a slow but methodical process with a clearly defined set of goals.  Patience is not a trait of most westerners and because of the “instant gratification” mindset it may be hard to understand how dangerous China is to the western way of life.

It is because of this stark difference in thinking westerns have that the following two works are recommended to help better understand the threats this book defines: 1) The Art of War and 2) a recent D*I*C*E presentation  by Ray Semko.  The Art of War is basically China’s play book.  Understand it and you will understand China.  There are many versions of The Art of War and although the pure unedited version is strongly recommend, one of the rehashed versions that translates The Art of War into business speak (or your profession) may be easier to start with.  Ray Semko is a security awareness expert and professional speaker. Mr. Semko has perfected the delivery of information on China and other security threats in a direct, non-sugar coated, and high impact format of fact based awareness that hits home hard.  Although the book by Mr. Poindexter is well written and can stand on it’s own, together these three resources are a triple threat against such a cunning and resourceful adversary.

The Chinese Information War: Espionage, Cyberwar, Communications Control and Related Threats to United States Interests by Dennis Poindexter, McFarland Publishing, ISBN: 978-0786472710

Post by Protocol 46