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China should become a non-threatening power, “not the mistrusted principal threat it’s become,” Capt. Fanell said.

China’s rapidly modernizing naval forces have expanded sea zones of control in the past five years. The result is that Chinese navy ships moved from operating in “near seas” — areas close to China’s coasts — into “distant seas” that include international waters, Capt. Fanell said at the U.S. Naval Institute conference

“The expansion into blue waters are largely about countering the U.S. Pacific Fleet,” he said, noting that the Chinese navy has become a “very capable fighting force.”

In 2012, China sent seven surface-action groups and the largest number of submarines into the Philippine Sea in China’s history, Capt. Fanell said.

A defense official compared Capt. Fanell to Maj. Gen. H.R. McMaster, an iconoclastic Army officer who in 1997 criticized senior military brass in a book on the Vietnam War that many thought ended his career. However, Gen. McMaster was protected from cautious military bureaucrats by other out-of-the-box thinkers such as Gen. David H. Petraeus.

“Showing such intellectual courage should count,” the defense official said of Capt. Fanell, “and his career should be protected by senior officers.”

Real time cybersecurity

Amid growing reports that Chinese hackers attacked U.S. newspapers and the Energy Department, a security startup company recently announced it is offering new technology that its founders say can detect cyberattacks and counter them in real time.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company TaaSERA Inc. last week launched the new cyberattack detection software that can identify normally unseen cyberstrikes as they take place, a key advantage that could allow stopping electronic attacks before information is stolen or networks compromised.

They key difference for the new software is that it operates inside networks — not on the perimeter — and has shown unique capabilities for spotting attacks.

The company also is providing a threat-intelligence data system that allows the identification of suspicious network behavior to be reported faster than current security systems.

Company executives disclosed details of the new software during a recent interview with Inside the Ring.

“Attack points are increasing, and trying to stop them with firewall or anti-virus software is really not an effective defense any more,” said Srinivas Kumar, the company’s chief technology officer.

Cyberattackers know how to hide their identities and gain the “trust” of anti-virus software.

Real-time monitoring allows attacks to be thwarted rapidly, Mr. Kumar added.

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