China's state-run Global Times newspaper responded that Chinese citizens couldn't have been responsible, because "from a technical point of view, on the global scale hackers in the U.S., Russia, and Israel are at a higher level than those in China." But our recent reporting on the culture of hacking in China suggests that the Global Times's low opinion of its country's hackers isn't justified -- or at least it won't be for long. A Pentagon report released when our article was published last month says that China has made "steady progress" in refining new cyberwarfare strategies and techniques. And as our writer Mara Hvistendahl discovered in China, there's an ever-more-vague distinction between the civilian and military roles of hackers there. Nationalistic young people, responding to a surge of popular esteem for hackers, compete among each other for bragging rights. The Chinese military, meanwhile, sponsors hacker competitions and hand-picks particularly skilled operatives for vaguely defined state-sponsored contracts. Nationalistic civilian hackers, it seems, are just as dangerous to the United States as a centralized military "hacker command".