US supply chain could be penetrated by China – report Risk of “catastrophic failure” of US networks cited Congress weighing cybersecurity billsBy Jim WolfWASHINGTON, March 8 Reuters – Chinese cyberwarfare would pose a “genuine risk” to the U.S. military in a conflict, for instance over Taiwan or disputes in the South China Sea, according to a report prepared for the U.S. Congress.Operations against computer networks have become fundamental to Beijings military and national development strategies over the past decade, said the 136-page analysis by Northrop Grumman Corp released on Thursday by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
Thus far, Beijing has found little wiggle room to resist the U.S.-E.U.-Saudi common vision that severe sanctions be used to shut down the bulk of Iran’s oil exports by June.
The reality being revealed in this confrontation is that China has much less ability to maneuver independently in the global oil system—whether in the market or in diplomatic and military matters—than most analysts would lead us to believe.
Preface: What are Washington v. Beijing´s strategic objectives here ?
In my assessment, there are clear underlying energy’market security reasons why the U.S. is pursuing this geopolitical path. The U.S. aim is to prevent Iran from projecting greater influence over key Gulf oil-market players Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE, Kuwait and etc. as the U.S. withdraws from its over-extended presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. This draw-down is very important for U.S. strategy globally; but Washington will not accept Iran gaining greater influence over other local OPEC producers and thereby the global oil market (aka, The Global Barrel) as it steps back.
This headline from CNN – “Joint Chiefs Chair: Chinese Hacking Not Necessarily a Hostile Act” – reads like it came from the Onion. But don’t jump into your bunker yet – the reasoning behind this apparently blissfully naive statement by General Martin Dempsey is at least slightly plausible:
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he “believe(s) someone in China is hacking into our systems and stealing technology and intellectual property, which at this point is a crime.”
But Dempsey said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee that he cannot attribute the Chinese hacking to China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, that if it could be proven that the PLA was behind a hacking of the defense infrastructure, whether it would it be considered a “hostile act,” Dempsey said such wasn’t necessarily the case.
Now, you can quibble over the semantics in this. A cyberattack on the United States’ defenses might not come from the Chinese government itself – though one has to wonder how much privacy hackers enjoy, given China’s notoriously censor-happy culture. Moreover, even if a private hacker was good enough to evade the Chinese government’s own crop of cybersecurity experts and bypass our security, it’s fairly obvious that the hacker in question would be able to sell his method for a very high price.
U.S officials have long complained about countries that systematically hack into U.S. computer networks to steal valuable data, but until recently they did not name names.
In the last few months, that has changed. China is now officially one of the cyber bad guys and probably the worst.
“We know and there’s good evidence … of very deliberate, focused cyber espionage to capture very valuable research and development information, or innovative ideas, or source code or business plans for their own advantage,” says Mike McConnell, a former director of national intelligence and before that the director of the National Security Agency.
It’s the Chinese he’s talking about, though other countries also engage in cyber espionage to gain a competitive edge. Russia, for example, but China stands out as especially aggressive.
“China does not care what other people think,” says Richard Bejtlich, the chief security officer at MANDIANT, a company that helps firms deal with cyber intrusions. “Culturally they are very interested in being seen as responsible, but when it comes to their actual work on the ground; if you try kicking them out of your network on a Friday, they’re back on a Monday.”
The increased willingness of the U.S. government to point a finger at the Chinese dates from an official report released last October that identified them “as the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage.”
It is clear that cyber warfare will be part of any future conflict and we must become prepared for that type of combat here on the homeland front.
Two recent NPR stories highlighted the continuing potential for cyber attacks. One focused on the threat that China poses and the other story on what we should be doing in general to legislate cyber defenses for the private sector and our critical infrastructure–the vast majority of which is owned and operated by private business.
It is clear to me that China is actively working to determine the how best to attack our military and industrial complexes. The cyber war of the future has already begun. Going back to my military training let’s consider what it is that they are doing.
Sen. John Kerry is fed up with Chinas penchant for looting technology from U.S. businesses — up to $400 billion worth of data each year. When will it stop?POSTED ON FEBRUARY 16, 2012, AT 3:52 PMChinese gamers at an internet cafe: Sen. John Kerry D-Mass. says Chinese hackers are illegally stealing business secrets from American firms. Photo: Imaginechina/Corbis SEE ALL 54 PHOTOSChinese Vice President Xi Jinping, slated to be the next leader of the worlds most populous nation, is getting an earful from U.S. officials over Chinas shady business practices. During Xis first official tour of the U.S. this week, Sen. John Kerry D-Mass. accused a Chinese company of bankrupting a U.S. competitor by ransacking its software. And thats just the tip of the iceberg, alleges Kerry, implicating China in “cyber-attacks, access-to-market issues, espionage [and] theft.” And, indeed, a flurry of recent reports indicate that Chinese hackers, backed by the government, are stealing business secrets from the U.S. Here, a guide:
SECURITY RESEARCH OUTFIT Alienvault has revealed that Chinese cyber criminals are using malware to hack smart cards used by the US Department of Defence (DoD).
The latest strain of the backdoor access Trojan called Sykipot is being used to gain remote access to protected resources. A spear phishing technique is used to persuade the target to open a pdf file that lets the malware loose. It then uses a basic keylogger to steal credentials of cards used in the reader.
Jan. 4 Bloomberg — The U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines must combine resources to thwart any efforts by countries such as China and Iran to block America’s access to the South China Sea, the Persian Gulf and other strategic regions, according to a draft of a Pentagon review.The military services must work more cooperatively to pool their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and cyber-security tools, as well as operational concepts, the review is expected to say, according to an administration official familiar with the review who asked not to be identified.The U.S. should be able to deter any emerging anti-access capabilities such as the diesel attack submarines being developed by China and the anti-ship ballistic missiles deployed by China and Iran, and if necessary, defeat them, said the administration official.Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is due to unveil the review tomorrow, setting policy priorities in addressing about $490 billion in budget cuts over the next decade.
Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) warns that China’s proposed price controls on med-tech products will hurt Chinese patients and American companies.
Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), the head Republican on the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, warned Chinese officials that its proposed price controls for medical products would hurt American companies and Chinese patients.
The letter from Lugar comes as China decides how to best provide basic medical care to all of its 1.3 billion citizens by 2020.
The U.S. med-tech industry is eyeing the future market, but worries that China will opt for price controls that would dig into industry profits and make expensive American devices less competitive, according to TheHill.com
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently uncovered an attack on its systems, and fingers are pointing toward China.The Chamber represents over three million US businesses, 96 percent of which are small businesses with 100 employees or less. The agency, situated in Washington D.C., lobbies for free enterprise, competition between US companies and entrepreneurship. Some of its bigger members include Adobe, Microsoft, Visa, and Google.According to the Wall Street Journal which first reported on the attack, which may have started as early as November 2009, nearly 300 internet protocol addresses IP addresses were compromised, with around 50 members directly affected. Chamber President Thomas Donohue first got word of the breach in May 2010. When the news arrived, the Chamber went to work scouring the e-mails of affected accounts to see what kind of information may have been uncovered. Meeting minutes, schedules, some trade policy documents and trip records are the only compromised items being reported.