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:
The Chinese PLA (Peoples Liberation Army) now has a cyber “Blue Team” that can use cyber space as the new frontier for warfare.
The US and China defense policies are changing. The (Cyber Blue Team, 2011) is based in Jinan, China where there are 12 Universities and a high tech zone and boast 6 million people. It’s also the headquarter of the PLA. The squad is aimed at carrying out attacks on other countries Internet. (Li Li, 2011), a military expert at the National Defense University said, “China’s Online Blue Army is currently at its fledging period. (Zhang Shaozhong, 2011), a military expert from the PLA said, “Just like the army and air forces, the ‘online blue army’ is a historical necessity. The reason is very simple. “We must adapt to the new types of warfare in the information era. The ‘online blue army’ is of great strategic significance to China’s economic development and social stability,” Teng Jianqun, a research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, said.
The Internet has the potential to transform Chinese (Jones E-Library, 2011) society and politics. Cyber Space is the next front lines for military operations.
Consider the US (US cyber attack Iraq, 2003) prior to invasion the US froze Saddam Hussein’s bank account and disable the country’s financial and communication system before a shot was ever fired. Cyber Warfare is a first strike capabilities weapon and it can be a deterrent if used wisely. China wants’ to be able to do the things it’s cyber brothers can do and who could blame them. The truth be told China has a bad cyber infrastructure and we are hacking them all the time. DHS (disclosed china secrets, 2011) the US told the world that China had some major security holes. Now the whole hacking communities (lulzsec and anonymous) know about China’s problems. This is a shot at the bow of the Chinese government to stop hacking the US or we are going to hack you.
It is a fact that Russia and others are quietly going about cyber intelligence and espionage but they are good so nobody hears about them but they are out there. When China get’s it’s Cyber Blue Team going strong we will not hear a sound about China then the Cyber warfare has really started and there is no way back. The Internet is here to stay and to government like China this an essential weapon to be a world player in cyber space.
China and U.S. defense policies have been changing. America’s arms sales to Taiwan in 2010 led to a disruption in bilateral military ties, followed by a break in security cooperation and dialogue. It wasn’t until president Hu’s visit to the US early this year that the relationship recovered. Since security issues were part of the China-US strategic and economic dialogue in Washington in May, the Chinese sent a military delegation for the first time, led by Deputy Chief of the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, General Ma Xiaotian. Yet the main points from the meeting weren’t military relations but security concerns, such as the issue of regional security.
Later in May, when PLA Chief of Staff Chen Bingde visited the US, the issue of military relationship was discussed in earnest. Unlike other senior military officials, Chen is responsible for commanding operations, which enabled a frank discussion on the differences between US and the Chinese militaries and the possibility of cooperation. It was seen as an eye-opener when the US opened the doors of several military bases and training camps to Chinese visitors. The Obama administration’s decision to open up some sensitive military installations, which might have left right-wingers ill at ease, can be interpreted as a sign of goodwill towards China as well as reciprocation of China’s gesture to open up its own military bases, such as the PLA Second Artillery Command Post, to the US.
The reasons for many of the recent moves such as the US extending an olive branch to China, the high-profile White House reception for President Hu and the opening up of sensitive military facilities can be summarized as follows:
Firstly, political relations between the two countries have gradually improved and developed, and the deepening of dialogue on security issues has guaranteed the smooth development of China-US military exchanges.
Secondly, China’s capabilities have been greatly enhanced especially in the last decade, along with the strengthening of its military power, and this has led the US to pay close attention to China’s military development.
Thirdly, although the US has adopted aggressive policies in the Asia-Pacific region, its fundamental interest still lies in maintaining stability in the region instead of sparking off conflicts or causing direct confrontations.
From my point of view, relatively stable security relations will endure for a while. With the US presidential election just around the corner, Obama needs to score diplomatic points while trying to avoid losing points for issues like North Korea’s nuclear program. There’s not much room for the US to show off its talents in northeast Asia and keeping China close will reinforce Obama’s image. On a deeper level, with China and the US becoming more and more interdependent, direct confrontation benefits no one.
There are several issues in China-US relations that are worthy of our attention:
1. The close relations stem from the overlapping strategic interests
Obama changed the Bush Administration’s anti-terrorism policies, and US interests in the Asia-Pacific region have grown since the end of 2009. Some Chinese scholars see this as an indication that the US is “back in Asia”. I beg to differ. The US never “left Asia,” it just changed its policy to serve its global strategy. While for China, the third parties – North Korea, South Korea and Japan – which are an inevitable part of China-US relations, should be handled delicately. Under many circumstances, these countries’ policies towards China are closely connected with changes in American policies towards China. Some neighboring countries have clearly drawn in their horns since the improvements in China-U.S. relationship early this year. Hence China needs to move towards stabilizing relations with the US as well as promoting harmony with its neighbors.
2. US arms sales to Taiwan are still a “time bomb” buried beneath the China-US relationship
The recent US attempt to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan was taken as a move that would have severely damaged China’s core interests. There will undoubtedly be a series of responses from China, but we ought to ponder whether it’s necessary to suspend military ties immediately. From China’s perspective, we might even be able to play it this way – tell the Americans to go ahead with the sale and before long see the weapons back in the hands of PLA. Dealing with tricky issues like this is just like playing a game of chess, which demands patience and wits. Wise players have great vision and are always able to plan a few steps ahead. Wisdom and strategic thinking are required from both China and the US in order to better respond to the thorny issue of arms sales.
3. The South China Sea issue will be a touchstone for the China-US relationship
There has been a spate of conflicts and frictions between China and Vietnam over disputed territory in the South China Sea. The escalating tension has fuelled anti-Chinese sentiment in Vietnam. China has shown restraint in reaching consensus with the leaders of other countries concerned. However, by seizing the reef and plundering its oil, Vietnam has tested China’s tolerance and turned the principle of “putting aside disagreements and seeking common development” into ” putting aside disagreements and letting them develop”.
To tackle the South China Sea issue, in my opinion, the Chinese people’s awareness of our maritime rights must be improved. The majority of Chinese people are clearly aware of the China’s land area of 9.6 million km², but have no notion of the 3.6 million km² of its maritime territory. We have to admit that differences do exist between China and the US in understanding the South China Sea issue. I am afraid it is a fantasy to believe that the US will confront China for some relevant countries in the region.
4. China’s military build-up will be a double-edged sword for China-US security relations
Reports published in recent years indicate that the US has begun to pay increased attention to the development of China’s military forces. The US has been concerned that China is challenging it, whether by conventional or nuclear weapons. To some extent, these concerns have evolved into a kind of anxiety. Communication with China’s PLA is aimed at acquiring an in-depth understanding of the country’s progress in defense and the modernization of its military. From this point of view, stronger military exchanges are indispensable in order to dispel mistrust between the two countries.
Another area causing particular concern from both sides is cyber attack and major investments in cyber-warfare. Not long ago, China’s Defense Ministry announced the launch of a unit known as the “Blue Cyber Team,” which has quickly become a hot topic. It should be pointed out that the cyber unit was set up to meet global demand for digitalization. Military affairs are always among the most tech-sensitive spheres and the process of transition will certainly move forward along with the development of productive forces.
Technically, there is no substantial difference between China’s cyber army and its US counterparts. However, strategically speaking, differences do exist and are fundamental. Our cyber unit strictly adheres to a position of self-defense and its sole duty is defending China’s cyber security and launching a necessary counterattack only in response to an attack, in contrast to America’s preemptive strikes, which seem widespread.
The “Online Blue Army” is based on the Peoples Liberation Army, PLA needs and enforcing the ability of Internet security protection is an important issue in its military training programs, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said.
Gengs comments came in response to questions if the “Online Blue Army” is Chinas Internet squad aimed at carrying out attacks on other countries Internet systems, state run Peoples Daily reported. Geng said his country will not carry out cyber wars.
The PLA Daily had reported PLAs Guangzhou command had invested tens of millions of yuan in building the specialized Internet squad.
The Daily said internationally, online military units have long been established. The United States destroyed Iraq’s air defence system using PC viruses during the Gulf War in 1991. Thereafter, the online army of the United States also played major roles in the wars in Kosovo and Iraq.
In addition to the United States, UK, Russia, Japan and India have established their online military units, Peoples Daily report said.
Li Li, a military expert at the National Defence University, said that compared with online military units of Western countries, China’s “Online Blue Army” is currently at its fledging period, and is more like an online manoeuvre mode than an organic, large-scale online army.
Zhang Shaozhong, a military expert and a professor from the PLA National Defence University, pointed out that though China’s dependence on the Internet is increasing, the root servers are not based in China.
In addition, various types of Internet hardware in China are made in the United States, including many types of software.
In this sense, China is only a computer “user,” and China’s Internet security is very fragile, he said.
“Just like the army and air forces, the ‘online blue army’ is a historical necessity. The reason is very simple.
“We must adapt to the new types of warfare in the information era. The ‘online blue army’ is of great strategic significance to China’s economic development and social stability,” Teng Jianqun, a research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, said.
A new front is opening up between China and the US in their struggle for global supremacy. Cyber attacks from China seem to be increasing, as exemplified by Google’s recent accusations that it has uncovered a campaign run from inside China to secretly monitor the Gmail accounts of top-ranking US government officials and military personnel, South Korean officers and other users. The hackers allegedly used a phishing campaign to trick users into revealing their passwords. Though the Chinese government has denied the accusations as “a fabrication out of thin air”, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has described Google’s claims as “very serious”.
Google claimed that the attacks appeared to originate from Jinan — it is home to a military vocational school, the computers of which were linked to a more sophisticated assault on Google’s systems a few months ago. This is the most serious claim of China-based Internet intrusion since a previous incident involving the company last year when it decided to redirect users in mainland China to its search engine based in Hong Kong. The decision put the Internet search giant, which has a huge financial stake in China, on a collision course with Beijing. Google and the Chinese government have clashed repeatedly over the past year. China blocked one of Google’s sites, YouTube, in March last year in an apparent attempt to stop people in China from viewing videos of anti-government protests by Tibetans and Uighurs. The security of commercial networks became a major issue as Google accused China of stealing intellectual property online and compromising the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.
The latest dispute is happening at a time of heightened sensitivity about cyber disputes and even warfare. Sony suffered an attack from hackers; Lockheed Martin faced cyber attacks that are now being investigated by the FBI; and last month Sony Corporation had to briefly close down its PlayStation network after an intrusion by yet-to-be-identified hackers that put at risk the credit card information of about 70 million users.
Meanwhile, facing criticism from the US, China decided to go on an offensive. In an attempt to divert attention from allegations of online attacks on Western targets originating in China, the Chinese military accused Washington of launching a global “Internet war” to bring down Arab and other governments. In line with this, the Chinese military planners have asked their government to make preparations to fight this “Internet war” which is a product of the new information age. In an article, Chinese military scholars have suggested that China needs to “express to the world its principled stance of maintaining an ‘Internet border’ and protecting its ‘Internet sovereignty’, unite all advanced forces to dive into the raging torrent of the age of peaceful use of the Internet, and return to the Internet world a healthy, orderly environment.”
Facing an onslaught of cyber attacks, the US department of defence has made it clear that cyber attacks by any foreign nation may be considered an “act of war”. And the UK’s latest national security strategy lists cyber attacks as one of the most significant security threats facing the nation. In view of these developments, some are advocating the negotiation of an international “non-proliferation” treaty to counter a new cyber arms race between nations.
China is investing in new technologies for cyber and space warfare, primarily to counter America’s traditional advantages. Beijing has made its intention clear of focusing on the development of asymmetric capabilities that include electronic warfare, shaping the battle space with information dominance and using new technology not available to great powers that modernised earlier. China has been probing the computer networks of its adversaries for some time now, investing heavily in electronic counter measures and envisaging concepts like computer network attack, computer network defence and computer network exploitation. Its industrial and defence espionage is aimed at obtaining advanced technology for economic and military modernisation. China has been giving cyber warfare serious thought and has incorporated it into its military planning and strategy by encouraging civilian computer crackers to penetrate the computer networks of key political and military leaders in countries ranging from the US, Japan and Taiwan, to South Korea and India.
The issue of how governments should respond to or help prevent cyber attacks against private enterprises as well as state assets is one of the most difficult security issues facing policy-makers today. India is no stranger to cyber warfare. China’s penetration into the Indian intelligence apparatus has been growing. The National Informatics Centre, which governs and hosts all government websites, as well as computers of the Prime Minister’s Office, several Indian embassies, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Dalai Lama’s office were infected by GhostNet, a China-based cyber espionage network. Though this came to light in early 2009, it had been going on for the past several years. The Indian military lacks the expertise and resources to defend the country adequately from concerted cyber attacks even as cyber criminals, terrorists and other nations are getting better at penetrating state and private networks, whether to spy, to steal data or damage critical infrastructure. It is time.
This new hit on the IMF involved significant reconnaissance prior to the attack, and code written specifically to penetrate the IMF. We got G-Mail accounts of government officials then RSA hacked and the attack on Lockheed Martin. Connect the Dots people be aware of what is going on around. We got Wikileaks, Anonymous, LulzSec all a distraction to the real Cyber War.
Is it China I just don’t get it. Here is a picture of my madness.
Jinan Military Region Air Force
Jinan Military Area Air Force Command -
The Jinan Military Region Air Force was originally established in June 1967 after replacing the 6th Air Corps which had moved to Tangshan. The Jinan MRAF’s mission was to provide unified command for PLAAF units in the Shandong Province.