Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security Government United States Politics

Chinese Military Hacked Into Pentagon 405

Posted by kdawson
from the scan-the-port-slowly dept.
iFrated informs us of a successful penetration of US Defense Department computers by the Chinese military last June. From the article: "The Pentagon acknowledged shutting down part of a computer system serving the office of Robert Gates, defense secretary, but declined to say who it believed was behind the attack. Current and former officials have told the Financial Times an internal investigation has revealed that the incursion came from the [Chinese] People's Liberation Army. One senior US official said the Pentagon had pinpointed the exact origins of the attack. Another person familiar with the event said there was a 'very high level of confidence... trending towards total certainty' that the PLA was responsible." The PLA is also accused of breaking into German government computers, including a network in the office of the Chancellor.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chinese Military Hacked Into Pentagon

Comments Filter:
  • Sanctions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Monday September 03, 2007 @09:26PM (#20458907) Homepage Journal
    Here's the deal.... While I acknowledge that there is a potential risk of engagement (and the big Navy folks desperately want this possibility to be the case), I have a tough time thinking that China will allow the PLA to escalate this much given the financial commitments that Chinese industry is trying to maintain and expand with the West..... especially prior to the Olympics. That said, I expect more "defense" related activity in the guise of IT based attacks and probes from the PLA rather than traditional military actions in the future.

    It will be interesting to see just what form the response to these sorts of attacks will take. Hard-liners will want old school military war games and confrontation, but I suspect steps like US and EU invalidation of Chinese purchased US and EU debt and economic sanctions will be far more effective.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I don't really see anything coming out of this. It sounds more like a pissing contest to me than anything else, and I'd be more concerned about their other capabilities (e.g. nuclear warheads, lasers that can shoot down satellites ala Cardinal of the Kremlin, Chinese economy) than how well they can hack into some bigwigs computer.

      Additionally, there seems to be enough doubt as to provide "plausible" deniability, or it could just be attributed to "...someone's unilateral wet dream" (quoted from Enemy of the
      • Re:Sanctions (Score:4, Insightful)

        by heretic108 (454817) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:19PM (#20459321)

        I don't really see anything coming out of this. It sounds more like a pissing contest to me than anything else, and I'd be more concerned about their other capabilities (e.g. nuclear warheads, lasers that can shoot down satellites ala Cardinal of the Kremlin, Chinese economy) than how well they can hack into some bigwigs computer.


        The problem: if the Chinese military can get enough control over Pentagon computers, then it doesn't really matter what their own hardware capabilities are, they'll be able to deploy some US military hardware for their own objectives.

        • Re:Sanctions (Score:5, Insightful)

          by fluffy99 (870997) on Monday September 03, 2007 @11:30PM (#20459967)
          Exactly. China doesn't want war, but they want desperately to close the military and technology gap. Stealing the technology instead of developing it themselves is vastly cheaper, quicker and easier. The are not the only country friendly or not who engages in corporate and military espionage against the US. ANd don't think the US isn't spying on the other countries either.
        • Re:Sanctions (Score:4, Insightful)

          by DavidShor (928926) * <supergeek717@gmail.BOYSENcom minus berry> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:18AM (#20460329) Homepage
          "The problem: if the Chinese military can get enough control over Pentagon computers, then it doesn't really matter what their own hardware capabilities are, they'll be able to deploy some US military hardware for their own objectives."

          Bullshit, do you really think we have not done the exact same thing to their networks? Besides, this is not a movie; most military systems (and all if they felt the need) are on a private intranet. While this can be hacked into in theory, if that becomes an issue, we can simply take the stuff offline. Tanks don't need Wi-Fi uplinks to kill people.

          And besides, this is moot. China does not have to resort to high-tech fantasy tricks to beat us. China has a GDP of 7 trillion dollars, while the US has one of 12 trillion. Their economy is growing at 10% per year, ours grows at 3%. Do the math, in a decade or so, even if Chinese have one 5th the per capita income of the US, they will have a larger GDP.

          With a larger GDP, they will be able to outspend us militarily, without causing any strain on their economy. In the face of such a demographic certainty, the worst thing we can do is to act aggressive and provoke China into an arms race. Unlike the Soviet Union, they could actually win one.

          • Re:Sanctions (Score:4, Interesting)

            by tha_mink (518151) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:29AM (#20463351)

            And besides, this is moot. China does not have to resort to high-tech fantasy tricks to beat us. China has a GDP of 7 trillion dollars, while the US has one of 12 trillion. Their economy is growing at 10% per year, ours grows at 3%. Do the math, in a decade or so, even if Chinese have one 5th the per capita income of the US, they will have a larger GDP.
            To use your word, "Bullshit". While their GDP might match ours, their per captia GDP barely beats out the Philippines and lies slightly under the vast military power of the Republic of the Congo. Of course their GDP is huge, they have billions of people. The problem is, they have billions of people. GDP by itself is a useless metric.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by t0rkm3 (666910)
            You present the answer to the problem, or more correctly stated, why their GDP is not necessarily a problem in your diatribe.

            Simply put, their GDP is based on population size, that population has to be supported via that self-same number. Our per capita productivity and wealth far outstrips their numbers by such a margin as to be laughable. Therefore, we can afford to spend far more of our capital on warfare than they can without resorting to cannibalizing our infrastructure or quality of life to do so.

            Over
          • Re:Sanctions (Score:4, Informative)

            by ThousandStars (556222) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @11:16AM (#20465383) Homepage
            China has a GDP of 7 trillion dollars, while the US has one of 12 trillion.

            How does this idiocy get modded up, when even a cursory examination [worldbank.org] (warning: .pdf) shows that China has a GDP of 2.6B, compared to 2.9 for Germany, 4.3 for Japan, and 13 for the U.S.

            With a larger GDP, they will be able to outspend us militarily, without causing any strain on their economy.

            We spend [globalsecurity.org] about $466B, the rest of the world combined spends about $500B, and China $65B. Granted, China's PPP means they get more stuff for their $65B, but they still spend far, far less than we do.

            The parent post is so wrong that it should be modded down.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by vtcodger (957785)
          ***The problem: if the Chinese military can get enough control over Pentagon computers, then it doesn't really matter what their own hardware capabilities are, they'll be able to deploy some US military hardware for their own objectives.***

          Not a problem. Really. Not a Problem

          • First of all, this is EXACTLY what the NSA routinely does wrt to Chinese, Russian, French, Israeli etc computers. Probe the things. Look for weaknesses. Extract any accessible data. Nobody thinks that the NSA is going to ta
    • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WindBourne (631190)
      Look, America has shifted a lot of manufacturing to China. They have a trillion dollars of ours. But so what? At this time, the chinese leadership can easily attack us, and simply bit the bullet WRT to the deficit. If they were really concerned about the deficit, they would be spending a lot of that money on cleaners for coal plants, bigger nuclear plants, equipment for cleaning up their pollution. But they are not spending 1 penny on it. Instead, they are trying to get us to GIVE them the know-how. They ar
      • by DavidShor (928926) *
        "They take a lot of good from Japan, but not from America. My guess is that they are trying to draw Japan into being dependent on them, and separate them from us."

        Have you ever considered that China's economy is not centrally planned anymore? Japan just happens to be the closest industrialized country to China, so that is where it makes the most sense to import heavy machinery from? It seems that South Korea, Singapore, and Australia seem to have large surpluses too, adding credence to the theory.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770)
        That's not as clear cut as you might think. Lots of people make the mistake of applying the kind of economics that happens on a personal scale to nations. Doesn't really work that way. What we have with China is sort of an economic MAD situation. It isn't a case of them holding the stick, it is a case of them being able to fuck up our economy, and destroying theirs in the process.

        There's two problems with trying to use their cash to screw over the US. The first is that what good is money if you can't spend
  • Carte Blanche (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday September 03, 2007 @09:31PM (#20458937) Homepage Journal
    What is the US going to do?

    Nothing. Quite frankly China has tested the limits of both the US and UN for years, and neither the Clinton nor Bush administrations were willing or capable of doing anything. With problems in Iran, Syria, North Korea, oh and those two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US does not have the capability to swat a fly elsewhere, let alone threaten the military might of China.

    China knows they can get away with such actions, so they will. If you don't believe me, look up recent actions regarding Taiwan, Tibet and East Timor, amongst other things. China also does nothing to combat the millions of dollars in lost US revenue from stolen IP, yet we give them favored trading partner status, making our trade deficit worse.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 03, 2007 @09:34PM (#20458963)
      But they did give us General Tso's chicken, which is worthy of not only favored trading partner status, but worthy of several Nobel prizes.

      • by hasbeard (982620) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:10PM (#20459253)
        I looked at a carton of General Tso's chicken at the supermarket the other day. With all the carbohydrates in it, it should probably be classified as a bio weapon.
      • by StikyPad (445176)
        Ironically, that, along with many other "Chinese" cuisine are virtually unknown [wikipedia.org] in China. I've never been to China proper, but I've been to Hong Kong, and I was hard pressed to find anything that resembled Westernized "Chinese" food. Even the rice is different.
        • Re:Carte Blanche (Score:4, Informative)

          by kcelery (410487) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @03:58AM (#20461525)
          That's because rice in Hong Kong is cooked differently. Chinese in that neighborhood like soft rice, it is made by pouring water into a pot of raw rice, filling the water level to about 3/4 inch above the surface of rice and slowly cooked until all water evaporates.

          Westerners like rice more chewy, so for the same rice, it is put into a big pot of hot water and the rice is cooked like sphagetti.

      • by eli pabst (948845)
        As a form of protest, we should change the name to something else, like General Tommy Franks Chicken...that will teach 'em!
    • It cuts both ways (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nazlfrag (1035012) on Monday September 03, 2007 @09:53PM (#20459117) Journal
      You know, America has tested Chinas resolve for years by sending hackers into its systems, yet China isn't willing or capable to do anything. With hundreds of American military bases around the world and a mass of troops in Japan, Taiwan and the rest of the Pacific, they do not have the capability to move an inch outside their borders, let alone threaten the military might of America.
    • I really hope we stop doing business with China. Our greed will be the end of us.
    • by heretic108 (454817) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:32PM (#20459419)
      Plant a few honeypot boxen around the Pentagon network, and load them up with tasty disinformation, aiming for outcomes like:
      • Making an advanced US capability seem flaky or ineffective
      • Making a flaky or undeveloped US capability seem advanced and devastating
      • Sending the Chinese into fruitless directions in R&D, costing them billions
      • Trick the Cninese into types of action that could yield up some useful intel for the US
      The opportunities are endless.
      • by tftp (111690)
        Those are awfully dangerous and scary things. Underestimating an opponent may prompt a war that will be expected to be brief but in reality will drag for years (Iraq). Overestimating an opponent may cause the feeling of an imminent threat where none exists, and you can be attacked over that presumed threat. Giving them ideas? And what if they succeed? Finally, pushing the opponent into a certain direction also reveals your intentions, and the player can be played in return.

        But this would be fortunately us

      • by king-manic (409855) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:35AM (#20460439)
        Plant a few honeypot boxen around the Pentagon network, and load them up with tasty disinformation, aiming for outcomes like:

                * Making an advanced US capability seem flaky or ineffective
                * Making a flaky or undeveloped US capability seem advanced and devastating
                * Sending the Chinese into fruitless directions in R&D, costing them billions
                * Trick the Cninese into types of action that could yield up some useful intel for the US

        The opportunities are endless.


        Operation GW commenced January 20th 2001 and has successfully misled the world into thinking we are idiots. We have made it appear we make vast amounts of wealth disappear through military industrial graft and sunk our monetary values 40% relative to other western powers. We've gotten involved in a war we knew we couldn't leave gracefully, and shown corruption at every level. We have given the appearance of crushing our education system with theology, and appeared to have revised the public education curriculum to cater to the dumbest common denominator. We have lulled the entire world into thinking we are a country of backwards mouth breathers.As soon as we devalue our currency to 20% relative value and ensure 99% of all top ivy league school student are foreign we will truly be in a position to surprise the world without awesome cunning and leap forth and conquer the world.
    • Re:Carte Blanche (Score:5, Insightful)

      by demachina (71715) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:39PM (#20459479)
      "Quite frankly China has tested the limits of both the US and UN for years, and neither the Clinton nor Bush administrations were willing or capable of doing anything."

      What exactly do you propose the U.S. do? The Chinese are holding such huge U.S dollar reserves they could ruin the U.S. economy just by dumping them, though they would probably cause a global economic collapse and suffer as much as everyone else if they did.

      The U.S. has transfered so much capital and IP to China, and we are so dependent on the steady stream of container shipping from China you pretty much have to look the other way at anything short of open warfare.

      Besides which China is a Republican businessman's fantasy come true. It has a vast pool of dirt cheap labor, no labor unions, almost no business regulation, no environmental controls, and workers either keep their mouths shut or they are harshly dealt with by the state. They have one party authoritarian rule and as long as that one party is pro business, which they have been for the last couple decades, they are a Republican's wet dream. Why do you think so many big western corporations are rushing to China lock, stock and barrel. Liberal democracies sucks for business, you have to pay people more than a subsistence wage, you can't kill 4000 a year in coal mines like you can in China, you can't lock workers up if they bitch....

      The new Fascist China is pure heaven for Republicans, so their is almost nothing China is going to do they are going to have a problem with including this. Most western businessman and politicians are way more fixated on kissing Chinese ass these days than they are starting some kind of confrontation with them.

      Besides which when it comes to network security if you are stupid enough to put anything important on the Internet, and you can't keep it secure you kind of deserve what you get, doesn't really matter where the attack comes from.
    • by dbIII (701233)

      look up recent actions regarding ... East Timor
      Dude - that was Australia involved there!
    • There really isn't any penalty against countries for spying. The individual spys are in a world of shit if they get caught, but countries don't tend to do anything about it. It is more or less an accepted part of doing business. Read up on the recent history of Aldrich Ames, a spy for Russia nailed in the 90s. You'll notice that there's nothing about any threats to Russia, any sanctions, or anything like that. It's just the way the game is played.

      Hell if the US started yelling at other countries trying to s
  • Windows to blame? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Orthuberra (1145497) on Monday September 03, 2007 @09:35PM (#20458975)
    I know this is gonna sound like a troll to some, but it isn't, imo. But with Microsoft's shared source program with governments (China's included) what if they found an exploit and and simply didn't tell Microsoft, but instead used it to their advantage. Could shared source create problems such as this? I know the military uses Windows for most of its computers (at least when I got out last year). Not sure about the ones attacked, however. Just some musings from me.
    • by Kadin2048 (468275) *
      They don't need Microsoft's shared source program -- Microsoft provides the Windows source code to foreign governments pretty freely (assumedly under NDA, but it's not like that's really going to mean much to the PRC government). I'm sure the Chinese already have it. All they'd need to do is threaten do dump Windows on all their bureaucrats' machines if MS didn't pony up and let them comb through the source. They hand the source over to their own security people for verification, to make sure it's not backd
    • Ok, I use Linux, but that doesn't make a lot of sense...

      Why is Windows Shared Source more vulnerable to this type of attack than Linux and other Open Source things?
      • by McGiraf (196030)
        think about it five seconds.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jombeewoof (1107009)

        Ok, I use Linux, but that doesn't make a lot of sense...

        Why is Windows Shared Source more vulnerable to this type of attack than Linux and other Open Source things?

        Simply put,
        With thousands of eyes that have many varying goals, any security vulnerability in an "open" sourced product would be reported to the correct people many times by many different users.
        Closed source projects on the other hand have very specific sets of eyes on them, with very specific goals. If a vulnerability was found it would be less likely to be reported.

        that's my take on it anyway.

  • Unclassified (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ratnerstar (609443) on Monday September 03, 2007 @09:36PM (#20458981) Homepage
    DoD unclass networks aren't any more secure than your standard corporate ones. Obviously, it's not good if the Chinese (or anyone) gain unauthorized access to them. But hacking something like JWICS or even SIPRnet would be much more disturbing.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Monday September 03, 2007 @09:46PM (#20459077)
    Questions:
    * were they secured computers? You know, the ones networked via fiber in concrete-filled conduits so that the physical layer can't be compromised?
    * is this even a new thing?

    Assumptions:
    Is everyone so sure that the US hasn't ALREADY hacked the Chinese computers?

    Before everyone gets their panties in an uproar, some context would be nice.
    • by rtb61 (674572)
      Technically you can still do tricky stuff with wireless or even with the power supply. Just because a power is a power supply it does not mean it can not also be fitted out to send data back up the power cable, hmm, didn't think of that one did you. Besides China is tapped into the data by greed route and prefers sneaker net when it comes to pilfering data.

      This would simply be poking the US to see what happens, to see how lame they have become, push and push a little bit more. When it comes to hacking the

  • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Monday September 03, 2007 @09:54PM (#20459131) Homepage Journal
    This won't escalate into anything. While its true it could be seen as an act of war, we in the U.S. are not going to do anything that might jeopardize our supply of Happy Meal toys.
  • Why does the world seem to turn a blind eye to China's crap? If a terrorist group did this, we'd be at war. But since it's China, somehow we'll work around it. It just seems like a pattern of behavior from China. Their government is 100x worse than any middle eastern country, constantly imprisoning their own people and doing horrible horrible things (including murder). And because we can get cheap toys we turn a blind eye? That's the ultimate hypocrisy.
    • It simple. They have nuclear weapons and a bigger army that can kick our American asses. They also have cheap slave labor that puts toxic materials in the products they make for us, killing our dogs, our children, and even their own babies.

    • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:42PM (#20459495) Journal
      I'm agreeing with most of what you say, but why would anybody be surprised that China is using its hackers to bust in to foreign networks. Everyone, I'm confident does it, including the US trying to break into Chinese state networks.

      Espionage is one of the oldest tools of civilization. Heck, even allies spy on each other. Wouldn't surprise me at all if the Brits were doing the same things to the US.

      Espionage, in fact, can be a very good thing for peace. The Soviets and the Americans knew so much about each others' military capacity and arsenals that neither side dreamed of an open, direct conflict. A lack of knowledge of the opposing side's capacity would have been infinitely more dangerous.
    • This article [fas.org] is a few years old, but I very much doubt anything has changed except the technology has improved even further. And there's this incident [findarticles.com].

      The Chinese spy on us. We spy on them. While it's inane, expensive, and annoying, it will go on for a long time yet. Heck, the CIA spies on various European countries too...

    • by dbIII (701233)
      Because if you go to war at the merest insult while insulting everyone else people see you as a clueless barbarian.
    • Why does the world seem to turn a blind eye to China's crap? If a terrorist group did this, we'd be at war. But since it's China, somehow we'll work around it.

      This sort of thing is routinely accepted by all countries. China puts up with US intelligence agencies hacking into their systems, the US puts up with Russian, Chinese, North Korean, Iranian etc etc hackers trying to get into their systems.

      You may remember a few years ago China shot down a US spy plane above their skies. The US defence was that the su
  • Wire up the IDS (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Quila (201335)
    Having an IDS hooked up to some missile launchers is starting to look good around now. I don't see any real difference between online war and physical war, and this was an act of war.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by qbwiz (87077) *
      Make sure you tell the enemy first, or they won't know to avoid triggering your doomsday device.
    • Re:Wire up the IDS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PhreakOfTime (588141) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:24PM (#20459367) Homepage

      Well, if you dont see any difference, I expect to see you in the enlistment line first thing tomorrow morning. And dont make up some BS that youve 'already served' because it will be a lie. NO SINGLE PERSON who has been in war, will make the suggestion to simply to go to war over a PC break-in.

      And if you STILL dont see any difference, try the following links; http://theheretik.typepad.com/the_heretik/images/c hild_of_war_life_in_death_053005.jpg [typepad.com] http://www.videos1.informationclearinghouse.info/i mages/seven.jpg [informatio...house.info]

      Those that modded this 'insightful' I would expect will be in the front of that enlistment line tomorrow, right ahead of you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sholden (12227)
      Because no country has ever tried spying before in all of history.

      Life would have been so much better if any spying attempt by the USSR/USA on the USA/USSR had resulted in the nukes being launched. Would have made the cold war a lot shorter anyway...
    • by Mr. Roadkill (731328) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:50PM (#20459585)
      Yeah, smart move.

      I can see it now. Some wack-job malcontent who would otherwise have loaded up a truck with explosives and taken out half a federal building and its daycare centre will instead penetrate the network of a western company in China. From there, he will penetrate a Chinese low-security network, and launch an attack against the toilet paper inventory system at the Pentagon. This will trigger the IDS, and the next thing we know the United States of America launches a first-strike against the Henan branch of the People's Yak Testicle Grading Board because that's who the attacking IP address belongs to. China retaliates. The U.S.A. retaliates against the retaliation.

      Still look like a good idea?

      (And for fuck's sake, nobody mod this funny. Okay, the People's Yak Testicle Grading board is hilarious, but the thought of *any* automated system being hooked up to launch controls is the stuff of nightmares... especially when there's no real way to tell if the "attack" is from your opponent or someone else who wants to pin the blame on them. Someone massing troops on the border or lobbing nukes your way? Worth a military escalation. Someone probing your network? Not so much.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by darkmeridian (119044)
      People die in real wars. And knocking out electronics sounds great, but if you fight a war with a country that owns the bears' share of your stock, and to whom you are indebted for billions each year, and which provides a lucrative potential market for your industry, that may not be good for the economy that keeps the war machine going.

      Why do you think America is on good terms with Communist China--even bringing them into the WTO--while we have an embargo on Communist Cuba? Because China doesn't execute peo
    • by dbIII (701233)
      Easy - people die in real wars. There are several going on at the moment to find out about.
    • Lighten up, Francis.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:06PM (#20459225) Homepage Journal
    Is anyone else nervous that these clowns are armed to the teeth, with enough firepower to destroy the world and make the rubble bounce several times?

    They're not just too incompetent to defend their systems (I'm sure the US penetrates the Chinese, too). But they're too dumb to refrain from penetrating each other, or just not get caught.

    These are the kinds of "brinksmanships" that keep us all close to the edge of destroying each other ("ourselves"). The kinds of stupid, complicated slap-happiness that gets out of hand. And gets into killing.
    • by Doc Ruby (173196)
      Moderation -1
          100% Troll

      What, exactly, was the response I was "trolling" for? TrollMods think they're armed to the teeth with mod points.
    • The troll marking simply means that you have one following you. I have at least two following me. S*&t happens.
    • by Dunbal (464142) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:47PM (#20459539)
      Is anyone else nervous that these clowns are armed to the teeth, with enough firepower to destroy the world and make the rubble bounce several times?

            Yes. America makes me very nervous. Oh, isn't that what you meant?

            China has around 200 nuclear weapons, compared to the US's 5000+.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        That's almost exactly what I meant. 5200 nukes is 5200 too many, especially in the hands of these jokers.
    • by tekrat (242117)
      Usually it's the dumber people who have all the weapons. Ride the subway in NYC and you'll understand this concept. It doesn't take any brains whatsoever to kill someone. In fact, having less brains makes it easier, since you're less likely to consider the consequences *before* pulling the trigger.

      And frankly, the bigger the weapons, the less brains behind them.
      With King George W. the least brainy of all, with the most firepower.

      And this is the way it's been since man walked the Earth.
      Mankind will never mak
  • Linux? Bsd? Billsoft?
    • by eli pabst (948845)
      You seriously think Robert Gates is using *BSD? I'm sure he's constantly emailing W about the best way to optimize gcc to compile his kernel as well :-]
  • by denissmith (31123) * on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:27PM (#20459391)
    Come on....the Chinese military is capable of hacking Robert Gates' office, yet is completely incapable of obscuring their tracks? You really believe that? This is another set up situation - an insider trying to scuttle a deal, or to embarrass someone, or to effect policy in some minor way, or just to get you going. I have no doubt the office was hacked - why admit something that makes you look so incompetent, but are we really to believe that they tracked down the ACTUAL culprits? Let's ask to see the evidence, for once - they never seem to have any of that these days.
    • by Dunbal (464142) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:44PM (#20459509)
      This is another set up situation

            I agree. Yet another anti-china story, in a long list of anti-china stories over the past few weeks, ever since the chinese threatened to call in the US debt when the US demanded the chinese revaluate the Yuan. More American propaganda being fed to the people, to make sure that China is slowly moved to the "axis of evil" category.
      • by eli pabst (948845)
        I hadn't heard anything about the "threat to call in the US debt" on the news, so I was going to call you out to provide a link. Then I did a google search. Makes you wonder about the timing of all these recalls on everything from childrens toys to pencils.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Propaganda was unnecessary. I placed their government in the "axis of evil" catagory all by myself. The Chinese Fascist Party (No point pretending that they're communist anymore) is the antithesis of everything that the concepts of freedom and human dignity stand for: Rewriting history, massive censorship, "re-education," the murder of dissenters, the mass murder of pro-democracy advocates at Tiananmen Square.

        The only thing that makes me sicker than the Chinese government is that the US supports them by
  • by theMerovingian (722983) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:32PM (#20459415) Journal

    Everyone knows the password is "Joshua"... Just stick to the Chess simulation when you get inside the DoD servers or you could be absconded by the FBI in an unmarked panel van.
  • by B5_geek (638928) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:36PM (#20459459)
    Lets make a couple of assumptions..

    (1) That the Pentagon doesn't have a Windows box connected to the Internet with a public IP address.
    (2) That the 'hackers' are smart-enough to actually hack into the Pentagon (ergo they are not script-kiddies).

    Wouldn't these hackers be smart enough to originate these attacks from some-other hacked network via an anonymous proxy? (And then delete any logs that still might point to their activities.)

    At the very least I would expect a simple IP spoofing to have taken place.

    This was too easy, something is up.
    • Nothing's up (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098)
      I've worked with military networks. No, not everything that ends in .mil is classified. Yes, they also run windows boxes. No, it doesn't require special skill to hack into that kind of network. It's very similar to breaching any ol' corporate network. Granted, the people I worked with were fairly paranoid and quite up to speed on proper security procedures. But this crack isn't the same as getting access to classified hardware.

      Call me again when that happens. In the meantime - congrats, they probably found
    • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Monday September 03, 2007 @11:05PM (#20459731) Homepage

      "Lets make a couple of assumptions..

      (1) That the Pentagon doesn't have a Windows box connected to the Internet with a public IP address.
      Why would you make such an almost certainly erroneous assumption? The U.S. Military uses Micro$hit, as do most (all?) fortune 500 companies. There are an astounding number of incompetant "sysadmins" who think that an M$ certification is an indication that they are computer gurus. There is a reason why there is a joke about Military Intelligence being an oxymoron.

      Are there some super-smart people in the military? Of course. Are there incompetant ones in positions of power as well? I don't know. Let's ask the Commander in Chief ... Oh wait ... I do know ;-)
      • Micro$hit? (Score:3, Funny)

        by Vicsun (812730)
        I prefer the term MiKKKro$hit myself. Not only does replacing soft with shit indicate my opinion of their software, along with the dollar sign indicating how greedy they are, I believe replacing the 'c' with KKK will portray them as the oppressive organization that they are, along with completely destroying any semblance of respect my post might have commanded up until that point.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thanatos_x (1086171)
      I recall reading a story about attacks on one of the research labs (Los Alamos, I think). Someone noticed something was going on, the attacks were incredibly well disciplined, like a good burglar - get in, get what you can grab quickly, and get out. They didn't spend too much time on anyone thing, they just downloaded anything they could grab and got out, to repeat some other time (~2am local time)

      He eventually traced their attacks to a Chinese IP, after they hopped numerous machines in the process. He turn
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:44PM (#20459511)
    74 posts and no jokes yet about the Pentagon having a chink in their armor? I'm impressed. Honestly, I'm not sure what's scarier, this or all the cheap crap on the shelves at Wal-Mart.
  • The secret military networks are not connected to the public internet at all. I'd like to see a hacker cross an air gap.
  • I really don't know what to do with that news, obviously, it's a slow news day. But this kind of things just keep on popping up every month or so. So, here's my take, before going out for a bite.

    1) Everyone is scanning or hacking everyone else, big deal, get over it. And even my lowly servers get hit by port scanning and hack attempts every minute from US-based IPs, and believe it or not, some IPs are traced back to some .mil or .gov domains (those might be zombies, or they might be some stupid hacking appr
  • NSAKEY (Score:2, Informative)

    by Werrismys (764601)
    Do you truly believe the US has not done the reverse a hundred times already? No wonder China wants to move away from M$ "operating systems."
  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:06AM (#20460231)
    How many Americans are in prison for cracking in to the pentagon? The only difference here is that rather than a group of crackers with no political affiliation, this group of crackers is part of a foreign military. Who honestly believes that the US (ala CIA and NSA) isn't doing the same to some other country (e.g. Russia, North Korea, China) right now?
    • by DragonTHC (208439)
      The difference is that the NSA has a back door into all major operating systems. They don't need to crack in.

      This sort of issue could be fixed if the Pentagon switched from using windows based systems to using SELinux systems with mandatory smart card access.

      Remember, there are 2 levels of privilege above administrator in windows, and there are 3 backdoor keys into windows. Microsoft's, the NSA's and who knows who has the third?

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.

Working...