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China's Cyber-Militia 196

Posted by kdawson
from the less-power-to-you dept.
D. J. Keenan notes that the cover story of the current issue of National Journal reports in depth on China's cyber-aggression against US targets in the government, military, and business. We have discussed China's actions on numerous occasions over the years. The news in this report is the suggestion that Chinese cyber-attackers may have been involved in major power outages in the US. "Computer hackers in China, including those working on behalf of the Chinese government and military, have penetrated deeply into the information systems of US companies and government agencies, stolen proprietary information from American executives in advance of their business meetings in China, and, in a few cases, gained access to electric power plants in the United States, possibly triggering two recent and widespread blackouts in Florida and the Northeast, according to US government officials and computer-security experts..."
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China's Cyber-Militia

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  • by D. J. Keenan (524557) on Saturday May 31, 2008 @03:45PM (#23611875) Homepage
    [I am the submitter.]
    It is a long article, but worth reading. The suspicion of Chinese involvement in two major U.S. power outages is extremely worrying. Following are quotes on related aspects.

    The Central Intelligence Agency's chief cyber-security officer, Tom Donahue, said that hackers had breached the computer systems of utility companies outside the United States and that they had even demanded ransom.

    ... many of the systems that [U.S.] utility operators use were designed by others. Intelligence officials now worry that software developed overseas poses another layer of risk because malicious codes or backdoors can be embedded in the software at its creation. U.S. officials have singled out software manufacturers in emerging markets such as, not surprisingly, China.

    "Numerous computer networks around the world, including those owned by the U.S. government, were subject to intrusions [in 2007] that appear to have originated within" the People's Republic of China. ... the [Chinese] Army is "building capabilities for information warfare" for possible use in "pre-emptive attacks."
  • good old propaganda (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gearoid_Murphy (976819) on Saturday May 31, 2008 @07:02PM (#23613173)
    I've often scoffed at the seemingly obtuse propaganda used by communist nations in their media, to be fair, usa has plenty propaganda too, but this is just laughable, if you read about the North East blackout [wikipedia.org], you'll see that a bug in a Unix based system was primarily responsible for the failure of the electricity infrastructure to react when it should have.
    Now, if I was a Chinese spy, I'd infiltrate General Electric, install a bug in the operating software responsible for the control of the energy distribution network, wait till those dumb ol americans had got complacent and then, for no strategic advantage whatsoever, cripple their energy distribution network, and then laugh my black communist heart out.
  • by Herschel Cohen (568) on Saturday May 31, 2008 @07:58PM (#23613509) Homepage Journal
    I have a theory, since it is obvious we will never win the "War Against Terror" we need an alternative to keep ourselves busy and afraid with another big, bad enemy of the scale of the Soviet Union. Then we all give up our rights without a grumble. Happy Days are here again, as we fight another Cold War (we understand those) or is it WWIV (ok, make it six).

    The content is too breathless. The words fed us smell like the b.s. we had before on lesser security issues. This all makes me dubious. I find it hard to take this seriously. We have too much incompetence that is too wide spread. Those leading only value ever enlarging cash piles while strenuously waving patriotic flags. It is just too familiar. So it has to be a foreign threat not good old American (U.S.) incompetence?

    Push this too far, we will be taking on an enemy so large it might mean those so used to sending the dispensable off to be killed or horribly injured may join the party. That is, this time it will be close up and very deadly for the even erstwhile avid supporters of the military, albeit previously from afar.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

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