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China Denies Role In US Grid Hacks

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the stopped-beating-my-wife dept.

The Internet 91

Slatterz writes "The Chinese government is denying any involvement in the reported infiltration of US electric grid systems. Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu as saying that any sort of involvement from China in the incident 'doesn't exist at all.' The denial follows a report in the Wall Street Journal which claimed that agents from China and Russia along with several other countries had infiltrated the computer systems charged with managing electricity in the US and left behind software payloads which could be used to control or disable electric grids in the US." Bruce Schneier is skeptical about the whole story.

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Two schools of thought here: (4, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27568965)

Either they did it and aren't telling (would we?) or these are simple hackers like in Russia, the Ukraine, or even here. Or they're part of the mob.

This assumption that it must have been committed by the government is unfounded; though I would not be surprised at all. Wouldn't we if we got the shot?

Re:Two schools of thought here: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569055)

Or they're a bunch of chinks. In armor, of course.

Nuke the red dog menace, nuke 'em NOW !!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569127)

Cut off the head and do it now !!! The red dog menace is a cancer to the core of humanity

Re:Nuke the red dog menace, nuke 'em NOW !!! (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569247)

I recommend decaf from now on.

Spambots (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570325)

All this info was based on the fact that some USA power stations have their IP's blacklisted on spam blacklists.

Couldn't it just be that their security isn't exactly in condition and they just got the normal spambots there? :) A lot more US gov places like DoD and military have got theirs too.

And to add to that, its 50x more logical explanation than the "bad" chinese and russians hacking USA power grids to do bad things.

Smoke and mirrors (1, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569059)

If the US Gov did it to China, China would have a nice chat with the US ambassador and use that as ammo in the next round of negotiations (trade/military) etc.

Same for the other way round.

And if it were really serious, it'll be more like "Stop that or else!".

So clearly it isn't anything serious.

Most of this "China Bogeyman" stuff is just some political posturing or "smoke and mirrors" for some USA entity's benefit.

Just some distraction from the real issues.

Re:Two schools of thought here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569609)

If they were simple hackers, China woudl have thrown them in jail already and sold their bodies to one of those companies that then turn them into artwork. China isn't goign to put up with people willy-nilly hackign into whatever systems they want. They must have at least a wink and a nod from the government.

Re:Two schools of thought here: (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569631)

Option 3: There was no organized hack and some specialists wanted more government funding!

Re:Two schools of thought here: (4, Insightful)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569801)

Perhaps it's just a case of the US energy grid getting old and crappy, and someone else needing a scapegoat for the trouble to come.

B.

False dichotomy (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570667)

*OR* nothing really happened, as pointed out multiple time grid control are not on the net, and somebody just overhyped something far more usual like hacker trying to get control on a computer linked to internet for botting.

Third school of thought (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571849)

This also reflects the skill set of our technicians. Are our IT professionals too incompetent to keep crackers out? "So easy even a caveman can do it" ...
FTFA: What about the "additional packages" left behind?
Let me wrap my head around this ...
Not only can we NOT keep intruders out of our networks
Our IT personnel can't even clean the droppings the intruders left behind???

Maybe we should just hire and pay some Chinese techs to secure our networks then ...

Homer Simpson did it as he so dumb and china is ju (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27568967)

Homer Simpson did it as he so dumb and china is just a cover story. Also mr burns is at flat as he is to cheap to upgrade from windows 98 / nt 4.

Re:Homer Simpson did it as he so dumb and china is (5, Funny)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569091)

Me fail English? That's unpossible!

Re:Homer Simpson did it as he so dumb and china is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569731)

I'm pretty sure Joe the Dragon can use english a lot better than you can use his native language.

Your joke would have been funnier if you hadn't us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569487)

Your joke would have been funnier if you hadn't used the first half of it as the Subject line.

"along with several other countries" (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27568973)

This is code for "Israel".

Re:"along with several other countries" (3, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569299)

If Israel hacked the US grid they are most likely getting paid by the US to show the US where the weak-points are. This is not unheard of. Israel is very good with technology and network security. But Israel really doesn't work with Russia, Russia hates Israel - largely due to the fact Israel supported the US during the cold-war against Russia.

Re:"along with several other countries" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569681)

There used to be a joke that it was cheaper, quicker and more reliable for $WESTERN_NATION to buy pay the Israelis to steal information from the Soviets which their own employees had leaked to the reds than it was to simply ask the relevant department for the information.

Re:"along with several other countries" (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569737)

Israel supported the US during the cold-war against Russia.

yeah... how about the whole, humiliating Russia's closest allies and nearly causing the start of world war 3, thing?
Six Day War? Don't remember that? Seriously?
READ A BOOK!

Re:"along with several other countries" (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587141)

Yup I remember the stories my dad would tell me about the Six Day war. He was involved in it. Israel attacked by muslim countries. So how does that relate to my comment that Russia is not friendly to israel?

Re:"along with several other countries" (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27573101)

Not necessarily. Israel, France, Britain, and a few other such "allies" all have active intelligence operations in the US, for various reasons. I wouldn't be surprised if hacking into critical infrustructure systems was among the activities of one such country.

Re:"along with several other countries" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27578753)

Not necessarily. Israel, France, Britain, and a few other such "allies" all have active intelligence operations in the US, for various reasons. I wouldn't be surprised if hacking into critical infrustructure systems was among the activities of one such country.

Puh-lease. Israel likely has active intelligence operations in the US, but there's no way that they hacked into the US power grid illicitly because they have no interest to do so. Israel's intelligence in the US is primarily directed at gathering information about Israel's enemies that the US chooses to withhold (for applying political pressure to Israel--neither country is a perfectly wonderful "ally"). Hacking into the power grid is only useful to someone who wants to attack the US or hold it for ransom and clearly Israel, France, and Britain do not fall into that category.

That's It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27568975)

If they are going to turn off the power while I'm trying to watch "Ow, My Balls" on Fox or if my government successfully gets me to believe that, I am going to vote for whoever will blow them back to the stone age.

Re:That's It (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569125)

If they are going to turn off the power while I'm trying to watch "Ow, My Balls" on Fox or if my government successfully gets me to believe that, I am going to vote for whoever will blow them back to the stone age.

Don't laugh. That's what the "war on terror" and now, this, are all about. We here in the U.S. need a bogie man! We need for someone to be the "bad guy" so that the government can "protect us" from them. And it's really easy to in a culture that is heavily inundated with religions that have a Zorastrianist view that everything is a struggle of "good" vs. "evil". And of course we're the "good guys", so they must be the "bad guys", right?

I, for one, wouldn't be surprised if the electrical grid weren't being inflitrated by CIA or NSA hackers.

Re:That's It (2, Insightful)

Paul server guy (1128251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582313)

If they are going to turn off the power while I'm trying to watch "Ow, My Balls" on Fox or if my government successfully gets me to believe that, I am going to vote for whoever will blow them back to the stone age.

Don't laugh. That's what the "war on terror" and now, this, are all about. We here in the U.S. need a bogie man! We need for someone to be the "bad guy" so that the government can "protect us" from them. And it's really easy to in a culture that is heavily inundated with religions that have a Zorastrianist view that everything is a struggle of "good" vs. "evil". And of course we're the "good guys", so they must be the "bad guys", right?

I, for one, wouldn't be surprised if the electrical grid weren't being inflitrated by CIA or NSA hackers.

And I'd mod you insightful...

i know ill get bitched at for this (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569079)

but could it be possible that for once, we're not under constant attack from enemy nations and have nothing to really fear?
the last time we cringed in terror at another country as a pretext for invasion, it turned out they were guilty of a lot less than we
originally conjectured.

if china were hacking into our powerplants and infrastructure, what purpose would it seriously serve? china manufactures a bulk of american goods, and holds a bulk of american debt.
we are an economic interest, so one could argue harm to us is harm to china.

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (4, Insightful)

emocomputerjock (1099941) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569203)

Are you honestly asking what purpose does technological dominance serve? Do you think any nation would turn down the ability to flip the switch on another country, regardless of the status of relations between the two?

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (0, Troll)

Caue (909322) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569241)

I'm so glad to hear that not every american is a narcisist self-centered moron.

come on people, even fundamentalists only hate america because they don't produce anthing that can be bought by the ever-so-consumist typical american (and americans had the nasty habit of bombing fundamentalist cottages).

anyway, China needs american buyers, Russia needs american buyers, Europe, Brazil, India, Japan, Australia, Cingapure, S. Korea, all dependent of the mc crap junkies. There is a brazilian saying "you shouldn't spit on the dish you eat". My bet is that stands correct in this case, all the way.

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (1)

runlevelfour (1329235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569591)

Nimbius has it right. If anything the US is a satellite of China now. Everything is made there, and at least for now it is in China's best interest to make sure the US can afford their slave made goods. That said, it doesn't mean that China will always want or need the US as a client. One can imagine that once their infrastructure is complete and they have caught up technologically (if they already haven't?) the only thing they will need other countries for is resources. It wouldn't surprise me if things of this nature were unofficially sanctioned by the Chinese government. I believe most if not all governments do these sorts of things under the radar all the time and just never get caught. Probably a matter of hedging your bets when/if it ever comes to blows with the other country. In any case, there should be definitive proof before pointing a finger, especially since the list of US enemies has grown exponentially in the last...oh decade or so.

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569621)

N O !

WE have always been at war with eurasia. They are our mortal enemy!

Please report to the nearest happy-think re-education center or sit in front of your telescreen for another 10 hours for home reeducation.

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569873)

I think it's just the US power grid that is old and is going to give the US a lot of problems very soon: http://www.planetizen.com/node/10879 [planetizen.com]

B.

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (3, Insightful)

izomiac (815208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569923)

and holds a bulk of american debt. we are an economic interest, so one could argue harm to us is harm to china.

Well, apparently China holds 1/16th [wikipedia.org] of the national debt, which is essentially what Japan has as well, so I wouldn't call that the bulk. OTOH, if they did hold the bulk of the US debt, debt as a deterrent isn't that great an idea. Or at least it didn't end well for the Knights Templar [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (1)

Huge_UID (1089143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570505)

King Philip IV was in debt to the Knights Templar, and erased his debt by eliminating the order. We are in debt to China. Reverse situation.

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27573213)

Not sure what you're referencing to in that source you linked. However, under the Foreign Ownership section, it lists China as the largest holder of US Treasury securities, at 24%, with Japan a 2nd at not-quite-21%. That 24% of foreign ownership might equal 1/16 of the total debt (I haven't done the math yet), but China clearly holds the bulk of foreign-owned debt. Which makes GP correct.

Seems unlikely (2, Insightful)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 5 years ago | (#27582531)

Given that actively infiltrating another country's critical infrastructure and sabotaging it would be considered a provocative act of war by a good number of states, it seems unlikely that China would be eager to do this. Yes, they are communists, but they are not particularly eager to get in a big pissing match with the USA, when they seem to be doing so well selling us anything that isn't nailed down. It is possible that such an act is the action of a independent minded general or politburo functionary, but if it is, I expect that they will get slapped down. China gets no real benefit by provoking a major trade partner and heavily armed world power. They are doing quite well right now, and we aren't even really an enemy. Rivals perhaps, but there is nowhere the level of animosity between the US and China that there was between the US and the USSR in the 60s or 80s.

However, China has a number of slavering nationalistic hacker groups operating inside their borders. This seems like the sort of stunt they might pull. If they are responsible, and they blew the job, China will just round up a bunch of them and ship them off to inner Mongolia work camps as an object lesson to their peers. China might be willing to turn a blind eye to their activities while they are a nuisance, but they cannot allow rogue nationalist groups provoke international incidents. It is possible that they are working with the Chinese military, but that doesn't seem that likely, as any link revealed would be a major embarrassment to China and you are back to the same issue of risk vs. reward. States aren't generally eager to cut loose non-government entities to act on their behalf.

I will be the first to not bitch at you, then (2, Insightful)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569957)

You're absolutely right

I'm skeptical of the whole story. Is our eletrical grid really accessible to spies? If our electric grid is connected at all to the public Internet then we have bigger problems, namely TeH Stupid, and we'll soon defeat ourselves with our own dementia.

Second, When you find software 'payloads', as the story claims the officials have , is your first impulse not to phase out all infected systems and replace them with safe, clean ones? This seems pretty easy to fix.

Re:I will be the first to not bitch at you, then (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580781)

No. Your first impulse should not be to scrub the obviously infected systems. Take them offline yes, but you need to thoroughly examine them to determine how they were compromised and asses what else might be in your network that you don't know about.

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571091)

if china were hacking into our powerplants and infrastructure, what purpose would it seriously serve? china manufactures a bulk of american goods, and holds a bulk of american debt. we are an economic interest, so one could argue harm to us is harm to china.

If this is happening maybe you'd need to look for a party interested in harming both the US and China.

Re:i know ill get bitched at for this (1)

allgoodnamesaretaken (689728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27581431)

the last time we cringed in terror at another country as a pretext for invasion, it turned out they were guilty of a lot less than we originally conjectured.

I thought you were about to say: the last time we cringed in terror at another country as a pretext for invasion, it turned out they were guilty of a lot less than we were.

Oh no! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569087)

The Chinese found a chink in our armor!

Fun, Fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569095)

They got framed by the Russians. ;)

Internet II and Free Speach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569129)

Our so-called leaders are looking to destroy [youtube.com] the current free-speech internet...i'd look to them first before any other country.

I'm just jealous (3, Funny)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569147)

I wish my country's government (UK) was anywhere near that technically adept...

I'm just relieved (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569459)

If it were the UK hacking the US power system, my wall outlets would start leaking oil.

the solution is .. (4, Insightful)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569157)

The solution is to take computer systems [opednews.com] charged with managing electricity off the Internet

Re:the solution is .. (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569547)

http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?date=2009-04-08 [sans.org]

They may not be. Also, the 2003 blackout was caused by maintenance failures, specifically not trimming trees, not worms.

blame the trees .. (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569815)

Maybe it's mutant commie alien trees [wikipedia.org] that are hacking the US power grid.

Re:the solution is .. (1)

MK_CSGuy (953563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570435)

Reading that many of the grid controllers are connected to the internet seemed odd to me too, but it turns out that there are many controllers in remote and desolate places where the only possible communication is through the internet (i.e. through phonelines).
Now, it would be a good move (security-wise) to place a new isolated fiber\copper network between those controllers, but it does sound more costly than you first think when reading the article.

Re:the solution is .. (4, Interesting)

greyfeld (521548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571119)

While that sounds good, it really isn't a realistic or technically feasible. The grid was not originally designed to handle the huge amounts of electricity that are currently being transferred between entities. The power pools must have some way to manage the flow of electricity across the wires to keep the system from being overloaded and brought down. It is also necessary to monitor the flows to collect the tariffs that are charged.

For example, if Company A in Oklahoma City sells electricity to Company B in Des Moines, the power pools must be able to verify that there is capacity on the lines in between, whose lines the electricity will be travelling across so that they can maintain the stability of the grid, and collect the tariff paid to all the intervening transmission line owners. Without these systems being connected via computers, there is no way to accurately maintain and monitor the current system.

As the Northeast blackout of a few years ago pointed out, lack of visibility into these systems can result in a devastating cascade of blackouts. If the Chinese or Russions actually do have Trojan Horses planted in these systems, they could literally bring us to our knees and shut down the country. It is really not that far-fetched since many of the smaller electric companies are locally owned co-ops or run by small cities with little or no budgets for security infrastructure or staff. The NERC CIP standards are certainly a step in the the right direction, but require a huge investment in time and manpower many of these smaller companies can't really afford.

What it really comes down to in the end is continually increasing rates as customers demand reliability from their electricity provider. This reliability comes in the form of better computer controls of the electric system along with increases in the security around those systems. It is no longer feasible from a cost perspective to have a human being at each substation and switch gear with a walkie talkie. Utilities are trying to keep the rates down by automating the systems. Unfortunately, that introduces a new kind of risk. The risk that they are hacked, not only by the simple hacker, but by the nation state that views having a backdoor into our systems as a type of insurance in the event of war.

Re:the solution is .. (3, Insightful)

IP_Troll (1097511) | more than 5 years ago | (#27572685)

it really isn't a realistic or technically feasible.

Either you missed the point of the OP or are ignoring it on purpose. There is no reason for the power grid to be on the consumer internet and you cited none.

The power grid was designed before the internet.

The controls you described to switch power between providers already exist. There is not a human being flipping switches at every substation with "walkie talkies", there is already an automated system to switch power which is completely independent from the internet. If you want to upgrade this already existing network to include modern hardware, do not connect it with the internet.

You are acting like it is impossible to create a network of computers without WWW access. The power grid doesn't need twitter, or even a GUI interface, it just needs to send simple signals between embedded systems. transmitting signals between embedded systems can be accomplished without connecting the power grid to facebook.

Re:You can connect computers w/o internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575493)

Ok, kids, get off my lawn.
The internet is cheaper than a dedicated line, to be sure -- so what? You trade bucks for security willing in a lot of other contexts. Oh, that's right, using M$ hackable-by-design software, you might have trouble with doing anything a bit out of ordinary, like a dialup or dedicated line.

Sure, stuff that controls the grid (which BTW I've not been on for 3 decades now -- solar has been reliable for that long already) has to integrate, which requires connection. Those were a lot of words to explain the obvious, while failing to understand that the gee whiz neato internet isn't the only way there is to push bits. Talk about a failure of assumption checking!

Does this mean we have to let the whole world have access to that connection? No, only if we insist that the Inet is the only way. Duh.

I believe Bruce Schneier had a topic on this one a few years back. On the internet, people can attack from anywhere, with little cost to them. Where I live, to attack me in any other way, you have to get here first, which costs you something.

Crap, the power companies already push data right down the HV lines now at a few hundred kHz -- and prevented a new ham band from being authorized as they were afraid it might interfere with it. It's not like there's no way other than the open internet to exchange data in reasonably real time.

What a boner.

Bearing in mind that most of the IT hardware (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569161)

(Routers & Switches) installed at these locations (Plus the DOD, FBI etc) are manufactured in China I'm surprised they'd even bother with something like this bearing in mind they can probably already read Obama's email and listen to most of his phone calls. If they did do it it was probably just a proof of concept or a shot over the bows.

Nil illegitimi carborundum

No Wong-doing here, but... (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569201)

... like Chi.com imported drywall, it leaves a stink even when it clears inspection.

Schneier (1, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569217)

Schneier is a computer security expert, not a geo-strategist, and he was wrong about Iran's lost connectivity a few months ago when we all discovered the high frequency of Internet cables malfunctions.

Iran's lost connectivity (4, Informative)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569329)

"Schneier is a computer security expert, not a geo-strategist, and he was wrong about Iran's lost connectivity a few months ago when we all discovered the high frequency of Internet cables malfunctions"

In what way was Schneier wrong about Iran [schneier.com] and how does not being a geo-strategist relate to the validity of the claims that China infiltrated the US power grid?

Re:Iran's lost connectivity (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571731)

In saying that this was a utterly strange coincidence and saying that Iran was offline. He later made corrections, but was wrong in assuming for instance that one router offline meant Iran was disconnected. On this, he didn't played his role as an expert : he relied on sources who misinterpreted raw information.

Re:Schneier (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569799)

For what it's worth, Schneier did notice something that makes sense, even if you're neither a security expert nor a geo-strategist:

Read the whole story; there aren't really any facts in it.

Enough said.

Schneier IS wrong (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27572521)

"Honestly, I am much more worried about random errors and undirected worms in the computers running our infrastructure than I am about the Chinese military. I am much more worried about criminal hackers than I am about government hackers."

That's pretty damn shortsighted on his part, then. We should be worrying about criminal mischief, but it's simply stupid to ignore national security implications of things like infrastructure. If another major war between peer nations comes, it won't just be ordinance being dropped... attacking each other by non-conventional and "soft" means will be a part of it too.

Re:Schneier (1)

Mr 44 (180750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27574229)

Schneier is a cryptography expert, but on his new, broader security (not even just computer security) focus, I don't see any evidence for him to hold a title above "pundit".

How could they have done it? (1)

SuperNothing307 (1399851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569221)

They're just a developing country. (http://www.telecomasia.net/article.php?id_article=8986)

Someone please hack my grid? (1)

SalaSSin (1414849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569225)

Can someone please hack my power grid and coffee machine and tell it to start making coffee, in one hour, so it's done when i'm home?
Thanks.

Re:Someone please hack my grid? (3, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569335)

Roger that. I set your coffee machine to start brewing your coffee in about three minutes, but I also took the liberty of making a couple of tweaks to the internal thermostat, just to make sure it's good and hot when you get home. You've got insurance in case something goes awry, right?

Re:Someone please hack my grid? (1)

SalaSSin (1414849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569943)

Sure, go ahead, i just finished emptying my apartment. Finally a way to get the money of the insurance and keep my stuff. Thanks dude ;-)

Re:Someone please hack my grid? (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#27577927)

Sadly, as your insurance agent, I've been keeping track of any potentially damaging connections coming out of the apartment and noted the vulnerability in your grid some time ago. palegray's physical location has also been tracked and recorded. Now, if you'd just give me your forwarding address, I can have the... insurance "cancellation" form... sent to you.

FraUDulent billionerrors deny role in demise of US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569239)

doesn't change the facts one bit. liars & touts & shills oh my! better days ahead? additional patentdead PostBlock censorship suppled by robbIE.

Pudding (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569263)

The proof is in it. Whoever is making claims that Chinese/Russian gov't is involved should show it to us, otherwise this is FUD. They don't have to name names of spies, etc but they need to give us more then "we know it's china/russia".

The proof is on the wire. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569267)

Well I happen to work for a government agency, and a very disproportionately large number of the attacks we see on a daily basis are coming from China. Whether or not these are state sponsored, I don't know, but the Chinese government certainly isn't making any real effort to hold these "useful idiots" at bay. You would of course expect more because they are more populous but it really is disproportionate, more like 8x-10x the amount of attacks seen from other wired countries per capita. At what point does a country become responsible for the traffic that leaves its borders? Especially one with border firewalls? I'm on board with the information warfare theory. I see it every day...I'm in favor of holding them responsible.

Re:The proof is on the wire. (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 5 years ago | (#27572249)

Ahem. PACKETS.

packets from China

Re:The proof is on the wire. (1)

antv (1425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27573315)

Define "them". China is a country with a large number of pirated (and therefore unpatched) Windows installations. Many of those machines are part of spam botnets and so on. You have no way of knowing who is controlling those machines. If those people could hack into US govt computers, it's pretty damn likely they could hack into Chinese govt computers too, and use those as a relay. The probability of Chinese govt being incompetent in this case is way much higher than the probability of them being both technically competent and malicious.

Re:The proof is on the wire. (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27574833)

They could seriously reduce the amount of hack attempts from their country if they wanted to, but they have no incentive to do so. Worst case scenario currently is a Chinese hacker hacks something big and causes a lot of upset/damage, and China makes an official apology while laughing their asses off. It certainly would be an act of war for a small band of Chinese special forces to take out some substations, why is not an act of war for a small band of Chinese hackers to take them out from the comfort of their own homes?

The Chinese would have no problems at all deporting the hackers to the US to face trial, after all, this is a country where the government allows companies to dump tons of toxic waste on beaches and pay children to pick out all the expensive bits.

But... (2, Funny)

jar240 (760653) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569341)

Didn't Jack Bauer take care of this two seasons ago?

Common sense (2, Insightful)

dword (735428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569357)

This is like "duuuuh!", like you know...
It's like I can't see why China would like, you know, PUBLICLY ADMIT LIKE THEY'RE FUCKING WITH THE U.S.

This is not news at all. Thank you.

Re:Common sense (2, Interesting)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571961)

A few years ago China grounded one of our "spy" planes & sent it home in crates.

A few weeks ago China ran one of our naval vessels out of international waters.

I don't know about admission, but if they aren't too worried about publicly screwing with us in meatspace, I really don't think they'd be worried about it in cyberspace.

Re:Common sense (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 5 years ago | (#27574689)

Actually, it was the US who publicized the "conflict" in the international waters, not the China. Looks like an intentional leak from the Pentagon to pressure the new president.

who has power grids attackable by the Internet (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569375)

and an audience which believes this

is worth also the FUD which tells them that their power grid is under Internet attack

being an electrical engineer and having an electrical power engineer as father - he said: BULLSH?T

Re:who has power grids attackable by the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569557)

Is the electric grid in the US regulated or is it like the financial system? If not regulated, they are probably running the grid using Excel on windows 95, just like they keep track of the nuclear weapons (as I recall, the russians pointed out a bug in that spreadsheet when they were given a copy of it).

Sounds Like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27569719)

Anonymous has struck again!

Damned terrorists.

FUD (3, Insightful)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569789)

"intrusions were detected not by the companies in charge of the infrastructure"

but

"U.S. intelligence agencies"

Officials cautioned that the motivation of the cyberspies wasn't well understood
Officials are the ones making the accusations

China, for example, has little incentive to disrupt the U.S. economy because it relies on American consumers and holds U.S. government debt.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Wang Baodong said..

"some people overseas with Cold War mentality are indulged in fabricating the sheer lies of the so-called cyberspies in China."

As Bruce Schneier said which one of these power outages [wikipedia.org] is by hackers
I just hope this isn't some cover for the US to do what their accusing others of, why else this line below...

Congress approved $17 billion in secret funds to protect government networks

Power System Hacks (1)

RobbityBob (1516763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569811)

It is worth looking at Bruce Schneier' view of this: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/04/us_power_grid_h.html [schneier.com] The point being that there are no control/SCADA systems on the grid which are also connected to the internet.

Re:Power System Hacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27572059)

If it's not on the internets then it's utterly Un hackable right?

Re:Power System Hacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27572069)

I have wire $5 wire snippers and gps can I Help repair the fucking SCADA systems? Or does a national emergency and bloated boat full of thieving pirate murdering corporate, Evote rigging, media blacklistin, felons have to milk the taxpayers some more trillions?

To stay on topic, I heard it though the grapevine that dams are NOT connected to the internet.

In other news..
Wow stocks are doing good huh?

How much longer until they change the INDEX?
if ^DJI 4000, Then
scramble egg and charge charlie, I mean the taxpayer

I bet it happens as soon as this last fake bull boom peters out. That way it APPEARS all is well. (HINT: IT'S ALL DRY ROT UNDER THE HOOD, ALL THESE "BANKS" ARE BANKRUPT!!! Shhhhhh...It's supposed to be SECRET and that's why we delay'ed the timing of the release of the "BANK TESTS (tm)")
What the FED (not fed) going to do? Lower interest? Pay me to take a loan? Show me your BOOKS?

I would be the BANK then!

Yeah, America

SOBER UP! WAKE UP IT'S ALMOST TOO LATE.

we got to get organized and round up the players that are fucking our country up. get these electronic vote tabulators outlawed, control of the media, and our privacy, then roast every fucker from the wars we did back in the 70's, Clear out the pentagon, the whole thing needs a God damned cleaning. No more Kissingers, Rockafellahs, Cheney's, Iran/Contra/Vietnam/Cambodia's this whole thing is fucking nonsense!

Aren't you sick of this imbred list of leadership (sic) names yet? It's a fucking cancer disaster. A lot of friendly and kick ass government people will also get sucked into the vacuum in order to clean it up. But the math will force the issue eventually. -IMO

Bargaining Chip (3, Interesting)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27569929)

Modern day espionage as far as I can see it is bargaining chip, much like nuclear weapons. It's about what leverage you have. It's not so much the use of it, but rather a demonstration of what can be done.

We now are now entering the age of Digital Mutually Assured Destruction and Economic Mutually Assured Destruction. For you wee tikes out there that was what kept the USA and Soviet Union (hell do the kids even know what a soviet is anymore?) from turning the world into the game Fallout 3...

N-MAD and now D-MAD and E-MAD.

Is it just me... (1)

Rhipf (525263) | more than 5 years ago | (#27570501)

or does it sound like someone has been watching too much 24. (Sends in Jack Bauer to investigate.)

False Flag Setup Preperations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27570891)

Can ya feel it?

Something with the grid, web communications coming down the line.

FISA/NSA snoop us, so they know what we (the important among us) talk about, and are able to use timing as a weapon against us.

They release a stories about problems with our infrastructure potentially being cracked on a quarterly basis the stories with no ROOT (identifiable person) spam the web with either overly moderated, closed topic, or non-existant feedback forms from BIG fascist news sources. Always ignoring common sense. e.g. DISCONNECT the infrastructure from the web.

There's a bill to give the president power to "Kill the web"

Common man can't declare bankruptcy. While the biggest piracy the EARTH has ever seen is willingly allowed to happen by our Senate.
every man woman and child now owe's $40,000.

Attacks on journalists, especially blogger journalism.

Never-ending Emergency State, yellow alert currently.

Something's up. And it's coming from these piece of shit death squad, war profiteering players from the 1970's. You can bet your fucking ass.

Not only does the pentagon need a Security Evaluation Check of ever person. They need to get out all them old creepy fuckers from Central America, etc.

How about a real life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27571001)

Real life hacking attempt to bring a nation to it's knees. It worked for days.

http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/15-09/ff_estonia?currentPage=all

Had the same people had access to the power grid, the assault would have been more effective.

in other news... (1)

schamarty (942187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27571521)

Pakistan denies role in terrorist attacks in India

Smirnoff says... (1)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27572287)

In America, you claim your electrical grid was hacked. Because from Soviet China, grid hacks you!

I still say (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27572477)

It was employees looking at bad animal porn sites.

The Three Biggest Lies in the 21st Century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27574807)

I won't cum in your mouth, I'll only put the head of it in, and I am not hacking your infrastructure.

Hmm..Did anyone else see this happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27593131)

Everyone, this is interesting. And I'm not necessarily targeting any particular nation or pick-your-favorite-blackhat-organization...

We're a business in the US Northeast, and while I received the original alerts when it happened, I only discovered yesterday by closely-examining multiple APC UPS' Event Logs on a remote site's network that the remote site's power was cut precisely at 04:02:09 AM on 4/2/2009 for exactly 1 minute. Was this some bored power employee's idea of an April Fool's joke then or what?

Did anyone else see this in the US Northeast region?

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