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Cyber Attacks On US Military Jump Sharply In 2009

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the proportional-with-gold-farming dept.

Security 76

angry tapir writes "Cyber attacks on the US Department of Defense — many of them coming from China — have jumped sharply in 2009, a US congressional committee has reported. Citing data provided by the US Strategic Command, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said that there were 43,785 malicious cyber incidents targeting Defense systems in the first half of the year. That's a big jump. In all of 2008, there were 54,640 such incidents. If cyber attacks maintain this pace, the yearly increase will be around 60 percent. The full report (PDF) is available online."

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Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182556)

They aren't dumb enough to have anything actually important connected to the internet... Right? ...right? :(

Niggers! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182772)

What's the difference between an old black mama and an elephant? About four pounds.

targeted attacks? (1, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182562)

What would be interesting to know is that if these are targeted attacks specifically against US military networks, or just random scanning for vulnerabilities by every day botnets? I think it's the later case, because if they were targeted attacks they would be stupid not to hide their origins and you wouldn't know they are from china or similar country. Or maybe they're just playing with people's image of bad china and north korea.

And since when North Korean's have had internet?

Re:targeted attacks? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182606)

Think of all the contractors with the right clearances that have to come back in after Windows gets owned.
A few years ago they where on base housing just making ends meet, now they are contractors doing the same work for 2x 4x ?x times the wage.
So any MS box and inflated attack numbers do have their supporters.
From mega corps selling US wide 'protective' upgrades to small merc units doing clean up.
MS is really their best friend ever in this.
The NSA, DIA and other dept are safe, but its cheaper to keep MS on the front end for the mall fodder thats needs to be shipped to Iraq, Afghanistan to use MS.
Move the icon, the horizon lights up. If captured what can the say about MS? "Sarge tells us to reboot it a lot so it works when we need it?"

Re:targeted attacks? (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184252)

Taking random words out of a dictionary and stringing them together do not really contribute anything to this discussion. Might I suggest you attempt to think first, and then attempt to translate that into paragraphs and English sentences, I find it helps me a lot.

Re:targeted attacks? (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183046)


I think it's also the case that these figures probably largely include general, rather than targeted. Remember - it's in the Pentagon's best interest for America to be under threat. It means more money, more respect and more, er, money. ;)

The fact that the source of these attacks isn't concealed might also mean that... However, it doesn't need to mean that. After all, the US military might be run by a bunch of short-sighted politicians that don't listen to what their military advisors tell them, and they might bleed billions through dubious supply deals, but they're not a complete load of idiots. Even if China attempted to hide attacks, the US would ferret it out. I'm not sure anyone is in the same league as the NSA, for example. All hiding the attacks would do is make it look like China is serious. Doing it fairly openly is classic Chinese psychology: they're openly demonstrating the position of strength they are in vs. a US that has (stupidly, imo) committed its military resources heavily in the Iraq, squandered a lot of the tolerance and good will of the people of the USA for countenancing military action and, far more significantly than that, is driving home the point that economic retaliation by the US would be mutually assured destruction.

Given the source for all this information is from parties with a reason to enhance the public perception of threat, we have to regard it as dubious. However, that attacks have an obvious origin, isn't conclusive either way.

Re:targeted attacks? (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183616)

Doing it fairly openly is classic Chinese psychology

What is the classic Chinese psychology ? What do you really know about the Chinese and their psychology ?

Re:targeted attacks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183424)

Good point.

Also, as I've read elsewhere, if you're one in a million, China has 1300 identical to you. That number of attacks looks too conspicuous and yet, at the same time, might be work of a bunch of teenagers -- just like the case of the English dude who got inside Nasa.

Or perhaps they're doing in a wider way (e.g. because of tech secrets) and it just happens the mil attacks are better perceived. In this case, that would be the good ol' capitalist spying. Ironic, eh?

Kidde ping floods (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183592)

start>run>cmd

C:\Users\User>ping defense.gov -t

chicken feed (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182572)

"The cost of such attacks is significant," the report notes. Citing data from the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, the report says that the military spent $100 million to fend off these attacks between September 2008 and March 2009

That's a lot of money... That's almost 8 full hours of what is being spent on Iraq.

Re:chicken feed (-1, Flamebait)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182648)

But that is lost money. US spends that in Iraq and makes profit by taking the oil. Oh, you though they went there for some other reason?

And China doesn't even need to play any of this cyber attacks game with US. Like a fellow Slashdotter said; "Hello, my name is China and I wish to liquidate all my US Treasury Bonds." That is even more true with the current economy. Interestingly that doesn't affect China or Russia so much because they're living on more realistic costs - US lives with debt and it can't go on forever.

The minute China asks to pay back the debt US is fucked. If they pay that trillions of dollars, economy will collapse like never before. If they don't, no one will loan money anymore and economy will collapse because the nation has been living on loaned money to sustain that style.

Re:chicken feed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182740)

The minute China asks to pay back the debt US is fucked. If they pay that trillions of dollars, economy will collapse like never before. If they don't, no one will loan money anymore and economy will collapse because the nation has been living on loaned money to sustain that style.

You can always print more money..

Re:chicken feed (1)

chibiace (898665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182970)

gotta love the Zimbabwe effect with this sort of action.

Re:chicken feed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30187628)

You clearly don't understand how an economy works.

Re:chicken feed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30190330)

Or just flatly refuse to pay...what will they do then?

Re:chicken feed (2, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183232)

"The cost of such attacks is significant," the report notes. Citing data from the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, the report says that the military spent $100 million to fend off these attacks between September 2008 and March 2009

That's a lot of money... That's almost 8 full hours of what is being spent on Iraq.

Yes but they don't get any oil out of this.

The phrase 'fend off' network attacks is moronic. You don't 'fend off' cyber attacks you set things up right the first time around. They should be setting things up right before they get attacked not as some afterthought.

Of course if they run windows on any networked machine they will always have some risk.

They still don't like us? (4, Insightful)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182594)

And here I was, thinking that the Presidential Apology Tour would make it all better.

On a serious note, by moving our high tech industry offshore we have helped to make it happen. Now, with a broken economy, we appear weak, and we invite ridicule and attack. Clever bandaids added to firewalls will make little difference long term. We need to regain strength and respect. This is not just a technical problem. Our recent administrations (Republicrats and Demopublican alike) through suicidal short-sighted policies aimed only to benefit a few fat cats have made us an easy target. Such is the fate of a fallen giant. Everyone wants to kick him. After all, what are we going to do about it?

How is this a troll posting? (0, Offtopic)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182752)

Truly, as long as people hide behind anonymity when moderating, no one can take the scoring seriously. It damages Slashdot.

Not everything is just a technical glitch. Some roots go much deeper. Just because you do not understand it, or do not agree with it, it doesn't make it trolling.

Re:They still don't like us? (1)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183078)

1) What's your suggestion to fix the problem? I see a lot of complaints, but so few solutions. You may have suggested something like.... hardening systems thru more secure software (abandon Windows -- whether you like it or not, it's the best target due to being used by everyone). Or, maybe beefing up a cyber attack strategy? No... instead, you complained only to complain.

2) It's not a Presidential Apology Tour. You could have made a good point, but instead you put your bias at the forefront of your post. To do so merely puts the reader/listener in a defensive position, rather than paying attention to the point you're trying to make. I don't recall seeing a press conference from Beijing where Pres. Obama is apologizing for our ways.

Re:They still don't like us? (3, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183250)

hardening systems thru more secure software (abandon Windows -- whether you like it or not, it's the best target due to being used by everyone).

Not quite. Windows is the best target due to its low coding standards, the huge number of security holes it suffers from, and it's unmanageably.

The fact it is used heavily doesn't make it any more or less secure.

Re:They still don't like us? (1)

claytonjr (1142215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30187672)

hardening systems thru more secure software (abandon Windows -- whether you like it or not, it's the best target due to being used by everyone).

Not quite. Windows is the best target due to its low coding standards, the huge number of security holes it suffers from, and it's unmanageably.

The fact it is used heavily doesn't make it any more or less secure.

Despite the fact that sounds like trolling on Windows...I'll bite. The fact that Windows is the most used desktop OS does increase its surface of attack. Perhaps that is what GP meant?

Re:They still don't like us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30187874)

unless you want the biggest bot-net, in which case you would go after the OS with the largest market share...

Re:They still don't like us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189478)

You could have made a good point, but instead you put your bias at the forefront of your post. To do so merely puts the reader/listener in a defensive position, rather than paying attention to the point you're trying to make.
Actually the "Presidential Apology Tour" part was quite funny! You just gotta lighten up a little.

U asked "what are we going to do about it?", Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30185742)

"Now, with a broken economy, we appear weak, and we invite ridicule and attack. Clever bandaids added to firewalls will make little difference long term. We need to regain strength and respect. This is not just a technical problem. Our recent administrations (Republicrats and Demopublican alike) through suicidal short-sighted policies aimed only to benefit a few fat cats have made us an easy target. Such is the fate of a fallen giant. Everyone wants to kick him. After all, what are we going to do about it? - by hwyhobo (1420503) on Saturday November 21, @02:25AM (#30182594)

"What are we going to do about it?"... OK, here goes:

This is what I decided to do about it in the URL below (which was spread around the information on how to stop such attacks, albeit, MOSTLY for the "end/home user" types, because imo @ experience, they're the ones most likely to get "victimized" by botnets &/or worms, which get used in said attacks on this nation, & yes, other nations too (& network engineers/techs/admins?? They KNOW most of this stuff, so it's NOT "geared to them", but rather the folks that do NOT know this stuff, to help them not get "used or abused" by such machinations online, today):

HOW TO SECURE Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/VISTA/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7, via CIS Tool Guidance (& beyond):

----

http://www.tcmagazine.com/forums/index.php?s=103a842315186ac9fda403081a79b7d8&showtopic=2662 [tcmagazine.com]

----

And, it works... how well, or some testimonial proof thereof?? Ok:

----

http://www.xtremepccentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28430&page=3 [xtremepccentral.com]

People such as THRONKA @ XtremePCCentral.com here stated, verbatim by he:

"Its 2009 - still trouble free! I was told last week by a co worker who does active directory administration, and he said I was doing overkill. I told him yes, but I just eliminated the half life in windows that you usually get. He said good point. So from 2008 till 2009. No speed decreases, its been to a lan party, moved around in a move, and it still NEVER has had the OS reinstalled besides the fact I imaged the drive over in 2008. Great stuff!"

----

This is the best I can do, & hopefully, it "gets around" (&, not just to U.S. Citizenry, but to EVERYONE who uses the internet (because I think it's the "8th wonder of the world" & because I think that we're on the verge of really truly GREAT THINGS))!

(Great things, such as the ion drive, as 1 example thereof only)

I feel that way, especially IF we don't "blow ourselves up" in say, a stupid war or if we manufacture some deadly disease & screw up that way, or even with a meteor/asteroid hitting us (not much control over that though)...

One BIG part of that? The internet, & spots like this one online!

The internet's the gateway & means to exchange such information, so we can progress, based on the information exchanges it allows & yields... so, it's worth protecting!

(AND, for everyone, not just U.S. Citizenry only... imo @ least! I say that, simply because of that line of reasoning I am putting out & that the internet is made up of people from EVERYWHERE exchanging ideas, & that guide's the very best I can do/am capable of, so that hopefully happens & keeps running smoothly, instead of becoming a warzone of "zombied/enslaved" systems making war on one another & tying the damned internet in knots because of the misguided freaks + criminals who create such machinations)

That guide functions very well with great results such as those above noted in testimonial via quote excerpt of such said results, successfully thusfar to the tune of over 250,000++ views over a 1.5 yr. timeframe (& originated in 1997-2002 as "Article #1" @ NTCompatible.com, & other sites that are very WELL TRAVELLED, such as Neowin, picked up on the older model & rated it quite highly here in 2001 -> as proof to my statement above, & the guide you see in the 1st URL above is merely the outgrowth/extension/evolution of that original guide I just posted), often being rated "5/5 stars", or made an "Essential Guide", &/or being made a "Sticky/Pinned Thread" on forums, etc., et al...

(I did that because I asked the SAME QUESTION YOU ASKED that I quote from you above to open this post with, especially your last words, & alongside the efforts of many others who feel the same way, and as "Rorschach" from "The Watchmen" put it, this is why:

"We don't do this THING, because it's permitted... we do it because we have to. We do it because we're compelled"

Because you DO get rather sick & tired of being victimized, losing work, getting your system destroyed (costs money to redo it if you don't know how to yourself) & worst of all, being RIPPED OFF for your monies (goes on rampantly nowadays online)).

I'm far from alone, I just do so alongside many others, & we all use the same basic means to helps others in this reqard (security online), & to keep things going smoothly for all concerned online, as best we can, by spreading around what works to others (again - to keep them safer & yes even F A S T E R too as a bonus, online).

Anyhow... there you are.

The internet helps me to function in life daily, learn, and do my jobs/tasks etc. et al better as well, because of access to information & others to exchange ideas with... as I am sure it does others. There are, however, idiots that seem to NOT want it to be so, & the ONLY GOOD THING THEY DO (whether they realize this, or not)? Is that they DO point out places & things in our softwares, Operating Systems, & critical telecommunications infrastructure, that need "shoring up" (trying to "make lemonade from lemons" in that last statement is all (optimist here)).

I just hope I expressed myself clearly & well enough, for others to undertand what I meant here in response to you, this Saturday a.m. is all (bit "hungover" today, admittedly, from a combined "celebration" of my doing well in my "return to academia" this semester, & helping a pal get thru some "women problems" he's having with his lady... lots of drink last nite, lol, in other words (rare for me, but it was such an occasion, so... again, hope my point came thru clearly enough)

APK

P.S.=> So, "bottom-line" here/reiterating my point? That was what I decided to do about it... per your last statement quoted above!

(And, hey - I figure that there are/were worse things I could do with my time, so, why not "do something about it" as your statement I quoted noted, & there you are... & once more/again - I am not alone in it either, far from it (the community online tends to largely take care of itself I have found, as another aside, & especially when things get "bogged down" in legislation by "lobbyists & 'special interest groups'" (many times who are NOT out for the "genereal good" imo))... apk

define "attack" (5, Interesting)

zkrige (1654085) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182610)

I have linux boxes all over the place and there are literally thousands of ssh/sft/etc attempts on each box each day. None of them are successful though. Can I claim that my boxes have more attacks than the US Military?

Re:define "attack" (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182750)

Exactly. I get tens of thousands of SSH password attempts per day. Is each one an attack?

Re:define "attack" (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182774)

Big numbers are more convincing and sounds better.

Nope. You are not targeted (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182770)

You are simply the result of the many worms working its way through the net. All Western DOD's are under attack and are actively targeted.

Re:define "attack" (4, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183258)

I have linux boxes all over the place and there are literally thousands of ssh/sft/etc attempts on each box each day. None of them are successful though.

Can I claim that my boxes have more attacks than the US Military?

If the US government would give you a 100 dollars to investigate each attack you might be tempted to.

A New Approach: Bait and Strike (2, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182612)

The traditional approach toward dealing with Chinese hackers is to fortify all the computers in a company or institute. Fortification takes time and money.

A better approach may be to rig some computers so that they are easy to hack. We install some deliberately malicious software on those fake computers. Then, we disperse those fake computers among the real computers.

Here is the ideal scenario. A typical Chinese hacker will probe all the computers at the Department of Defense. The probe will easily succeed in penetrating one of the rigged computers. He downloads plenty of software. He will then try to run them. One of the ill-gotten applications then replicates itself and spreads throughout the Chinese Ministry of War.

The rogue application disables the safety mechanism in a Chinese nuclear warhead. On the anniversary of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, the warhead explodes. It melts (literally) the entire military base and kills thousands of Chinese citizens in the nearby town.

On the day of that fire ball, the Chinese hackers will cease their activities for several months.

Re:A New Approach: Bait and Strike (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182634)

You're assuming that the software controlling nuclear warheads is exposed to the network. The US certainly isn't stupid enough to do that, and I doubt China is either.

Re:A New Approach: Bait and Strike (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182686)

You seem to overestimate wise thinking when it comes to military and wars. Even Russians had a system that would launch nuclear weapons by a single push of a button [slashdot.org] if connectivity to Moscow was lost (so that even if nuclear weapon was dropped to Moscow, Russia could still hit back - but of course nothing can go wrong by allowing launch of your nuclear weapons when connectivity is lost!)

Re:A New Approach: Bait and Strike (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184692)

OP wasn't talking about the launch systems, he was talking about the controllers in the warheads themselves -- causing the warheads to melt themselves down (which I'm reasonably sure isn't something they're designed to do under any circumstances) rather than a missile launch. I spent long enough in uniform to know that military intelligence is an oxymoron and all that, but that's not the kind of stupidity militaries go in for.

Re:A New Approach: Bait and Strike (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183130)

So you think killing thousands of citizens is an "ideal scenario"?

Re:A New Approach: Bait and Strike (1)

Jaro (4361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183452)

If I remember correctly this is what Clifford Stoll [wikipedia.org] did back in the 80s. Nothing new here.

Re:A New Approach: Bait and Strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183820)

What a fascinating adolescent fantasy you've just pulled out of your ass. It's the kind of thing the DoD might come up with if all their security protocols were based on what they'd learned from playing Command and Conquer fucking Generals... what are you, 12?

Re:A New Approach: Bait and Strike (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30185350)

Everyone who modded this "Interesting", please obtain a clue about missiles, launch systems, and warheads.

This is a geek forum, not 4chan.

Re:A New Approach: Bait and Strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30190372)

We've already done that.

Best regards,

The NSA

Not surprised (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182616)

China is in a cold war with the west. These attacks are also going after European and Oceania countries. The question is, when will the west realize that the same means that was used to stop USSR is being quietly used against the West.

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183438)

The question is, when will the west realize that the same means that was used to stop USSR is being quietly used against the West.

The more important question is: when will the Americans realize that they have been fed manipulative news by their own government for the last 65 years?

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30187990)

China in a cold war with teh west?! OH! So thats why everything in the west is manufactured in China or Taiwan. K, Thanx!

One obvious question ... (2, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182618)

Are there actually that many more attacks, or are they just detecting more of them? I wouldn't be at all surprised if in years past, a lot of military computers have been pwned without anyone knowing it happened ... especially given the DoD's ongoing love affair with Windows.

It is increasing. A lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182900)

The attempts at espionage are also increasing rapidly. China is now paying 10's of millions for military secrets. They use to use only Chinese nationals that were here, but we have seen that none Asians are being approached with large cash amounts. Some in the field think that China is several times higher than what USSR ever was.

Re:It is increasing. A lot (0)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183518)

China is now paying 10's of millions for military secrets.

And how would you know that?

Some in the field think that China is several times higher than what USSR ever was.

CITATION NEEDED (something not tainted by CIA or Fox News or BBC or New York Times or such).

Who can say? This doesn't tell us anything! (1)

Doches (761288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183332)

Neither! This data is statistically useless -- what we need to know is how many attacks occurred in the first half of 2008, otherwise the comparison is completely useless. Look at it this way: what if (due to some outside factor) the vast majority of cyber attacks occur in the first half of the year? We know nothing about the distribution of attacks over time, and so we can draw no conclusions from this report!

I hate it when people misuse statistics...

Cyber attacks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182632)

"Attacker":
bt3# ping spacecommand.mil

DOD:
ubermaliciouscyberincidents++

Garbage (3, Informative)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182638)

The PRC is also recruiting from its growing population of technically skilled people, including those from the private sector, to increase its cyber capabilities. It is recruiting skilled cyber operators from information technology firms and computer science programs into the ranks of numerous Information Warfare Militia units.

"cyber operators".. "Information Warfare Militia".. What?
Try actually reading the linked PDF and see if you can take it seriously. All this stuff about increased "cyber attack incidences" and I can find absolutely nothing explicitly linking any incident with the Chinese government or anything even making explicit what a "cyber attack incident" is. (Also "cyber warfare" is a pretty small part of the report itself; the report isn't about "cyber-warfare", but US-China relations.)

cyber-space (the electro-magnetic spectrum)

I think that quote just about sums it up. I am stunned that people here on slashdot are taking this seriously, this is the sort of thing I'd expect to see on Fox News.

Re:Garbage (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182716)

The PRC is also recruiting from its growing population of technically skilled people, including those from the private sector, to increase its network capabilities. It is recruiting skilled network operators from information technology firms and computer science programs into the ranks of numerous Information Warfare Militia units.

“network operators”.. “Information Warfare Militia”.. What?
Try actually reading the linked PDF and see if you can take it seriously. All this stuff about increased “network attack incidences” and I can find absolutely nothing explicitly linking any incident with the Chinese government or anything even making explicit what a “network attack incident” is. (Also “network warfare” is a pretty small part of the report itself; the report isn’t about “network-warfare”, but US-China relations.)

What’s wrong with that?

Oooohhh... I seee... Well, there’s a “app“ for that [userscripts.org] ! :D

Re:Garbage (3, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182800)

Excuse me sir, are you a member of the 50 cent gang [wikipedia.org] ? This isn't anything to do with the rapper, but rather refers to pro-China internet commenters. For the three of you out there who have never heard of this, allow me to introduce:

50 Cent Party is the name for paid[1] astroturfing bloggers operating since 2005 from People's Republic of China, whose role is posting comments favorable towards the government policies to skew the public opinion on various Internet message boards. They are named by the 50 Chinese cents, or 5 mao, they are paid per such post

If you're not convinced and think this must be some sort of Fox News conspiracy (ooo, a different point of view, ignore it!) I provide a link to that paragon of correctness the BBC [bbc.co.uk] to explain it in simple terms that you can understand.

China is using an increasing number of paid "internet commentators" in a sophisticated attempt to control public opinion. These commentators are used by government departments to scour the internet for bad news - and then negate it.

Please note that these are not actually pro-China commenters, but merely anti-anti-China commenters. Indeed I don't see anything pro-China in your post. You've even Americanized it by attempting to tie it to Fox News, something that Americans will understand on a cultural level, rather than something baffling like attempting to tie it to those perfidious seperatists in Tibet or Xinjiang.

Information warfare militia in China do exist. It's like this: young men like to hack. They also like to belong to something larger than themselves, and China is pretty darn big. The USA is China's Main Enemy and is a natural target for any attack. They go looking for the biggest target they can find, and sometimes they get something worthwhile. Someone's dad is a major in the PLA, and they hand the documents off to him, and later a quiet "attaboy" comes down the channel with a request to send anything else they might find during their travels. They're basically like any irregular force - mainly useful in keeping the enemy busy with dealing with low-level annoyances, or occupying territory. There were American citizens who tried to hack the Iraqi defense system during the 1991 war (hi Par!) even though that was the last thing on Schwartzkopf's mind. They mostly failed due to the lack of computers in Iraq or anything worthwhile to hack.

If you're not in the 50-cent gang, I apologize for calling you out. Although, it sure sucks when you're on the same side of the argument with totalitarian thugs. At least they're getting paid, they're doing it as a job. What are you getting out of it?

Re:Garbage (0, Offtopic)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182874)

Troll? Who the F modded me as troll? From the FAQ:

Concentrate more on promoting than on demoting. The real goal here is to find the juicy good stuff and let others read it. Do not promote personal agendas. Do not let your opinions factor in. Try to be impartial about this. Simply disagreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it down. Likewise, agreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it up. The goal here is to share ideas. To sift through the haystack and find needles.

Re:Garbage (2, Insightful)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183022)

Troll? Who the F modded me as troll? From the FAQ:

At a guess, someone who couldn't find the self righteous twat moderation. So troll it is.

Re:Garbage (2, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183384)

The 50-cent gang really exists. Chinese militia hackers really exist. Misusing a system and name-calling won't change that.

Re:Garbage (0, Redundant)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183756)

The 50-cent gang really exists.

How do you know that, sir?

Re:Garbage (4, Insightful)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183462)

Who knows, maybe you are the one spreading propaganda. Someone could have faked the evidence of this "50 cent gang" in order to make China look bad. Basically both sides have the motivation to do this sort of thing and it can be hard to figure out who is who sometimes.

Re:Garbage (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183676)

Who knows, maybe you are the one spreading propaganda. Someone could have faked the evidence of this "50 cent gang" in order to make China look bad. Basically both sides have the motivation to do this sort of thing and it can be hard to figure out who is who sometimes.

I would be surprised if China doesn't do this. Corporations and politicians and other organisations in the West do it all the time. I doubt that the Chinese are less adept at propaganda than westerners. Whether this particular "50 cent gang" exists wouldn't make much difference.

Re:Garbage (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183862)

Both sides? What's the other side? What, you need to fake evidence to find something wrong with the Chinese government?

I suppose you missed the links to the BBC and Wikipedia articles in my post. I tried to use what typical Westerners would consider the most authoritative sources available, and still I get outright rejection and disbelief. Just because something doesn't fit your value or belief system is no reason to reject hard cold facts.

The real tragedy of the 50-cent gang is that nowadays, it has so poisoned the atmosphere online that any defense of China is considered astroturfing. In my own way, I am quite pro-China since I live here and see with my own eyes. I see local people reject such ideas the exact same way - they could never have massacred all those protesters on 6/4/1989. It's sad that educated people can have the same reactions to "wrong" ideas as ignorant peasants (and I use "ignorant" without rancor, these people had no choice in the matter).

Re:Garbage (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183940)

You're assuming that because I have an inquiring and skeptical mind that somehow something doesn't fit my "value or belief system." No, you don't need to fake evidence to find something wrong with the Chinese government. I think it's very oppressive and likely corrupt, and the reports of torture and censorship are very disturbing. However, just because they're bad doesn't necessarily mean that the other "side" (The United States) won't slander them even further with propaganda. "Cyber attacks" could be the next justification for war, similar to "Weapons of Mass Destruction (TM)" in the Iraq war. In my opinion, both countries are propaganda-spewing machines.

I didn't RTFA, but the OP you were responding to seemed to be making a legitimate and very objective criticism to the content of the article. If your anti-PRC bias has gotten to the point where you feel like you need to criticize anyone pointing out a flaw in any argument that criticizes China, you need to take a step back and think about how that might affect your objectivity.

Re:Garbage (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189028)

Uh....I am very truly, in my heart, pro-China. Anti-PRC bias? Where the F did that come from? This has nothing to do with the Chinese government. I have personally witnessed more than one genuine act of kindness on the part of the Chinese people. This is when no cameras are running, nobody is watching, and people can really be who they truly are. I say to you sir, I have seen it, repeatedly, with my own fucking eyes. It has, more than once, moved me to tears. People who have nothing, FUCKING NOTHING (poor people in China don't have Xbox, they don't have internet, they get no food stamps or unions or welfare or anything, heck they don't even have flatscreen TVs, they are poor) have demonstrated that they are for real. It's like getting a flat tire in Cow's Asshole, Oklahoma and then being amazed that the people who live there actually help you to find a replacement, even though you have some custom euro-tire that nobody stocks.

How would you behave, when no cameras are there, and some trailer park trash (substitute any other person that your culture considers despicable, just shooting in the dark here) comes up to you and asks for a quarter so he can make a pay phone call?

I repeat: the 50-cent gang are real. The Chinese IT militia are real. I used to wonder how the nutballs in "Downfall" could so easily ignore the reality that was bearing down on them. With ignorant attitudes like yours, unfortunately, have led me to a greater understanding of the word "hubris" (again, I speak the word "ignorant" with no rancor, it is truly a lack of education that leads to such staggeringly unenlightened points of view.)

you feel like you need to criticize anyone pointing out a flaw in any argument that criticizes China
Indeed, this is the mission of the 50-cent gang. I am in opposition to them, as was the entire point of my original post. Is this an example of projecting one's unacceptable thoughts onto another?

Re:Garbage (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30191344)

You don't like the People's Republic because of their actions. It's okay. Nobody does. I never suggested that you disliked the Chinese people themselves and you're an idiot for thinking that's what I was saying. But you've lost your ability to be skeptical. You're the one who is acting ignorant. I'm merely keeping an open mind. Why don't you try re-reading the original post you responded to and think about whether or not the poster's criticism was valid, instead of having this childish knee-jerk reaction.

Re:Garbage (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196668)

Indeed, this is the mission of the 50-cent gang

You misread my statement. I was saying that you feel like you need to criticize anyone who criticizes an argument which criticizes China. Re-read my sentence, you fucking dolt.

Re:Garbage (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30192928)

Oh alright, you got me, I'm in the 50 cent gang. But now that I've told you I'm afraid I have to kill you.

Re:Garbage (2, Interesting)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183042)

Keep in mind that attitudes like this create the same complacency that makes us vulnerable.

Don't dismiss something at face value because you "feel" there is a political motive behind it. It might hurt, but try to remain objective.

Re:Garbage (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30192956)

I thought I was being objective.. I laid out my problems with the report and "feeling a political motive behind it" wasn't among them.
Why are you telling me to remain objective and not be dismissive, and at the same time dismissing my reasoning because it supposedly creates complacency?

Re:Garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183128)

I am stunned that people here on slashdot are taking this seriously, this is the sort of thing I'd expect to see on Fox News.

This line in the summary alone give enough reason for this to be in /. front page:

-- many of them coming from China --

The anti-China sentiment in /. is that easy to exploit.

Re:Garbage (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183626)

Try actually reading the linked PDF and see if you can take it seriously

381 pages, most people don't even read the summary let alone the article, let alone a massive pdf.

Did anyone else read that as... (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182650)

Cyber attacks on US as a news topic jumped the shark in 2009

Re:Did anyone else read that as... (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182700)

Yeah -- worst mission ever: jump a shark in a jet fighter with frikkin lasers on it.

BIZNATCH (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183106)

posts. Therefore Would be a bad [amazingkreskin.com] purposes *BSD is Simple solution 7hings in us the courtesy

RX35 Switch (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183166)

I work in IT support for the military, so if you read any further I will have to kill you.

A few years ago I was stationed on a large warship.

Now, you might expect IT security on the shipwide control system to be pretty tight, and indeed the firewalls to prevent external attacks are very secure (you don't really want some geek with a wireless laptop hacking in and controlling the ship lol), but if someone can actually get onto the ship, there are network ports all over which they can plug into and gain access to the whole control path.

One time when the ship pulled in a small vessel which was suspected of smuggling, the shit-for-brains marines failed to search it properly and a handful of ne'erdowells then sneaked aboard, plugged into the network, and proceded to arse around inside it. As well as mucking about with the data on the brig, thay also managed to blow a fuse on the waste control circuits, which meant I had to take a trip out all the way to home base to get a replacement RX35 switch from central stores.

As it turns out this was quite a lucky break, because while I was away this same bunch of chancers blew the whole ship up by firing some proton torpedos down the main reactor exhaust pipe.

Phew!

[Stolen from Here [b3ta.com] ]

What does this tell me? Nothing! (3, Insightful)

Jaro (4361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183440)

Does this really tell me anything? Not really? What kind of "cyber attacks" are that? SSH break-in attempts? Bots looking for known holes? Script kiddies? Mail relay attempts? Or targeted attempts specifically designed to get access to their system? If I go for the script kiddie/SSH category I get around 25.000 attempts a year on one server alone, according to ossec.
This could also just mean that the number of attacks has risen generally and not specifically against the DoD.

So many unanswered questions ...

Re:What does this tell me? Nothing! (1)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30186748)

What it tells you, of course, is that the military wants you to keep China Is The Bad Guy And A Growing Threat in the back of your mind, in case this current Terrerist thing backfires or grows old or, who knows, is won some how... the meaningless string of words is typed up by the Pentagon and printed on a piece of letterhead that says For Immediate Release. The "independent" media takes it and parrots it across the infosphere without thought, investigation, criticism, or question... you know, those things we were told made up "journalism." Once it appears with the magic incantation AP as preface, it is now Fact and Truth. The Public Has Been Duly Informed. Go about your business, citizen.

Does this mean China isn't a threat, actual or potential? Not at all. Just cause the gummint decides to tell you something doesn't always mean it's a lie, y'know! And there must be parts of the military that have grade-A migraines watching American businesses get on its collective knees before Chinese gov't demands, again and again - if the time comes when it's necessary to seperate them, how large a crowbar will be necessary?

Re:What does this tell me? Nothing! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189066)

The Chinese government considers the United States to be The Main Enemy. Go ahead and laugh, and then go do some google searches on the term in Chinese. Oh, you're an ignorant monolingual Westerner...surely this excuses you from any kind of informed opinion.

let me guess (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183674)

cyber attacks of mass destruction ? Sorry, but this sounds toi familiar. Somebody get the pentagon a frickin firewall and a new AUP.

Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183878)

that happens because chinese goberment has censored, the porn pages on chine so people are really bored and so they have very much free time .... ("Im bored .... idea! I'll became a hacker!!! yeah!)

So if China is outright attacking us... (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30185228)

... why are we not doing anything real about it to stop them? why do we permit these attacks?

Let me guess... tit for tat. The whole world is full of lies and deception. It doesn't talk about us doing it to China, but how is that not obvious?

43000 in six months? That's NOTHING! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30186648)

I get 43,000 Chinese hack attempts on my DSL connection *DAILY*.
I calculated the bandwidth used to be about 650KB per day
or about 20MB per month. Multiply that by a conservative
estimate of 20 million DSL subscribers, which are all receiving
the same Chinese hack attempts, and you get 400TB per month,
or about 5 petabytes per year, just on the AT&T DSL network.

Are TPTB going to block those yellow bellies in the BGP?
No, they won't because then the Homeland Security Cyber-Hysteria
Team would be unemployed and unable to pay their mortgages.

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