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Pentagon Ups Hacking Accusations Against China

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the polite-warnings-and-gentle-reprimands dept.

China 151

wiredmikey writes "A new report from the Pentagon marked the most explicit statement yet from the United States that it believes China's cyber espionage is focused on the U.S. government, as well as American corporations. China kept up a steady campaign of hacking in 2012 that included attempts to target U.S. government computer networks, which could provide Beijing a better insight into America's policy deliberations and military capabilities, according to the Pentagon's annual assessment of China's military. 'China is using its computer network exploitation capability to support intelligence collection against the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support U.S. national defense programs,' said the report to Congress (PDF). The digital espionage was part of a broader industrial espionage effort that seeks to secure military-related U.S. and Western technology, allowing Beijing to scale back its reliance on foreign arms manufacturers, the report said. One day later, Beijing dismissed the Pentagon's report that accused it of widespread cyberspying on the U.S. government, rejecting it as an 'irresponsible' attempt to drum up fear of China as a military threat."

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151 comments

You better watch your back bro.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656243)

Now get back to propping up our economy and owning most of our soverign debt.

Re:You better watch your back bro.... (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#43657413)

[sarcasm]Yes, like forcing the United States into a real finical crisis is a good idea for China Self interest.[/sarcasm]

China buys US Dollars to keep their own economy stable. Also the United States is their biggest buyer. Put all Americans in the poor house, you have lost your own economy.

Re:You better watch your back bro.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657877)

Now get back to propping up our economy and owning most of our soverign debt.

Care to back that up with a source? They are the largest foreign holder of debt but that is far from owning most of our debt. China owns about 8% of public debt [wikipedia.org].

Surprising? (5, Insightful)

venom85 (1399525) | about a year ago | (#43656245)

Is this supposed to surprise anyone? And, more importantly, does anyone out there actually believe that the US isn't doing the same thing toward [insert long list of nations here]? I, for one, certainly believe they are.

Re:Surprising? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43657391)

US is not doing espionage. What is does is closely watches everything that goes thru internet or any connected device. Calling that espionage is like calling the ocean a flood.

Re:Surprising? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43657397)

Is this supposed to surprise anyone?

I'm actually surprised that China doesn't complain about the US hacking them. I mean, they did complain about Coca-Cola's GPS devices being too accurate . . . and they did complain about US electronic warplanes getting too close to their border . . . but have they ever blatantly accused the US of hacking them . . . ?

Do they not know about it? Or do they not want to let the rest of the world know, that they know about it, and carefully monitor the hacking . . . ?

Re:Surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657635)

I think they are more focused on watching the hackers that are getting out of the firewall

Re:Surprising? (0)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about a year ago | (#43657705)

Because no body really lost anything due to hacking. Do you really believe anything valuable (for the government and military) is even accessible from the internet? They have internal networks separated from the internet.

The reason the US is accusing China of hacking is simple a way to deepen the impression that the Chinese are pirates of intellectual properties. The US is probably using this as a bargaining chip. China of course has complained about a lot things on the US side but the US media will not report them or report them in way that makes China seem unreasonable.

Re:Surprising? (0)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#43657451)

But the USA is just and pure. It is the land of freedom, so it's okay if they do it.

Re:Surprising? (3, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year ago | (#43657627)

Compared to a communist dictatorship, yes we are. I am free to talk about how much my government sucks, loudly and with great fanfare. It's not that we don't suck, it's that they suck much, much more.

The question is whether we should continue to prop up their mfg industry which seems to be a major attack vector for their espionage activities. Pre-owned cars have a market, pre-ripped jeans have a market, I'm not sure who the market is for pre-rooted machines.

Re:Surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657915)

Was there ever a time when you would be labeled a "communist" and could face jail time, or be blacklisted for this?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthism

The US can always rebuild its manufacturing base and build its own stuff as it once did. Of course the corp profits would be lower, but so would US unemployment numbers so everyone wins?

Recall at one time the US was the worlds manufacturing powerhouse?

Re:Surprising? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#43657979)

The US can always rebuild its manufacturing base and build its own stuff as it once did. Of course the corp profits would be lower, but so would US unemployment numbers so everyone wins?

I believe the US Corporations would rather run the US economy into the ground before giving up any profits.

Re:Surprising? (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about a year ago | (#43657607)

What the Russians do when it's time to negotiate is they tout some kind of unfairness in their media for a few months and then just in time for the meetings they forgive but don't forget. Usually it's just a plausible fabrication they believe they'll get away with, but they do it so often it's kind of a ritual by now.

Or maybe the Pentagon really is ignorant enough not to put "botnet" and "proxy" together. Who knows. Not my tax euros.

Re:Surprising? (0)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43657759)

I have yet to see any convincing evidence supporting the US claims. It seems more likely that as Al-Qaeda seemed less of a threat they needed a new boogie-man to keep the nation's underwear soiled.

On the other hand we have solid, undeniable evidence of US hacking of Iranian computers.

Re:Surprising? (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about a year ago | (#43657813)

Ditto - with US spending on military outpace the other next top 10 nations combined, logically you'd think US is hacking 10x as much as Chinese. It's all political dancing by US government.

Polite pretense (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#43656293)

How long do we uphold the polite pretense that China isn't behind the overwhelming majority of real world hacking? How long are we supposed to avoid to avoid offending them and continue to allow them to steal all of our intellectual property that we supposedly value? At least the Chinese government actually bothers to protect Chinese businesses from foreigners unlike the US government which only protects big business. Turn the other cheek, what if your out of cheeks?

Re:Polite pretense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656349)

Because Diplomacy

Re:Polite pretense (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656529)

How long do we uphold the polite pretense that China isn't behind the overwhelming majority of real world hacking? How long are we supposed to avoid to avoid offending them and continue to allow them to steal all of our intellectual property that we supposedly value? At least the Chinese government actually bothers to protect Chinese businesses from foreigners unlike the US government which only protects big business. Turn the other cheek, what if your out of cheeks?

Who cares about China supposedly using "your" IP. It was based on previously developed technology, which was researched by foreign scientists, etc. ad infinitum.

There's no invention in this world that is not the aggregate of the work of generations of scientists around the world, so get off your American high horse and stop pretending that you invented everything and that technology, its use and building upon it is reserved for your inflated country alone.

Re:Polite pretense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656731)

There is always the wholesale IP theft from Britain during the industrial revolution.

Re:Polite pretense (1, Troll)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#43656761)

Get off your Anti-American high horse jackass. The Chinese freely hack people the world over and I never claimed that this was either exclusively an American problem or that American were the worlds only inventors.

Re:Polite pretense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656837)

Successful troll is successful.

Re:Polite pretense (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#43656573)

Intellectual Property? Like we give a shit. Here's one fine example from U.S. history.

http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/why-did-president-thomas-jefferson-smuggle-rice-out-of-italy [bigsiteofa...gfacts.com]

During their early years, the United States freely ignored existing European patents and copyrights as we saw fit. Developing our economy took precedence over some Old World kvetching about theft of ideas.

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles with it. - Margaret Fuller

To press China on theft of IP would require a truthful accounting of the cost. Look no further than the BSA [bsa.org] for the depth of deception on the "cost of software piracy". There is no way China would accept valuation numbers like $200 per pirated copy of Windows 7.

It is my fervent wish that the BSA get just what they ask for -- the ability to absolutely prevent people from using their client's software without payment. Think of how many copies of Windows would be installed in China if it was *IMPOSSIBLE* to pirate. Think of a number close to zero.

There would be an utter explosion of growth in FOSS software. If Microsoft wanted to sell Windows and Office they'd have to lower the price to what the market would actually bear -- somewhere most likely around 10% of current prices.

Congress uses those inflated numbers every year to justify all sorts of bullshit. They value of bogus "IP" valuations far outweigh Chinese IP theft.

Re:Polite pretense (2)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#43656657)

I'm not defending the BSA or the like here so stop putting words in my mouth already. By Intellectual Property I'm talking about things like formulas, trade secrets, manufacturing processes and so on. I'm not defending Congresses BSA based math from the **aa's and never would or will.

My point was that the US has been putting it's eggs into the IP basket and then refusing to guard it. After abandoning a manufacturing economy to switch to an IP based economy our leadership is being incredibly foolish. An IP based economy is incredibly fragile and susceptible to being taken over with entirely too much ease.

Re:Polite pretense (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#43656909)

Trade secrets, such as formulas and manufacturing processes are the responsibility of the individual companies to protect, not government. Copyrights and Patents are given governmental protection thru legal prosecution because they are, by nature, disclosed to the public. They are published and the protection of secrecy is not available.

We didn't abandon a manufacturing based economy. The United States is the number one manufacturing country in the world, measured by production. What has gone away is the manufacturing JOBS. This is a result of automation as much as outsourcing, and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. Brush up on the history of the Luddite Movement and the Industrial Revolution to understand how futile an attempt at stopping progress and efficiency by refusing to automate is.

If you aren't talking about copyright and patents, then the answer becomes -- do we value the quality process improvements in Chinese manufacturing more than the supposed "theft" of trade secrets? I'd argue the answer is "no". We gain more from the stuff we're buying from China being better quality than we lose in any lost competitiveness.

I'd also argue that the competitive companies in the U.S. are not sitting still. IP that is "stolen" is ever evolving. If a Chinese company takes Process v1.0 and uses it to improve their manufacturing, they're still behind the company who is constantly upgrading their processes and already on Process v3.0. Copying isn't innovation, and innovation is much more important economically than mass production.

Re:Polite pretense (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#43657293)

When you count manufacturing facilities on foreign soil owned by US corporations as US manufacturing output the numbers get skewed.

Re:Polite pretense (3, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43657669)

Trade secrets, such as formulas and manufacturing processes are the responsibility of the individual companies to protect, not government.

I would agree that it's up to them to protect themselves from other companies. But individual companies don't stand a chance of protecting against attacks from the resources available to a nation-state. It is reasonable to expect our government to take action to prevent hacking by the Chinese military and other government sponsored efforts, in the same way that we would it expect it to protect some office building in Hawaii from being burglurized by Chinese special forces.

Re:Polite pretense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657199)

My point was that the US has been putting it's eggs into the IP basket and then refusing to guard it. After abandoning a manufacturing economy to switch to an IP based economy our leadership is being incredibly foolish. An IP based economy is incredibly fragile and susceptible to being taken over with entirely too much ease.

It's not something you can protect for long. As you say, it's fragile and foolish. The obvious mistake is considering it worthy of investment. Also, the US never abandoned manufacturing. It's as alive as ever. It just employs fewer people.

Re:Polite pretense (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | about a year ago | (#43656921)

That's really your argument? Let the Chinese hack us, because rice?

There must be a moral or ethical accounting for today's actions, apart from prior history, or else wars would never end (just for starters). Just as I wouldn't expect to walk into someone's house uninvited and raid their refridgerator, I don't think it's right for others to hack into my computer, uninvited, and take the stuff I have there. At root, that should be pretty easy to comprehend, and I think we can all agree to that.

And I think the issue about pirating copies of Windows etc is separate from active hacking of domestic systems in order to steal industrial and defense secrets.

Re:Polite pretense (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#43657029)

As I responded above, Trade Secrets are not the responsibility of the gov't to protect. It is the sole responsibility of the company that owns it.

Leaving Patents and Copyrights aside, the answer then becomes -- get off your ass, stop whining and properly secure your corporate network.

Companies that bitch about this are just looking to externalize the costs and avoid having to pay for security themselves. I have little sympathy.

Re:Polite pretense (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43657707)

It is still the job of the police to prevent your house being robbed, even if you do a poor job of locking the door.

This attitude in IT of "well, if you didn't secure it properly, you don't deserve to keep it" is just childish victim-blaming.

Re:Polite pretense (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#43657989)

You are sadly misinformed. It is by no means the job of your local police to PREVENT your house from being robbed. That is YOUR job. Check with your local police. They are under no obligation to protect you at all.

Re:Polite pretense (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#43658015)

It is still the job of the police to prevent your house being robbed, even if you do a poor job of locking the door.

This attitude in IT of "well, if you didn't secure it properly, you don't deserve to keep it" is just childish victim-blaming.

The police do not prevent crime, they deter it by catching and making sure the perpetrators are punished.

While it is a similar concept, it is a fine line. Just because the police exist does not mean one should not bother protecting themselves. You need to help the police help yourself by not making their job impossible.

Re:Polite pretense (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43657203)

Just as I wouldn't expect to walk into someone's house uninvited and raid their refridgerator, I don't think it's right for others to hack into my computer, uninvited, and take the stuff I have there.

Did they erase any stuff from your computer? Did the refrigerator contain the same stuff after the raid that it had contained before it?

Re:Polite pretense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656609)

I wouldn't be so quick to swallow what government tells you to swallow. My first instinct is that both governments are sowing the seeds for the next "cold war", possibly even with collusion. As history has proven over and over again, it is prudent to take every single word that comes out of their mouths with a bucket full of salt.

Re:Polite pretense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656725)

How long...as long as we have a political party in power that believes talking is heard by countries like China, Iran, and North Korea.

Re:Polite pretense (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#43656847)

How long do we uphold the polite pretense that China isn't behind the overwhelming majority of real world hacking?

As long as we uphold the myth almost as many attacks originate by the USA for from the USA.

How long are we supposed to avoid to avoid offending them and continue to allow them to steal all of our intellectual property that we supposedly value?

I don't know probably until the economy collapses so much of the rest of trade relationship and financial relationship with China is based on various fictions I see no reason this should be different.

At least the Chinese government actually bothers to protect Chinese businesses from foreigners unlike the US government which only protects big business.

Citation please? From my observations working for a multinational with Chinese subsidiaries and talking to people there, corruption is pretty rampant. The business that get 'protection' are the state owned enterprises, and the ones that pay large enough bribes. China might have lots savings in the way of Federal Reserve notes, but in terms of resource availability, sustainability, and social stability is probably as much a house of cards as we are here in the US.

Re:Polite pretense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656861)

Pot meet Bogeyman

Re:Polite pretense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656939)

you're*

Re:Polite pretense (1)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#43657033)

Until one side or the other has an economic collapse and/or a revolution. Then you declare "victory", lose lots of opportunities brought by peace, and deal with blowback from proxy wars. At least, that's what happened with the USSR.

Re:Polite pretense (1, Troll)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43657037)

How long do we uphold the polite pretense that China isn't behind the overwhelming majority of real world hacking?

They probably aren't, given that there are lots of other kinds of people hacking out there:
- The NSA and US Air Force Cyber Command.
- Israeli's intelligence agency Mossad (Most notably Stuxnet)
- Former Soviet bloc mobsters
- For that matter, the Russians
- Anonymous
- Script kiddies
- Spammers

Re:Polite pretense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657135)

At least they aren't stealing your precious bodily fluids!

Re:Polite pretense (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43657217)

How long do we uphold the polite pretense that China isn't behind the overwhelming majority of real world hacking? How long are we supposed to avoid to avoid offending them and continue to allow them to steal all of our intellectual property that we supposedly value? At least the Chinese government actually bothers to protect Chinese businesses from foreigners unlike the US government which only protects big business. Turn the other cheek, what if your out of cheeks?

HEAR HEAR! A hearty Flag Salute to you! Let's institute some strict Cyber Spying Laws that only apply to US citizens! We should Outlaw the use and creation of Hacking Tools! I don't care if you're a "security researcher", you're making tools for the Enemy to use against us! Hacking tools should only be made in secure military secured facilities, or no one will be safe. We CAN NOT Let this Chinese Threat sleep. We implore Congress -- A preemptive strike against the Chinese Cyber Army is needed. This Means Cyber-War!

Except.... We started the damn cyber war. We created the CIA expressly for that purpose. No one is innocent here. Don't let fear sway your mind into agreeing with an increasingly dystopia future. Sew. Reap. Cry me a river about what was harvested.

China is after our Intellectual Property. I have a foolproof counter attack: OUTLAW PATENTS AND COPYRIGHTS. Let researchers and artists make money the same way every other labor industry does. We simply get rid of the idea of Artificial Scarcity of Bits, and instead market the ability to configure more bits and do actual work for money! Crisis Averted. Sew. Reap. Cry me a river about reaping what was harvested. I'll defer any "but patents are good" arguments to my previous comments on the issue. [slashdot.org] The gist is: We have NO scientific proof that Intellectual property is beneficial to society, so we should get rid of those laws in order to test the unproven hypothesis and thus end the Cyber War too -- they're the spoils and thus direct cause of war and oppressive laws now? Let go of Artificial Scarcity of Ideas already... Welcome to the Information Age: Bits are in infinite supply. IP is a futures market that is guaranteed to fail: It defers payment for your work until the work is completely devalued by being published and in infinite supply (thus $0 price, regardless of cost to create). It's as economically insane as trying to sell ice to Eskimos. It's like I'm dealing with infants here: "But I don't Wannaaaa!" To bad, there is no other sane option.

Science or Bust

Internet Dispute (4, Funny)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year ago | (#43656303)

This is an Internet dispute, so let's settle this in our tried-and-true method. I'll begin:
Dear China,
Do you even lift, bro?

Re:Internet Dispute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656405)

Pistils does not need to lift bro.

U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656331)

don't like a level playing field.

Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (2)

Rougement (975188) | about a year ago | (#43656359)

I understand that China is a trading partner but in so many other spheres (human rights, pollution, animal cruelty, IP theft, etc etc ) they're a disgrace and yet they always seem to get a pass, unlike some other countries the US has gone to war with over nothing. If the US blocked all Chinese IP addresses, what would be the worst that could happen? How about raising import tariffs?

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656583)

You're deluded. (i.e. a good American)

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (1)

Rougement (975188) | about a year ago | (#43656611)

How so? I'm not American.

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656641)

How so? I'm not American.

Well you could've fooled me.

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about a year ago | (#43657873)

So you are not friendly to China and wanted to know why the US is friendly to China. Well, the short answer is the US capitalists and Chinese communists are in bed to exploit the Chinese people. If you want the US to exploit your country instead, either your country is not big enough or your people is not hard working enough.

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (1)

robmv (855035) | about a year ago | (#43656661)

They will hack European computers to access US based ones

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (3, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year ago | (#43656913)

Why is it not a declaration of war. Hm, let me guess... because signals intelligence is not a declaration of war?

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43657313)

Slippery slope. You don't want to set the bar for acts of war too low; especially if we engage in the same acts. That being said, maybe it's time for a grassroots counterattack?

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (1)

Rougement (975188) | about a year ago | (#43657371)

True. We're in unchartered waters here. At least if a nation physically attacks another there's precedent. How bad do cyber attacks have to get?

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43657515)

I understand that China is a trading partner but in so many other spheres (human rights, pollution, animal cruelty, IP theft, etc etc ) they're a disgrace and yet they always seem to get a pass, unlike some other countries the US has gone to war with over nothing.

In most of those spheres US is not far behind, if not ahead. If a foreing country with big oil reserves was doing what US is doing with Guantanamo would had been invaded by now (and thats the "over nothing" they do war lately, don't confuse the excuse for the real motivation). And US came second in pollution recently, and that was partly because most US companies do their pollution elsewhere now. And please, lets not touch real IP theft.

If the US blocked all Chinese IP addresses, what would be the worst that could happen?

US would not be able to monitor social activity of all china citizens, nor manage their botnets inside china borders/firewalls. How you expect to gather intelligence with all the doors closed?

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about a year ago | (#43657829)

So you want to declare war against a country that pollutes its land and exploits its labors in order to make products like the iPhone?

Re:Not sure why this isn't a declaration of war? (1)

Rougement (975188) | about a year ago | (#43657903)

No. I'm asking what it would take for a cyber attack to be comparable with a traditional act of war. I'm certainly in favor of looking at trade restrictions. If iPhones have to cost more and be made in the US, that's fine by me.

Government morons - just fix the problem (5, Insightful)

Indy1 (99447) | about a year ago | (#43656371)

Null route all the Chinese networks, problem solved. Worked great on my mail server, amount of spam I got dropped massively.

Re:Government morons - just fix the problem (1)

Jonner (189691) | about a year ago | (#43656419)

Null route all the Chinese networks, problem solved. Worked great on my mail server, amount of spam I got dropped massively.

The attackers aren't idiots. They'll just start using proxies.

Re:Government morons - just fix the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656851)

The funny part is, they probably use the same proxies that we setup to "allow the chinese people to circumvent the great firewall".

Re:Government morons - just fix the problem (1)

Indy1 (99447) | about a year ago | (#43656881)

true, but why make it easy for them?

Of course, if fed.gov wasn't a giant pack of idiots, they wouldn't have this problem in the first place.

Re:Government morons - just fix the problem (1)

Jonner (189691) | about a year ago | (#43657019)

true, but why make it easy for them?

Of course, if fed.gov wasn't a giant pack of idiots, they wouldn't have this problem in the first place.

If it's currently easy to identify traffic from China by IP network, blocking those networks would make identifying traffic from Chinese attackers more difficult since it would never come from a known Chinese network. Also, are you saying the federal government should be running private companies' Internet security as well as their own? The fact that agencies have been penetrated does not necessarily mean they're idiots. Network security is hard and no computer is completely safe unless it's switched off and unplugged. Perhaps the mistake the Federal government made was creating the Internet in the first place.

So disconnect and quit using the fucking cloud... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#43656395)

..when dealing with anything you want to keep secret, and your problem is solved. Internet security has always been and always will be, sheer fantasy for gullible managers.

Any questions?

why did sensitive networks get connected at all? (2)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#43656483)

answer: dumb bastards who have the sense of a paper clip. if you don't want to have your hard drives in the morning paper, you don't put them on the Wacky Wacky Webbiepoo. the old joke was you disconnected all cables to the computer, buried it 50 feet deep in concrete, and put crew-served weapons over it if you wanted security.

turns out it isn't a joke, folks. total separation. anything you want scrubbed and publicly availiable, you sneakernet it over to the other machine room on the other side of the Pentagon.

Re:why did sensitive networks get connected at all (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656695)

anything you want scrubbed and publicly availiable, you sneakernet it over to the other machine room on the other side of the Pentagon.

That's what the Iranians did (well, except for the Pentagon part) and even that didn't save them from Stuxnet.

Re:why did sensitive networks get connected at all (2)

Loether (769074) | about a year ago | (#43656867)

True, the user is always the weakest link.

  "Oh I just found a shiny thumb drive in the parking lot... I know, I'll plug it in to the PC I use to monitor the centrifuges."

It's not hard to envision a government employee/military worker/civilian contractor here doing the same thing.

Re:why did sensitive networks get connected at all (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about a year ago | (#43657153)

answer: dumb bastards who have the sense of a paper clip.

tink...tink...tink...

It looks like you're writing a diatribe. Would you like help, you insensitive clod?

Sorry...that kind of just wrote itself. ;-)

Propaganda (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656417)

Accusations made by US gov towards foreign countries, especially powerful ones, should be taken with a whole lot of salt.

Re:Propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656635)

Especially when the US engages in wholesale spying on EVERYONE.

Looking back in history we had the U2, SR71, secret spy sats, etc...

Considering how upset the US was when China shot down/crashed into their spy planes its ironic they now complain about others spying on them.

So yeah, keep spying on others and pretend they are not doing the same to you....

Re:Propaganda (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43657011)

Especially when the US engages in wholesale spying on EVERYONE. Looking back in history we had the U2, SR71, secret spy sats, etc...

The planes you mention (both) were specifially developed for spying on the Soviet Union during the cold war. If you want me to believe the Soviets were innocent bystanders during that period I have a bridge I would LOVE to sell you.

Re:Propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657639)

No need to attempt to sell me a bridge, instead re-read where I stated "and pretend they are not doing the same to you".

BTW,
I listed those two plans for that explicit reason (cold war period).

The point was the US has a long history of spying, and there is no reason why one should assume other nations are not dong the same.

Re:Propaganda (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43657495)

we had the U2, SR71, secret spy sats

And thanks to those we're not standing in a pile of radioactive rubble. It's ignorance of a potential adversary's military capability that's most likely to lead to instability and even more excessive than usual arms buildups. Eisenhower wanted the U-2 because it was ignorance of Soviet capability that lead to the "bomber gap" claim and an enormous US nuclear buildup. Eisenhower was later frustrated because the secret nature of the U-2 flights meant he couldn't tell the public that all the talk of a missile gap was nonsense. Earlier in his administration Eisenhower had even made an "open skies" proposal to the USSR that would have let reconnaissance planes fly over each others territory. As far as "secret" spy sats, the secrets were in the details of their capabilities, not their existence. Later on they were unabashedly used to verify arms treaties. For example, we agreed to chop the wings off of most of our B-52's during the time when Soviet sats were overhead and could verify it.

However, what China is doing now has nothing to do with that sort of spying. They have their own spy sats and would know it if we were building up nuclear arms (or conventional ones for that matter). I'll also remind you that the USSR was an enemy country, whereas China is supposedly not. The amount and type of spying we're seeing is not the type you normally see from a friendly country. Yes, yes, the US and its allies do a little spying on each other, blah, blah, balh, but nothing approaching this level.

guess those (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43656435)

sequestration cuts are getting a little close.
Seriously, terrorism or communism. I only have enough patience for one government-sponsored boogey man at a time.
Schedule it between the mandatory monthly fiscal cliff panic and the gay marriage thing if you could...or if you can roll it into some weird freedom war that works too.

Re:guess those (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43657339)

The Terrorists are Funding Free and Open Source Software made by Cheap Chinese Labor in order to Devalue the sacred Intellectual Property made by American Industry! If we fall off the Fiscal Cliff there will be no Funds to Save us from the Armies of the Pot Smoking Freetardians and their legions of Homosexual Concubines! Do you want your children to live in a world where Child Porn is distributed by Slant-Eyed Ladyboys with Neckbeards to further the Terrorist agenda?!

Act now! Vote Yes, on the LIBERTY Act to safe our great nation:
Legislation to Insulate Babies Eyes and Reduce Terrorist Yiffing.

HERE IS COMES ... !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656539)

Nuke Em Now !!

Let's Troll 'em! (4, Insightful)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year ago | (#43656567)

I say we request that businesses and government agencies (especially ones we know they've gone after) set up poorly secured areas with misinformation about "important" projects and such.
Not only do we get them with misinformation, but try to bury them with gobs of data in the form of poorly scanned (un-OCRable) image files.

(Yes, I know the plan probably has flaws, but a boy can dream.)

Re:Let's Troll 'em! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657305)

I'm sure the CIA is already doing this.

proof not speculation (2)

lkcl (517947) | about a year ago | (#43656677)

what's interesting is that these people are claiming that the attacks *originate* from china, and that therefore, logically as well, it MUST be the chinese government that instigated these attacks. noooOoo: unless the U.S. has access to the entire world's internet traffic plus all communications globally including mobile phones, telephone lines and every single server and electronic device, there's absolutely NO WAY that they can prove that accusation - period.

why not? because even if an attack "appears" to originate from within china, all that means is that the traffic is coming from an IP address that's inside the china boundaries. and that's *all* it means. it does *NOT* mean that there is not SOMEONE ELSE who is OUTSIDE of china who has compromised that machine and is using it as a DDOS hacking jump-point in order to deliberately mask their true location [and identity].

the hacking could even be done through servers that are compromised and happen to have access to a telephone or a 3G dongle. dial in, initiate attack: you'd never be able to ascertain the identity of the attacker [unless you had access to china's telephone network records].

for all we know, the hacking is actually being instigated by the CIA as a means to have an excuse to justify yet another war or yet another round of political maneuvring.

even if it's random usage of compromised machines rather than intentional misdirection, the percentage of computers compromised by viruses world-wide is quite likely to have a disproportionate number of IP addresses originating from china simply through sheer numbers of people in china who have computers.

there are plenty of foreign governments who would have an interest in the kind of information being claimed to have been sought. why does it *have* to be china that's doing the attacking?

Re:proof not speculation (5, Informative)

admdrew (782761) | about a year ago | (#43656883)

why does it *have* to be china that's doing the attacking?

The type of analysis used to reach this conclusion includes far more information than source IPs. Based on the wealth of attack data available to even some of the smallest security providers, it's not tough to eventually paint a pretty good picture of China (their military, especially) as a core of generally nefarious network activity. A single IP isn't enough to place blame, but billions of packets over years of activity are definitely enough to attribute a significant volume of the world's hacking directly to the Chinese.

Source: I do a significant amount of network traffic analysis specifically for security.

Re:proof not speculation (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43657219)

I do a significant amount of network traffic analysis specifically for security.

On Slashdot that will probably lead to accusations that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:proof not speculation (4, Interesting)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43657043)

unless the U.S. has access to the entire world's internet traffic plus all communications globally including mobile phones...

Stop being an idiot. I set up a simple OpenBSD name server back in the mid 2000's, about 2008 I noticed an unusual amount of acitivity on it. It had been attacked and comprimised, and whomever did the attacking had re-purposed it to do name serving to asian servers. I easily tracked the trail back to China. Its not fucking rocket science, and secured in my mind that if the Chinese were willing to attack a small name server in a dusty corner they'll certainly attack US Gov. servers. Stop being an apologist for the Chinese you shill.

Re:proof not speculation (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43657101)

it does *NOT* mean that there is not SOMEONE ELSE who is OUTSIDE of china who has compromised that machine and is using it as a DDOS hacking jump-point in order to deliberately mask their true location [and identity]

First, what the hell does this have to do w/ DDOS? We're talking about spying.

Second, suppose Dr. Evil is hacking machines in China to hide the true source of the attacks. Why is he only using machines in China. Why not Russia or Canada or Elbonia? It would be much better for Dr. Evil to choose machines around the world so we couldn't just block Chinese IP addresses and be done with it. This is a case of Occam's razor: if the vast majority of the attacks come from China, then they're probably perpetrated by people in China. Given the authoritarian nature of the Chinese government, I find it hard to believe that this is done without their knowledge and approval. The alternative explanation is that people who can't read any news source that refers to Taiwan as an independent country, are at the same time launching massive penetration attacks without government approval.

How dangerous is this spying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656871)

While I understand that it feels bad to have your secrets copied, it seems to me that China is not trying to actively harm America, but rather to upgrade its technology by cheating - i.e. copying US technology for free.

Suppose for a moment that we knew that China would never declare actual war to America - what is the problem with them upgrading their technology then? Assuming their spying is dangerous already presupposes that they will eventually attack the US. If you already assume that they will attack later (when they are stronger), then it makes sense to preemptively attack now (while they're still relatively weak) regardless of spying. While if you assume they have no such intentions, then the spying is not dangerous anyway.

Re:How dangerous is this spying? (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43657085)

...China is not trying to actively harm America, but rather to upgrade its technology by cheating...

China mowed down 2000 of its own students during Tienamen Square protests for free speech. They've also occupied Tibet since 1959, claiming a 1000 year-old country is a runaway province. They continually threaten Taiwan with invasion and strong-arm Japanese fishing boats all the time claiming they are fishing in Chinese waters, and are arguing with Japan now about some uninhabited islands Japan has administered for 1500 years. And they aren't trying to harm anyone? Good luck with that.

Re:How dangerous is this spying? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#43657395)

There is also the Chinese invasion of Vietnam aka the Sino-Vietnamese War in the late 1970s.

Re:How dangerous is this spying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657795)

I've asked Chinese people about Tibet as to why they feel it is China's. The response is a classic "because it has always belonged to China".
The same is true for the islands you mention as well as the fishing waters. I'm pretty sure the US would defend its territorial islands/waters as well. How many US islands once belonged to someone else?

If you are accurate and Tibet is a 1,000 year old "country" and Japan has administered the island for 1,500 years both could have belonged to China at one point in time (China was unified in 221 BC but the Chinese go back much further).

Many people think the difference in attitude is due to China now being in a position to start asserting control over things it once owned (they have a terrible history of losing wars).

PS. The poster you responded to stated "not trying to harm america", it was nice of you to flip this to "anyone".

PSS. Would Tibet be better, or worse off without China and why (curious, not that i have an opinion).

Re:How dangerous is this spying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43658021)

Cheating? Britain wants all of the profit and advanced made off the Ip your nation stole. This from a nation that blantantly takes 'trade' intel it wants from visitors laptops.

WORD: TARIFF !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656953)

We already cannot afford to keep buying china junk to replace the china junk that already stopped working which replaced china junk ... !! I say TARIFF !! Buy Mexican !! Or even Canadan !! Do it today !! If it were not for the stupid Americans who would buy china junk ?? Who else ?? Not even china buys china junk !!

What kind of a stupid statement is that anyways? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656965)

Of course China spies on the US, much like vice versa. It's hard to choose which of these countries deserves my sympathy less.

Hypocrites (1)

DancesWithWolves (73194) | about a year ago | (#43657187)

Name one thing that other governments do that the US government hasn't already done. There is nothing. Torture? Check Indefinite detention of innocent people? Check Spying on own citizens? Check Lavish support and benefits for corporations at the expense of ordinary people? Check Americans need to get off their hypocritical high horse of "freedom", "liberty", "justice" and all that crap. They are no better than any of the dictatorships out there.

Re:Hypocrites (1)

admdrew (782761) | about a year ago | (#43657729)

Hypocritical, sure, but the Chinese (far more so now than the Russians) are pretty well understood to be behind the bulk of the current hacking activity that occurs today.

The American way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657377)

They should stick to drone strikes against anything that moves like we do.

We kill hundreds of thousands of civilians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43657489)

...but YOU BAD!!!!!!1! ;)

piss off already.

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