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Chinese Websites Used As Launchpads For Cracking

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-friendly-global-neighbors dept.

Privacy 256

An anonymous reader writes "A Washington Post article reports that Chinese networks are being used to breach hundreds of unclassified U.S. government systems. The article goes on to say that some analysts believe the activity to be tied to the Chinese government, although there is also some dissent." From the article: "Whether the attacks constitute a coordinated Chinese government campaign to penetrate U.S. networks and spy on government databanks has divided U.S. analysts. Some in the Pentagon are said to be convinced of official Chinese involvement; others see the electronic probing as the work of other hackers simply using Chinese networks to disguise the origins of the attacks."

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Idealism (4, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397151)

FTA: "It's not just the Defense Department but a wide variety of networks that have been hit," including the departments of State, Energy and Homeland Security as well as defense contractors, the official said. "This is an ongoing, organized attempt to siphon off information from our unclassified systems."

This seems like the work of terrorists to me. They gather unclassified intel from multiple sources and then they can prove/disprove rumours (leaks?) of a secret nature. This puts a strain on the agencies to ensure that solid intel can not be assembled from less potent information, and yet many citizens complain about the slow pace in which free information flows out of the government. Look at what they are up against, today. (I know I'm going to get hammered on that statement) I think we're seeing that delicate balance between freedom of information and security will be tipping in the near future as a direct result of these attacks. It's never been very balanced anyway. I might be a touch left-wing, an idealist -- but to me there needs also to be a careful approach to protecting the homeland, whether it's in Canada, the US or abroad. I have a sneaky feeling that someone we know had something to do with this, and it's likely not the Chinese government -- I think it was the FSM [boingboing.net] , or possibly a smaller cell -- the Army of the 12 Monkeys!

Re:Idealism (2, Insightful)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397200)

This puts a strain on the agencies to ensure that solid intel can not be assembled from less potent information

It doesn't even need to be solid, if you're a blackmailer or social engineer - just enough to be damning/interesting/scary or enough to let you "talk the talk" when posing as a government official working on some project or other.

Re:Idealism (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397307)

"others see the electronic probing as the work of other hackers simply using Chinese networks to disguise the origins of the attacks"
Because we all know the Chinese Government is a tolerant and benevolent, progressive-thinking lot who simply want to be left alone. Buy U.S. Government votes, maybe, but NEVER spy on them!

Re:Idealism (2, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397553)

I think about it this way . If these Chinese hackers have the skill to crack Government systems then they would have the skill to disguise their locations. Why would they make it appear as if the origins are in China...

  Unless they wanted to make us think that the signals are not originating in china by making us think they are and then us believing that they wouldn't be and that it is someone else diverting through China

Re:Idealism (2, Insightful)

isepic (117674) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397608)

You know, I used to think the same way, but beileve it or not, some folks DON'T CARE if you know who they are.

Re:Idealism (3, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397325)

Yeah, but this flies in the face of people thinking we need "open and transparent" government.

There is a difference between the citizens of a country knowing every detail of the government's actions and a country that is actively against many of those actions knowing. The problem is that most of the people I hear from seem to think that if everyone just would calm down, smoke some weed together and such that we would all be friends. No more adversaries... Right.

The US government has always been operating about 40-50% out of sight. Lately, as in the past 10 years or less, this has started to both become obvious and of a concern to some people that believe they should know what the government is doing and why. What they don't get is "what" is sometimes less important than "why" and "why" can be critically important. Often, very, very important to the people in other parts of the world where these actions are taking place.

Obviously, Al Queda would just love to get a "press briefing" about counter-terrorist actions in the US. Do you think that would be a good idea? At a more local level, how about if the police published a schedule of vacation days for officers? Then you could know when getting nailed for speeding was less likely because of a manpower shortage. This could also help coordinate bank robberies so there was less likelyhood of someone being injured in a chase.

Yes, absolutely I would agree that we are starting to see the effects of information being freely available and being compiled by organizations that do not have our best interested at heart. This is always going to be a problem at some level - in WWII Japan and Germany had spies doing nothing more than reading US newspapers. The US has done this with Russia and China for years as well. But there was a general understanding that disclosing too much was a bad idea. So, announcements of high-level officials movements were often reported after the fact or vaguely. Same thing with other information that could be coordinated. Today, we have no such restraint in the news organizations and you better believe there are people watching the news, reading newspapers and magazines as well as reading stuff on the Internet.

Can they put valuable information together? Absolutely. Would "open and transparent" be a lot more valuable to adversaries than to the people it was intended for? Maybe. That is going to be a very tough idea for most people to get their heads around.

Re:Idealism (0, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397572)

There is a difference between the citizens of a country knowing every detail of the government's actions and a country that is actively against many of those actions knowing. The problem is that most of the people I hear from seem to think that if everyone just would calm down, smoke some weed together and such that we would all be friends. No more adversaries... Right.
Perhaps if you started to smoke some weed, people would stop seeing you as an aggressor and a plunderer, too. You oughta get out of your SUV and walk more.

Real Bigness (1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397326)

The Chinese government is a mafia. Which controls its population through propaganda, purges, public executions, defamation, and other terrorism. Terrorism isn't the planebomb that blows up the building. It's the planebomb that blows up the building on TV, controlling literally millions of times as many people as it killed. That's the "asymmetric" threat, that weaker/poorer adversaries like the Qaeda, China or McVeigh can use to beat the US government and the American people. There's no line between "terrorists" and a country's military, as Kadafi, Gerry Adams, Saddam or Arafat would tell you.

The decentralized Internet can be threatened only by decentralized attacks: DDoS, for example. Russian Communism was no match for decentralized American Capitalism, focused in centralized American Federalism. But Chinese Communism, grafted into their state capitalism, is much more decentralized. With a huge domestic population, connected to a distributed, sophisticated "overseas Chinese" population, they have a much larger "surface to volume" ratio than we do for challenging the US. Combined with their insider clout, controlling so much American manufacturing while owning so much Treasury debt (and providing its best market), they already have the US over a barrel.

It was a terrible mistake to put George Bush in charge of defending us from enemies like China. Not only can't he think for himself, but his (literal) legacy is the market that his father opened as Nixon's first ambassador to China. Judging merely the results of that policy through the decades since, I'd say that the deal was cut 35 years ago. Carving off a huge chunk of American security to China, with the Bush dynasty taking its fat cut. Fortunately for us, America is so open, decentralized, aggressive and regenerative that we start out with a huge advantage. But if we keep letting these Bush people run the show, we'll start looking a lot like England did through the 20th Century, as their former hick colony obliterated them on the world stage. The difference is that China is no American colony, they don't speak the English that could combine our societies for truly mutual benefit, and the world is a lot smaller today - while China is a lot bigger.

Re:Real Bigness (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397615)

The Chinese government is a mafia.

Not hardly.

All the mobs in the world, since the beginning of organized crime, probably have a body count in the low thousands. The Red Dynasty killed about thirty million people in the Cultural Revolution alone.

-jcr

Re:Real Bigness (0, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397616)

But if we keep letting these Bush people run the show, we'll start looking a lot like England did through the 20th Century, as their former hick colony obliterated them on the world stage.
But you are already declining... What do you think the stupid creationists are making, but significantly weakening the US science, which is the basis for technological domination? Likewise, all those students becoming lawyers because "that's where the money is"... Lawyers do not create any wealth at all, they do not manufacture goods, they do not create original intellectual content, they are mere parasites to an economy.

Re:Idealism (1)

hador_nyc (903322) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397425)

Everybody collects unclassified material. If you put enough "unclassified" pieces together, you can deduce information that would be classified. That's intelligence work. It's not all James Bond. The other thing is that everyone spy on everyone else. We all do it. Not much of a big deal; spying to a degree is good. Realistic impressions of other countries military capabilities can help discourage war. So, this is a good thing; don't attack them, they're too strong or don't worry about them; they're no threat. Better to have a bit less information security than to close our society.

Re:Idealism (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397603)


don't worry about them; they're no threat

This is one of the more dangerous thoughts a country could have...

Iraqi insurgents
Somali malitias
Viet Cong
Bay of Pigs
George Washington

I'm sure I missed a bunch, but you get the point.

Re:Idealism (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397542)

This puts a strain on the agencies to ensure that solid intel can not be assembled from less potent information, and yet many citizens complain about the slow pace in which free information flows out of the government. Look at what they are up against, today. (I know I'm going to get hammered on that statement) I think we're seeing that delicate balance between freedom of information and security will be tipping in the near future as a direct result of these attacks.
"These attacks" are the perfect excuse for those bureaucrats to close the spigot of public information. The last thing any bureaucrat wants is the public (and expecially those pesky journalists) sticking their unwashed nose in their business.

The solution for "less attacks" is simply to make sure that no one hates your guts enough to want to blow them up, a lesson most average-brained people learn quite early in kidergarten...

Looks like governments at work to me (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397594)

I would not be surprised if this turns out to be a project of some Chinese intelligence agency. Worldwide espionage seems a "normal" activity for any large government. The USA do this at an even larger scale with a worldwide net of listening stations, the so-called Echelon net:
http://fly.hiwaay.net/~pspoole/echelon.html [hiwaay.net]

Re:Idealism (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397599)

Let's see... U.S. government networks are generally used by the U.S. government and domestic users.

Is it just me, or does completely blocking out all access from China at the router level seem like an obvious response? Obviously these attacks are coming from Chinese IPs or they wouldn't know they were coming from China... so just blacklist the IP address ranges that have no business accessing the networks.

Oh, it's espionage is it... (3, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397156)

By the same logic the Chinese Government is trying to overthrow western democracy using methods indistinguishable from incoherent spam emails about cheap viagra.

At least we know it's not the Russians! (5, Interesting)

conJunk (779958) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397216)

I used to work in physical security (a clerical job I had in high school), and it was always fun to talk to the old-timers and hear their stories.

My favorite was about how the KGB operatives in DC in the late 50s stayed in good graces wtih their Moscow overloads with a minumum of effort:

They were supposed to keep tabs on the ongoings of the US political system by establishing inside contacts, and reporting back. So, they just summarized the political news from each day's New York Times, and kept their jobs for years.

The Americans pulled an good one on them: To spy at the Russian consolate in New York, the CIA recruited Xerox to install a minature camera in the consolate's copy equipment. When he came to do "regular maitenance" each month, he'd also replace the full tapes with new ones.

Sorry for no linkies, my source for these is an 80 year old CPP [asisonline.org] .

Re:At least we know it's not the Russians! (1)

lordsid (629982) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397485)

i recall seeing the photo copier bugging on the discovery channel or some such channel.

Re:At least we know it's not the Russians! (1)

dukeisgod (739214) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397612)

I wonder how many copies of people's butts the thing intercepted.

Microsoft / China "shared source" initiative? (4, Funny)

dyfet (154716) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397172)

Was it not all that long ago that Microsoft agreed to "share" it's source with the Chinese government? I had wondered what became of that...

Re:Microsoft / China "shared source" initiative? (1)

tont0r (868535) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397252)

its not uncommon for microsoft to do that. i know atleast if something needs to be certified to use by the russian government, MS has to release their source to them for extremely careful review.

It's Cisco... (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397314)

I'm not afraid of the possible Windows or Office source code out there floating around - I'm worried about that "Great Firewall" thing I hear people going on so much about.

Doesn't that mean that I can't get back at the bastards?

Seems like someone isn't playing fair...

Re:Microsoft / China "shared source" initiative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397518)

Yes, and none of the comprimised systems were Linux boxes or other non-MS machines.

Please, get real.

Was meant to be humorous (1)

dyfet (154716) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397534)

The moderation did not match my intent either :)

Re:Microsoft / China "shared source" initiative? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397570)

Oh, please.. Since when has anybody needed MS's source code to crack windoze?

-jcr

Web sites (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397176)

How can you use a "web site" to attack someone? Wouldn't it be just a box sitting somewhere attached to a Chinese network?

Other than the fact that the attacks are coming from machines attached to a Chinese network and the reports that the PLA has been concentrating a little more on network warfare, what evidence are they basing their claims on that the attacks are coming from the Chinese government?

Re:Web sites (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397199)

The same kind of evidence that the US Government used to justify war on Iraq? i.e. Falsified intelligence and packs of lies.

Re:Web sites (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397290)

How can you use a "web site" to attack someone?

Pick an IE vulnerability and create a trojan that uses this to dial home and send a copy of the user's documents (or even just give a remote user a shell on the machine).

Re:Web sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397370)

lol what?

Re:Web sites (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397450)

RE:[" How can you use a "web site" to attack someone?"]

umm, you can hit em over the head with the server the website resides on.

Breach unclassified documents? (0, Troll)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397181)

What's the problem exactly? It's not like this is an act of espionnage.

Re:Breach unclassified documents? (1)

jolar (905312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397257)

Just because something isn't classified doesn't mean that it won't contain potentially sensitive information.

Some unclassified information is NOFORN (No foreign nationals).

Hmmmm... (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397282)

Next time I'll make sure to include a huge "THIS IS SARCASM" disclaimer. Although that would tend to kill the joke...

unclassified could be espionage as well (4, Informative)

HBI (604924) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397303)

Under the heading "unclassified documents":

"For Official Use Only" - things which don't contain classified data, but contain information that should be kept within the government. Someone made a decision to mark this document as FOUO.

"Sensitive" - a more generic type of document which contains information which is probably not suitable for public release, but is not determined as such. This may be marked FOUO at some future point.

The big problem with the standard information classification guidelines is what you need to do if you classify the document. First, people can't attach them to the normal email system, or in fact even have it on an unclassified computer system. Second, if you print it out you have to print it on a classified-only printer, lock it in a safe and sign for it, sealing the room from those who have no clearance before taking a look. Google AR 25-2 and read the pdf (public distribution) for more specific information on how such documents are handled.

This provides a lot of impetus to keep data that is not truly secret from being classified as such. So many documents are FOUO or considered "sensitive". It doesn't mean the data in the hands of an enemy couldn't be damaging, particularly in the aggregate.

Re:unclassified could be espionage as well (2, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397477)


Rule number one of the internet.

If you don't want the world to see your sensitive documents, don't put them on the webserver.

me no rike chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397186)

^-^

Must...resist....urge.... (3, Funny)

hawkeye_82 (845771) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397187)

In soviet China, website hacks you. /flinches for rotten fruit attack

Re:Must...resist....urge.... (1)

Gillious (723833) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397292)

" In soviet China, website hacks you. /flinches for rotten fruit attack" If.. only I had mod points.. omg teh funnay! ;) It made me smile at least.

Re:Must...resist....urge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397386)

*pelt*

Film at 0x0b (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397198)


Hmm, let me see, shall I attack the US govt. by using machines from a virtual black hole or not ?

Re:Film at 0x0b (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397610)

You crazy C programmers! It's "Film @ 0BH"! Duh!

why don't they... (4, Funny)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397215)

I don't see why the government doesn't just create it's own private network for data communication. And maybe if they were feeling really generous they could let some of the more prestigious universities out there onto it also...

Re:why don't they... (1)

241comp (535228) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397378)

Where's -1 Wrong when you need it.

Re:why don't they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397430)

and where's -1 too stupid to get a joke???

Re:why don't they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397506)

Where's -1,Humorless when you need it.

Re:why don't they... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397514)

They did.. I think it was called.. the internet..?

Re:why don't they... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397606)

Bzzzt. The internet is the modern commercialized incarnation. The precursor was DARPANET and later ARPANET.

How much is spoofed? (4, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397218)

I wonder how many of these attacks are really coming from America. Standard practice is to spoof somewhere that seems to be not worth their time to look into if anyone catches you - eastern europe used to be a favourite, with its famously corrupt and incompetent police forces and the sheer physical distance acting to dissuade US companies or government agencies from bothering to try and bring anyone apparently from there to justice. With the additional hostile political environment and famed elite hackers, China would make a very attractive place to spoof an attack as being from.

Re:How much is spoofed? (3, Informative)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397348)

IP spoofing does not allow for anonymous access. This is a common misconception. Any sort of spoofing beyond simple floods require the attacker to be on the same subnet as the attackee (nonblind spoofing). As far as blind spoofing all modern OSs implement random sequence numbers, making blind spoofing very unlikely.

Re:How much is spoofed? (2, Interesting)

Shisha (145964) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397415)

I dare say that a lot of hackers (which here I will use in the popular media sense, i.e. someone wishing to gain unauthorized access to a computer system), use more complicated scenario.

1, Sit at a computer in the US.
2, Hack into a computer in China, Eastern Europe or wherever. Hope that the owner / admin won't notice a thing.
3, Hack into the system of an US government agency, company or wherever you need.
4, Hope that no-one notices. If they do never mind, you have a 99.9% chance that they'll assume the attack is comming from China and do nothing about it.

IP spoofing does not necessarily have to do anything with it. The only thing that could go wrong is if the owner of the Chineese / East European server noticed it's been hacked _and_ notified the US government. How likely is that though?

Re:How much is spoofed? (1)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397522)

uhmm what you described is indeed the method that the article mentions but that is not spoofing [securityfocus.com] . I was addressing the parent message that was suggesting spoofing was used.




Mozilla users get hot sauce [sammcgees.com] at a discount.

Re:How much is spoofed? (1)

JayJay.br (206867) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397352)

Not a lot of attacks can benefit from spoofing. See, spoofing only works for the kind of attacks where you don't expect a response, such as denial of service attacks. If you're trying to "own" a server somewhere or even transfer files using TCP to deface a site (as in using exploits on webservers) you will be identified.

That is where zombies come in place, using them as decoys for traceback. IOW, you first own a chinese machine and then launch everything from there, making sure nothing gets logged on that particular machine. Much more efficient than spoofing.

Re:How much is spoofed? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397358)

Wow! Too bad our Government doesn't have, I dunno, basic security technology that could...you know...figure it out anyway.

Some are said to be? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397220)

Talk about weak:

"Some in the Pentagon are said to be convinced of official Chinese involvement..."

So, other people have said that some people in the Pentagon are convinced. We don't even know who is doing the "saying."

Sounds like weak speculation to me.

Re:Some are said to be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397258)

A - it is a known fact that government officials are the stupidest on the planet.

B - Govt is ususally 5-40 years behind in technology.

So if you do not say "wow what morons" then you are a republican.

Re:Some are said to be? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397497)

Or a Democrat.

Do you seriously think there is a differnece between the two parties besides minor ideological differences?

Re:Some are said to be? (1)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397582)

Sounds like weak speculation to me.

"This is an ongoing, organized attempt to siphon off information from our unclassified systems."

Great propaganda though.

IT IS TRUE!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397229)

Some in the Pentagon are said to be convinced of official Chinese involvement

China _does_ have oil. Let's wait what CNN decides...

Re:IT IS TRUE!!! (4, Funny)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397317)

China _does_ have oil.

Well, there now, sounds to me like they may be harboring terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.

We must persevere. Stay true to our convictions, and continue to sacrifice. For the good of the world, in our war on terrorism.

If you've done nothing wrong... (5, Funny)

yotto (590067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397234)

Then you have nothing to fear from the Chinese knowing all the information the US government has collected on you.

Re:If you've done nothing wrong... (1, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397322)

Then you have nothing to fear from the Chinese knowing all the information the US government has collected on you.

Why does everyone insist in perpetuating this absurd statement?

Innocence doesn't mean you should embrace everyone having access to everything about you. Nor should it mean you would be willing to give up your privacy and freedoms just because you've "done nothing wrong".

And, as a more direct response to that .... what if you're a Chinese expat doing things that are legal in the US but deemed subversive by the Chinese. Your family is then in deep doo-doo.

Everytime I hear someone say they don't have anything to fear because they've done nothing wrong, all I can think of are sheep who don't know any better.

First They Came for the Jews


First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Re:If you've done nothing wrong... (4, Informative)

yotto (590067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397423)

I'll assume for the moment that you didn't realize my sarcasm when I say:

I was being sarcastic, and showing one obvious instance where, even if you /do/ believe that statement about the "Good Guys", you'll see why it's flawed anyway.

Re:If you've done nothing wrong... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397438)

I'll assume for the moment that you didn't realize my sarcasm

That was not immediately apparent. :-P

My bad.

fuk china (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397246)

I've had it up the here with the chinese half capitalist, totalitarian regime. What happened to the Truman Doctrine? Lets just stop doing business with them and wait for their economy to collapse. Sure, it will suck for us but why are we propping up dictatorships with our trade? Is it for small pieces of plastic. Looks like it from here.

USA and the "paranoid mode=ON" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397263)

Everyone against USA, a full world of terrorists... and now China trying to spy government databanks. Oh men, is there someone intelligent enough to see that the northamerican image only degrades with this Cold War Days reedition, generating rage and rejection out your beloved country?

Re:USA and the "paranoid mode=ON" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397295)

Perhaps you don't remember a few years ago when the Chinese government used tanks to murder hundreds of unarmed students. It's not like they're change since then.

Re:USA and the "paranoid mode=ON" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397390)

Maybe you have a weak memory, or your tons of useless eye candy channels from your cable TV let you far away from reality, because you are talking about an old fact [google.com] , an internal revolution. What are USA's gov doing n-o-w in Irak and Afghanistan? By the way, don't talk me about terrorism, Mideast was a region without any reasson to atack (11-S) USA until Bush (the father) invades Irak. After that, the shit smells worst day by day.

Oh, american people, keep George Bush far from red nuclear button, please!!

Re:USA and the "paranoid mode=ON" (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397428)

That explains the terrorist activity in the Phillipines and Thailand. Bush the elder's attack on Iraq.

Real story (4, Insightful)

GrAfFiT (802657) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397266)

OK, further investigations revealed that the whole issue was seriously inflated. It was just about chinese user's (pirated) Windows XP computers being infected by worms and turned into zombies sending gazillions of blaster/sasser/zotob/whatever to .mil computers. OK nothing to worry about.
Next story : old korean grand-mothers hacking Pentagon's SMTP servers.

Next story (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397319)

And succeeding with it with 5 minutes.

Hmm, fishy... (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397270)

"others see the electronic probing as the work of other hackers simply using Chinese networks to disguise the origins of the attacks.".
Clever, but i think it is the Chinese making us believe that the hackerz are American that use Chinese networks in order for us to believe that that Chinese are behind this crap.

No! (1)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397296)

That's exactly what the American hackers posing as Chinese spies posing as American hackers posing as Chinese spies WANT you to think!

websites? (4, Insightful)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397281)

Although there certainly are penetration methods that use web sites, I would guess that many other application layer IP services are being used for these attacks. The media's use of the term web site to mean any IP device is deceiving.

We're talking about the chinese govt. (1, Interesting)

soop (22350) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397293)

This is the same govt. that employs a police force tasked with ensuring that chinese citizens don't visit or use the internet for nefarious reasons.

Obviously it has something to do with the govt. sanctioning these attacks and intrusions! Otherwise the chinese govt. would be arresting individuals constantly for exploiting US governmental resources

Just my .02 and you overpaid :P

Re:We're talking about the chinese govt. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397375)

Yes, you would think that the entire .GOV domain was blocked by their enormous firewall.

Last decade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397302)

How many years are these people behind? I thought it was common knowledge. I like to acl all of china and korea just for good measure.

General Ripper on line 1, sir. (2, Funny)

McGregorMortis (536146) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397308)

I can no longer sit back and allow Chinese infiltration, Chinese indoctrination, Chinese subversion, and the international Chinese conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious computers.

Maybe a little of both. (2, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397324)

I would suspect that the Chinese Govt. is doing what just about any government would do. Monitoring what's happening, but keeping out of it just enough for plausable deniability.

The Currency of Fear. (3, Insightful)

delire (809063) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397359)


Secondly, the notoriously paranoid government in Beijing has also long feared that Microsoft Windows has a "back door" that could allow for U.S. government snooping -- a fear no doubt enhanced by the January discovery of bugging devices in President Jiang Zemin's new personal Boeing 767. Microsoft, of course, denies that it would ever be involved in such matters, but many Chinese still feel safer using the open code of Linux. In China, after all, any company as big as Microsoft would be in cahoots with the government.
From here. [newamerica.net]

Chinese Government (2, Insightful)

Krast0r (843081) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397371)

If the Chinese Government wanted to break into the websites of foreign powers, they probably would have broken into them all by now. Think about it, China has a population of roughly 1,306,313,812 (July 2005) and a purchasing power of $7.262 trillion. Chances are that someone in China will be able to break into a Government website, and with that kind of purchasing power they could probably get a PC or 2. However, if China really wanted to do some damage they could always get everyone in the population to refresh a page a few. Although this may be slightly unpractical, it would certainly be noticed.

Idiot US government... (1)

flajann (658201) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397373)

Wherther the Chinese government is behind it or not, obviously there are problems with the security of the US governemnt sites. If they would only address those concerns, the problem would go away.

I'd hate to see what a sophisticated enemy could do to this country if it wanted to. The lame security on the US gov servers is lamantable. We hear the same old story over and over again and no one learns. The Germans during WWII had better security -- it actually took brains to crack the Enigma codes. Nowadays, any old script kiddle can bring down a US Goverment server!

Nature of "Attacks" (4, Insightful)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397410)

Hmm, So they recieve hits on UNClassified Computers (Servers?). Is it possible someone in china just wants to know about corn production and distribution to soldiers?

Nowhere does TFA describe the attacks themselves. I guess we are to assume they are malicious Attacks to gain control of DOD computers. I try to never assume anything based on vague DOD statements. So I'm going with hits on the serveer Logs. Seems like a cute way to get approval for Classifying these UNClassified Systems. This administration has been overly secretive in a whole slew of areas, add one more to the list.

I give it a week, then quietly changes will be made and this info will dissappear off the web, innaccessible to all but the DOD.

Wouldn't it be interesting to know how many "Attacks" the chinese government receives from the US.

The number of attempted intrusions from all sources identified by the Pentagon last year totaled about 79,000, defense officials said, up from about 54,000 in 2003. Of those, hackers succeeded in gaining access to a Defense Department computer in about 1,300 cases. The vast majority of these instances involved what VanPutte called "low risk" computers.

Gained access, Shit man, Raise Terror Threat Level to chartruse.

This is an ongoing, organized attempt to siphon off information from our unclassified systems."

No kidding, People are using computers to gather publicly available information. Oh.. My.. God.. Raise to level Periwinkle.....Get Dick to an undisclosed location. Get Condi on the horn.

Either you are with us or your with the Chinese Websites.

Of course they're spying (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397433)

That's what governments do; even friendly ones. We're just arguing about whether we have caught them in the act.

I expect they're being more sophisticated. How about sniffing everything that goes over the internet. I bet they're doing that.

I remember describing something as having more antennas than a Russian fishing trawler. Those trawlers were of course not fishing for fish.

Uh... (1)

ShoobieRat (829304) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397442)

How do you "breach" unclassified material? It's wide open.

When we learn? (4, Funny)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397447)

Did Matthew Broderick teach us nothing?

What's the difference? (1)

terrygao (811237) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397449)

I don't know what the big deal is. This just means computer systems in China is just as insecure as computer systems in the US. If crackers want, they can also use US computers system to attack Chinese ones, only they don't beacuse for some unknown reasons (ahem, ahem) 'terrorists' love to target US. I wonder why.

Okay, so... (1)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397453)

why aren't the DoD, DHC, and other security-sensitive agencies firewalling all of China in the first place?

I say we bomb the fuckers... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397458)

A few nuked would keep those chinkinese bastards in line, fuckin squinty-eyed motherfuckers. It ain't like there ain't enough of them fuckers.

but... (1)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397543)

Then whose going to make the stuff you buy at walmart and whose gonna hold the paper on your mortgage???

"All war is deception." (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397465)

While I don't buy into the very thin link to this being the work of the Chinese govt. there are a few examples of prior de'art I think worth mentioning:

"The more you read and learn, the less your adversary will know."

"A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective."

"O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible and hence we can hold the enemy's fate in our hands."

"Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move."

"The ultimate in disposing one's troops is to be without ascertainable shape. Then the most penetrating spies cannot pry in nor can the wise lay plans against you."

"If your opponent is of choleric temperment, seek to irritate him."

Make no mistake...the rules of war by Sun Tzu are as well posted in the halls of the DoD as they are in the far East.

Of course, the chinese are doing it; so what? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397471)

We are doing the same to them. Make no mistake about it. Our government is busy trying to crack every Chinese gov. computers that it can, or is simply using the built-in backdoors on the windows systems.

Damn - More Outsourcing (4, Funny)

ppp (218671) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397474)

Those hacking jobs rightfully belong to Americans!

The PLA! (1)

fmwap (686598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397489)

Did anyone read the second page?

...It said the People's Liberation Army (PLA) sees computer network...The PLA has likely established information warfare units to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems.

RBCP does it again!
http://www.phonelosers.org [phonelosers.org]

Unlikely (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397513)

With all the American telecom and networking firms outsourcing development to China, there's no need for the Chinese government to probe US government and commercial sites from outside the enterprise firewall.

Cut the Chinese off of our internet (0, Troll)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397524)

I am going to get hammered for this one. Here is the problem as I see it. 1. Chinese IP addresses are known for massive hacking attempts and brekins. 2. Excessive amounts of spam come for Chinese IP addressses, quite possible the largest percentage. 3. The Chinese government censors the Internet for it's public, not permitting a very large percentage of U.S. sites access. For these three reasons alone, the U.S. government needs to pass a law, that until the Chinese get thier act together - ALL IP ADDRESSES ASSIGNED TO THE CHINESE BE BLOCKED. The only acception for this is email addresses be allowed only to companies that formally request access. This is harsh but necessary. I see the Chinese as a threat to the freedom that is the Internet.

bs alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13397584)

1.) Unsubstantiated

2.) Studies I've seen in the last year show equal amounts from the mainland and north america.

3.) this one is just plain funny - the percentage is in the single digit range...get a clue.

'our' internet? ...with more Chinese users on the net than Americans, making Chinese the most widely used language on the net, you may want to rethink that little claim :)

It is the present day Top Gun (1, Funny)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397531)

This is today's version of the Top Gun film. There is a silent war happening between two superpowers and the heroes of that war are neither remembered or mourned. I'd say the American team of computer experts fighting virtual dogfights with Chinese hackers are just as brave and committed as those fine pilots like Maverick, Iceman or Joker. And let us hope there is no Goose - that these brave experts do not pay for the work they do on our behalf with their lives.

I wonder if the American computer experts do an electronic 'flyby' of their bosses computer systems. I bet they do, and so they should, for our country is a country undeniably committed to freedom and no concentration of force in real or virtual worlds will change that. Let the Chinese do their worse - they will soon learn that superior American training and technology and goddam GUTS, like in Top Gun, will prevail.

Re:It is the present day Top Gun (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397624)

Let the Chinese do their worse - they will soon learn that superior American training and technology and goddam GUTS, like in Top Gun, will prevail.

Lone hacker stands up in the crowd

We're with you, sir!

Crowd breaks into enthusiastic applause

CU of American flag and American anthem playing softly in the background

Cut to hacking montage sequence with rock soundtrack

-Eric

Re:It is the present day Top Gun (1)

dan dan the dna man (461768) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397627)

Thankyou thats the funniest thing I've ever read on /. I only wish I had some mod points for you

When US networks breach Chinese gov't computers... (1)

Calyth (168525) | more than 9 years ago | (#13397626)

That's just some worm some kid released, right?
Sounds kinda convenient that there aren't script kiddies in China who are bored enough to probe around US government computers. Heck US kiddies does it, why not Chinese kiddies?
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