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Chinese Hack Attacks on DoD Networks Coordinated

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the man-your-battlestations dept.

Security 295

An anonymous reader writes " The Naval Network Warfare Command says that Chinese hackers are relentlessly targeting Defense Department networks with cyber attacks. The 'volume, proficiency and sophistication' of the attacks supports the theory that the attacks are government supported. The motives of the attacks emanating from China include technology theft, intelligence gathering, exfiltration, research on DOD operations and the creation of dormant presences in DOD network for future action. Onlookers warn that current US defenses against these attacks are 'dysfunctional', and that more aggressive measures should be taken to ensure government network safety."

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Far outstripping other attackers (5, Insightful)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054038)

Attacks coming from China, probably with government support, far outstrip other attackers in terms of volume, proficiency and sophistication, said a senior Netwarcom official

Gee, ya think? China has more than a billion people. I know they're not all running around with shiny new laptops, but come on - this is akin to saying that the majority of low-temperature attacks on the United States come from Canada. Well, duh!

I can make the same "cyberattack" claims about my not-worth-cracking dedicated servers and the dinky firewall machine sitting on my cable modem, too, but that doesn't mean I'm engaged in a "cyberwar" with anyone. The majority of rooted machines trying to root mine are in China. Most of this comes in the form of automated attempts to bruteforce ssh, but I've seen targeted attempts where there's clearly a human on the other end of the wire.

While I don't doubt that DoD machines are probably being targeted intentionally, there's an overwhelming amount of garbage traffic coming out of central and eastern Asia, and it hits everyone. Nearly half of all my rejected SMTP traffic is from Chinese netspace, but most of it's trying to peddle western products to American consumers, the Chinese people have nothing to do with it. China's so full of compromised hosts that whoever's actually cracking DoD machines is probably sitting in an internet cafe in Milan, piping data through some rooted .gov.cn box...

Oh, and the next person to use "spear phishing" in an article is getting a swift kick in the nuts!

Re:Far outstripping other attackers (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054102)

That is an interesting statement:

"China's so full of compromised hosts that whoever's actually cracking DoD machines is probably sitting in an internet cafe in Milan, piping data through some rooted .gov.cn box..."

I wonder how easy it would be to pin this on MS products that have been pirated?

Its an interesting twist of thought to think that MS is responsible for cyber attacks on the DOD. While that isn't true, it's still interesting in a 'haha' kind of way.

Makes me believe that there will be counter-attack strategies that include government sponsored worms traversing the Internet trying to secure those compromised hosts.

Re:Far outstripping other attackers (0, Flamebait)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054992)

MS *is* responsible for the attacks. Remove Microsoft and the attacks wouldnt occur or would be tame in comparison.

Microsoft isnt directly responsible for the attacks however.

Re:Far outstripping other attackers (5, Insightful)

Vicissidude (878310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054388)

China has more than a billion people.

Yes, and of those, only 137 million Chinese are online. In contrast, the US has about 185 million online. So, the fact that the majority of the attacks are coming from China is indeed significant. That is particularly true given the sophistication of the attacks cited and the military targets they are going after.

Re:Far outstripping other attackers (1)

jofny (540291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054466)

...and China has a thiving software blackmarket to rival anyone else's...which means patching isn't nearly as common...which means more boxes are probably compromised...which again relegates the significance back to "meh, depends what the actual data is, the numbers dont mean anything by themselves".

Re:Far outstripping other attackers (4, Interesting)

Vicissidude (878310) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054604)

And of those online in China, only 36 million have broadband connections. Further, black markets and pirated software are not just limited to China. In fact, they're all over. So, with the prevalence of pirated software worldwide, why are the majority of the attacks coming from one place? Why are the attacks from that one place going to US military targets? And why are the attacks so sophisticated?

It is widely known that the Chinese want our secrets and technology, especially those surrounding the military. It is widely known that the Chinese actually do copy and steal US trade and military secrets and technology. And it is widely known that as friendly as the Chinese act toward the US, that the Chinese work behind the scenes to subvert US influence and control.

Given the number of sophisticated attacks coming from a single country against US military targets, especially coming from a country that has been militarily hostile to us in the recent past [cnn.com] , then I'd say we probably are getting attacked.

Re:Far outstripping other attackers (1, Troll)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055070)

Hee hee you sound like you're astroturfing, it furthers the policy of the New World Order to keep the pathetic FUD regarding China, terrorism, and so on going.

Re:Far outstripping other attackers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054636)

We need to nuke the hell out of those commie chinks!

Idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054050)

That's what you get for giving away jobs to other countries. They have the knowledge now and they are taking the initiative in bringing us down for good.

Re:Idiots (3, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054100)

The US government gives way too much leeway to China in general. They screw with exchange rates, make it difficult for outsiders to do business inside China (Donald Trump even complained), give weapons to our enemies, take our jobs, have crappy human rights record, use mass pollution to take shortcuts and undercut prices, and are not a democracy.

The theory is that free trade will turn them into a democracy. So far its proven to be hooey. Are we going to allow this shit to keep going on decade after decade with the delusion that eating KFC will make them democracy?

Re:Idiots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054194)

The US government gives way too much leeway to China in general. They screw with exchange rates, make it difficult for outsiders to do business inside China (Donald Trump even complained), give weapons to our enemies, take our jobs, have crappy human rights record, use mass pollution to take shortcuts and undercut prices, and are not a democracy.

Apart from the one about Donald Trump bitching (it may be too), those are all true of the United States too.

Re:Idiots (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054432)

those are all true of the United States too.

If we screw with the exchange rates, why do we have a trade and credit deficit? As far as being difficult for outsiders to do business, we have one of the most open-to-business countries there is. It is not perfect, but one of the top in that regard. And although we slipped on the human rights with Gitmo etc., it is still far more open a proces than what China has. Our system is a B-, their's is an F. And, our polution regulations are much tougher than theirs. I've been there and seen a red moon directly overhead (it was not an eclipse). True, US regs are weaker than Europe's, but Europe is not the issue here.
         

Re:Idiots (2, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054694)

As far as being difficult for outsiders to do business, we have one of the most open-to-business countries there is

There are many examples of why this is incorrect - sugar, steel and beef for a start. Why do you think many US foods are full of a more expensive sweetener made from corn which doesn't taste as good? Geological history has left the USA with sulphur rich coal which results in the cheap steel being of very low quality and unsuitable for some roles (Liberty ships were the most exhaustively documented example). You have good beef - but there is very stong protectionism there. The US pharmacutical industry is another big can of protectionist worms which is indirectly fueling enormous qualitities of spam which you would have noticed. There are reasons behind all this but there is still no reason for people to lie about it and talk about "free trade" - Australia was solidly screwed on a free trade agrement with the USA but our representative stupidly agreed to a time limit and they would take whatever was offered at the end of it.

As for pollution regs - they are getting very tough in China because they have to be.

Re:Idiots (2, Interesting)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054200)

I agree that we give China too much leeway in a variety of venues, but things are changing there. They have the special economic zones, which are essentially capitalist, and the government is losing its grip on a lot of places. It appears their accounting rules are becoming more westernized, and with them, more transparency in to their economy.

Re:Idiots (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054364)

They have the special economic zones, which are essentially capitalist, and the government is losing its grip on a lot of places.

Capitalism and democracy are not necessarily related. We use to all think that until Singapore proved it a wrong connection.

As far as the government losing its grip, it is local governments that grow powerful due to the money. Thus, it exchanges a national dictator[1] for a local dictator.

[1] There is a better word meaning "multiple dictators in chage", but it excapes me right now. Plus, nobody uses it enough to recognize it.

Re:Idiots (1)

lhbtubajon (469284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054500)

Fiefdom?

Re:Idiots (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055122)

He may be thinking of oligarchy, but fiefdom is more appropriate.

Re:Idiots (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054998)

There is a better word meaning "multiple dictators in chage", but it excapes me right now. Plus, nobody uses it enough to recognize it.
The one that springs to mind is oligarchy [m-w.com] .

Re:Idiots (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054282)

How is not being a democracy a bad thing? They could become a democracy and still do all of the other things you listed. We're a democracy and yet we give weapons to our enemies, give away jobs, have a crappy human rights record, and pollute. Democracy isn't automatically the best government for every country.

Re:Idiots (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054526)

How is not being a democracy a bad thing?

Most democracies are less likely to be aggressive, especially if women vote. For example, the population of China would not likely vote to attack Taiwan, for it would get them nothing but holes in the head in exchange for a rocky island with bad farmland. But an egotistical dictator would. (Of course, W may be one of the rarer exceptions to the rule.)
               

War? (-1, Flamebait)

FMota91 (1050752) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054362)

Is it really worth starting another war? It's not like you've won many of them so far...

Re:War? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054472)

you can't win a war without starting a war

Re:War? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054552)

Who said anything about a war? Just clamp down on trade policy, piracy, etc. Most countries have large tarrifs on China goods. We are the odd man out.

Re:Idiots (1)

twistedcubic (577194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054494)


The theory is that free trade will turn them into a democracy.

This has never been the reason the U.S. promotes "free trade". You shouldn't repeat it without thinking about it.

Re:Idiots (3, Insightful)

omegashenron (942375) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054692)

The US is just as bad - look at the Australia/US free trade agreement regarding extending patent terms and its affect on generic medicines.

Don't play the human rights card because every nation has abuses eg

  • Australia's stolen generation and lack of a national apology
  • US rendition program
  • Guantanamo Bay
  • Abu Graib


What makes you think democracy is so great? The US is the best examples of its failures. At least in China when an official is caught taking bribes/etc he/she is placed under house arrest... too bad that type of thing doesnt happen with pork barreling in the US.

The US has been screwing the world for years, it's about time we had a new superpower to keep the US under thumb.

Re:Idiots (3, Informative)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055134)

..."it's about time we had a new superpower to keep the US under thumb."

Be careful of what you wish for my friend.

Short term gain vs. long term goals (5, Insightful)

kbahey (102895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054798)

China is too lucrative a market, that American corporations are pressuring the US government to be lenient with China, despite of all the problems that you listed.

Some decades in the future, China will turn out to be a real and formidable rival (economically, geopolitically, culturally, ...etc.), and will probably be the next empire.

Meanwhile, instead of preparing for such a prospect, the US has forsaken the obvious means of combating terrorism, for example intelligence, infiltration, disruption, and targeted strikes, and went into a full all out war on two countries, draining its budget, increasing its dead, and earning it the wrath of much of the world.

Go figure ...

Re:Idiots (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054816)

The Chinese government gives way too much leeway to the US in general. We screw with exchange rates, make it difficult for insiders to do business inside China (by staging protests on Chinese policies), give weapons to their enemies, give them crappy jobs with low pay, have crappy human rights record, use mass pollution to take shortcuts and undercut prices, and are not a democracy.

The theory is that voting for one of two old, rich white men makes us a democracy. So far its proven to be hooey. Are we going to allow this shit to keep going on decade after decade with the delusion that eating KFC is the reason why we're so fat?

Re:Idiots (1)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055072)

The theory is that free trade will turn them into a democracy. So far its proven to be hooey. Are we going to allow this shit to keep going on decade after decade with the delusion that eating KFC will make them democracy?

Frankly, yes. The effects of soft power, barring "breaking point" moments, really can't be measured by any finer unit than decades. When dealing with China, it's probably safest to measure in 20-year increments, at least. Ask yourself: is the China of today honestly no better than the China of 20 years ago? Do you believe that confrontation, antagonism, isolation, or aggression would somehow effect change faster, or improve our overall situation?

Do you really have such contempt for the astonishing amounts of soft power our nation has at its disposal that you can see it as nothing more than "eating KFC"? Just how much longer do you think we can successfully threaten, arrogate, and force our way through the world?

Re:Idiots (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055152)

...Donald Trump even complained...

He complains a lot worse about Rosie O'Donnell. What does that make her? Besides a big, fa...Oh, I can't.

Oh nonsense. Here are the biggest problems. (4, Interesting)

btarval (874919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054760)

Honestly, if this were an attempt to bring us down for good, it would simply be far, far easier to just use the backend offices of the banks which have been offshored, and take out our economic system.

The amount of confusion and damage that this could do would be enormous. And it would have the added benefit (to the attacker) of leaving the hard assets (buildings, people) in place, unlike an actual war. These could be simply bought up later, rather cheaply.

There are different ways to root a country. Actual destruction is the most expensive and inefficent approach there is.

The real cause of these cyberspace attacks is that the U.S. government has actively encouraged them. First, the Feds have actually punished Government employees who have tried to stop these attacks. Read The Invasion of the Chinese Cyberspies (And the Man Who Tried to Stop Them) [time.com] This is a variation on a common theme of the attitude of the U.S. government, unfortunately. Protecting the U.S. appears not to be a priority.

The second biggest problem is that the Federal Government has set up a hostile enviroment to discourage Security Research. Security researches are threatened with prosecution, jail time and civil lawsuits that can bankrupt them. The common occurance is when a Researcher reports a problem with a flaw in a product. There are no Safe Harbor procedures or provisions in any Federal law which allow this to happen so that society in general can benefit.

This has had a rather chilling effort on the IT industry as a whole. There is no safe way to study real cracking, so our students (and industry workers) really don't understand how the bad guys work. This also has the added downside that new technologies are developed without any real understanding (or even concern) of what the attack vectors are. MS Windows is the best known example. Javascript is the second best.

Had the U.S. implemented Safe Harbor provisions, we'd be in far better shape to deal with hostile attacks, throughout the entire industry.

While the offshoring of jobs has had an effect, without the above two points we'd still have this problem. Furthermore, if we had shored up and expanded our efforts in Security Research, we would be a lot more resistant to backoffice exploits.

It is also obvious that security can't be offshored. So if the Federal government had made security a priority, your original point would be moot.

Attacks? We know what to do (2, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054068)

Time for the US to execute a "phased redeployment" away from the Internet.

Back to uunet or fidonet, where our bits can be safe.

US network is SAFE (1)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054174)

Back to uunet or fidonet, where our bits can be safe.
What? No way! The US network is safe. Besides, they are running on Windows. The most secure OS. Bill Gates say so!

Re:Attacks? We know what to do (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054832)

Time for the US to execute a "phased redeployment" away from the Internet.
Or perhaps DoD should have secondary network physically separated from internet, where workstations with important data are kept. These workstations wouldn't be allowed direct access to internet, instead you'd have another computer sitting next to them, and if you need to move data between, you do it by burning it on dvd or using usb drive. Didn't look if they actually use that kind of system but I would assume they do. It would be idiotic to keep anything sensitive on machines which are connected to internet even if they have good firewalls sitting between.

Re:Attacks? We know what to do (2, Interesting)

finity (535067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055032)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIPRNet [wikipedia.org]

SIPRNet is mostly separate. From what I've heard, people aren't allowed to move information between SIPRNet computers and other 'insecure' computers at all.

Re:Attacks? We know what to do (1, Redundant)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055046)

Or perhaps DoD should have secondary network physically separated from internet, where workstations with important data are kept. We do. I'll not go into any specifics, but yeah, we do.

Sure (5, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054072)

Onlookers warn that current US defenses against these attacks are 'dysfunctional', and that more aggressive measures should be taken to ensure government network safety.

Sure... drop some bombs. What could possibly go wrong?

Onlookers? (4, Insightful)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054078)

I am a civilian contractor for the US government, and I can guarantee that we are hit all the time with attempts to get into our networks on the secret and SCI sides.

However, I would like to know who these "onlookers" are... The defense measures (can't say specifically of course) that we take are plenty effective against all types of attacks we get. One of our top priorities is writing code that is solid and secure. We run scans (again, specifics are classified) nightly to test the security of our infrastructure and applications.

Whoever these "onlookers" are, I would love to hear about how THEY successfully hacked into our network instead of just criticizing with no actual knowledge.

Re:Onlookers? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054138)

Why in the hell do you have your secret and SCI sides on the internet? That's DOD/DOE no-no number one!

Separate systems, separate networks, separate terminals.

I can tell you from my experience as a person who contracts as a "Q" that not only is the DOE stepping up their security methods, they're cutting funding to places that don't keep the mustard. LANL may be cut at the end of this FY -- thanks to the fiasco a few weeks ago where someone walked out of the labs with thumb drives of info. Needless to say, they were audited, and they brought out a lot of epoxy to glue down the USB/Firewire ports.

Also, weak passwords should be pretty much a thing of a past -- now that DOE's mandating that everyone use CryptoCards in the next year-ish (no, not those expensive RSA things -- they're out of a company in Canada).

Re:Onlookers? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054572)

Why in the hell do you have your secret and SCI sides on the internet? That's DOD/DOE no-no number one!

To answer you, the guy is speaking out of his ass. He's probably an EDS sub-contractor on the NMCI handling help desk calls about email and web proxies and probably thinks SNORT ACID is something he can get busted for.

Mr. ChooseAnother probably doesn't realize that commenting on this, attributing to himself as an insider is a sure-fire way to get his nads hooked to some 'trodes and get his non-clearance revoked.

But, man, he does sound so C O O L don't you want to be just like him when you grow up?

Re:Onlookers? (5, Funny)

b4stard (893180) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054228)

I, also, am a civilian contractor for the US government. I can't say specifically, of course, but we got these lasers and we laser stuff. Yes indeed. Lasering stuff is what we do. Whenever we're cracked (or partially cracked), we laser the crackers. We are no ordinary crackees, though I can't say specifically in what way (other than what I just mentioned about the lasers).

Our lasers are plenty effective. Don't criticize me with no actual knowledge.

Re:Onlookers? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054426)

It seems to be part of US culture at the moment. Get a few terrorist attacks, suddenly there are legions of terrorists 'out there' just waiting to kill you. Get a few cyber attacks and there are legions of crackers out there trying to destroy your technology and infrastructure.

A Military Attack is Military Attack (2, Interesting)

TheSuperlative (897959) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054088)

The United States really needs to change doctrine to prevent these sorts of attacks in the future. An assault on government networks by a foreign country should be responded to like any other attempt to impair, hinder, or steal information from the government by a foreign country - with an escalating response based on severity from diplomatic rebukes, cyber counterattacks, sanctions, and ultimately military strikes.

Re:A Military Attack is Military Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054284)

And I suppose you also agree that the many countries that USA does this to should also respond in the same way?

Oh, wait... you didn't seriously think America doesn't do exactly the same thing to everyone else, did you?

Re:A Military Attack is Military Attack (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054598)

you didn't seriously think America doesn't do exactly the same thing to everyone else, did you?

Yes, but we pray to Jesus before we do it. Makes all the difference.
     

Re:A Military Attack is Military Attack (1)

jofny (540291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054334)

..and you would attribute these supposed attacks to a specific state sanctioned effort...how?

Re:A Military Attack is Military Attack (3, Insightful)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054566)

Someone once posted me a rather hurtful letter from France once. It's only obvious that we bomb the shit out of the French postal service.

I think that's the sort of logic the OP is going for at least...

Re:A Military Attack is Military Attack (1)

finity (535067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055060)

Thank god the folks that are in this field are more intelligent than that. At least the few that I've met...

Re:A Military Attack is Military Attack (1)

fucksl4shd0t (630000) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054578)

We didn't need a specific state sanctioned effort to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, why do we need it now?

Re:A Military Attack is Military Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054366)

Yes tit for tat has been proven to be sucessful historically, first proven in the school playground.

Dont sit in the cloud (internet) if you dont want attacked plain and simple, along with dont make yourself a target by being a world bully.

Re:A Military Attack is Military Attack (1)

Darby (84953) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054950)

Yes tit for tat has been proven to be sucessful historically, first proven in the school playground.

Tit for Tat [wikipedia.org] is the most successful strategy for the iterated prisoner's dilemma.

Granted, that is in a very simplified situation compared to the world at large.
Even in the schoolyard, though, it's more true than not. If you get bullied and you pop him in the nose *every time* and do not initiate violence yourself, then he'll tend to pick on easier targets. It worked well for me and I got quite a bit of practice since I moved so much as a kid that at the start of most school years I was the new kid.

Re:A Military Attack is Military Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054852)

Absolutely. The first thing the US should do is to sell the chinese president a presidential Jet that you pack full of hidden spying equipment:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/1769 642.stm [bbc.co.uk]

wait... looks like you were doing that 5 years ago.
Don't kid yourself the USA doesn't do exactly this kind of stuff all the time. You still have guantanomo in plain view of everyone, does anyone really think you don't carry out covert cyber attacks on economics competitors? Every economy that size will be doing it.

"more aggressive measures should be taken" .... (1)

haluness (219661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054092)

Like bombing the whole of China? (http://politics.slashdot.org/politics/06/01/27/18 57208.shtml [slashdot.org] )

Re:"more aggressive measures should be taken" .... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054350)

Unplug the routers into China for a couple of weeks. There aren't many points of entry to the USA, and we'd enjoy a couple of lovely spam-free weeks.

They reap what they sow (2, Insightful)

Kludge (13653) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054098)

Shouldn't this be expected? It's not as if this is a surprise. Their systems should be built from the ground up expecting every and any kind of attack.

network class != people acting (0, Troll)

rjdegraaf (712353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054114)

It may also be possible that people from other nations route their hack through China.

But I guess it suits the political agenda of the US better.

Re:network class != people acting, Troll?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054242)

You're mom was one.

US foreign policy sucks like a vacuum cleaner.

Launch All Missiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054132)

1.3Billion chinese. Their detterent is pathetic, we could probably cripple it, and who gives a damn if they fry LA anyway? Take them down.

Re:Launch All Missiles (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054546)

... And have the UN come crashing down hard on charges of crimes against humanity, use of WMD's, etc. While the UN may not have the military might to slap the USA around, its member countries, collectively, do, unless the US decided to launch nukes at everyone and bring their own world to an end as well. And I'm sure that a nuclear winter in the vicinity of China would piss off a lot of people - Most notably the Russians, since they're cold enough as it is. Besides, they'll just hack the missiles and reprogram them to make a happy face pattern in the Pacific.

Re:Launch All Missiles (2, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054700)

... And have the UN come crashing down hard on charges of crimes against humanity, use of WMD's, etc. While the UN may not have the military might to slap the USA around, its member countries, collectively

Thats a fun mastabatory game you are playing there.

Do you seriously think that?

While not a fan of our current policies and actions, if the U.S. decided to tell the U.N. to take a flying-f*ck at the moon, absolutely nothing, aside from a vote to tell the U.S. that other people are peeved at us, would happen. Why?

Like it or not, we are still the big boys on the block; Economically and Militarily.

Do you know how many of those countries that take political pot shots at the U.S. are receiving huge chunks of cash and economic incentives to play nice with us on the economic side of the house? If other countries decided to put the money screws to the U.S. (and economic is arguably the biggest persuader in the arsenal) the U.S. could wreak more havok on them. Yes, it would be difficult for us, but in the long run, we'd come out of that game on top as well.

This is like those old samurai movies. Zatoichi, is attacked by a mob of sword weilding henchmen. The first few guys get cut down fast and horribly. A few more try to rush him and end up dead or maimed. Finally, the big ones, the ones that talk the toughest, take off running, trying to figure out how they can make a deal with him. (Also note: It's always the tough bosses in the movies that send the little guys in.) To finish, the U.N. will talk tough, Venezuela and a few others will take economic action, the U.S. will cut them off. And the French, Germans, Russians, Japanese, Italians, Polish, and Indians will still have their teams in the U.S. making trade deals and wrangling for the U.S. dollar and market.

You see, when the average household makes and spends in a month what 3 Indian families do in a year, and your country depends on the availability of that market, thats too big of risk.

Perhaps that's why the 5th column in the U.S. is so busy trying to wreck the U.S.

Re:Launch All Missiles (1)

Zonekeeper (458060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055218)

***Bows***

Amen, brother. But do you know how many collective groupthink brains (and I use the term brains in its loosest sense) here on Slashdot just exploded because of what you just wrote?

Brawny paper towels to the rescue, STAT!!

Re:Launch All Missiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054946)

Take off every 'ZIG'!
Move 'ZIG'!

Speculation? (5, Insightful)

Brian Cohen (1027542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054146)

"Attacks coming from China, probably with government support, far outstrip other attackers in terms of volume, proficiency and sophistication" Government support of attacks on DOD networks is not a minor accusation. You would need a lot more evidence beyond potential motives and speculation to suggest that such an attack is government supported.

Re:Speculation? (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054258)

Yes, it's not like China has ever tried to steal our secrets before. Why presume such now?

Re:Speculation? (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054574)

Because a lot of people attempt to hack into goverment networks who aren't connected to forigen goverments. Everyone wants our secrets. Picking one country or another at random is just stupid.

Re:Speculation? (1)

leoc (4746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054658)

Yeah and its not like the USA has ever lied about intelligence before, so why should we not believe them this time when they cry wolf?

Why not just block all Chinese IPs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054206)

From the targeted network? I can't think of any situation where having the Chinese needing to access DoD computers would outweigh the security risks of losing info.

have you considered this defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054208)

Add a bunch of decoy servers full of porn, bootleg copies of GTA, images of Taiwanese flags, and anti-government rhetoric from the Chinese underground. When the attackers bring the loot to the attention of their bosses they'll be banned from coming back.

Nethack Terminus (3, Interesting)

SMACX guy (1003684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054214)

By creating a planetary network, mankind on Planet now has the ability to share information at light-speed. But by creating a single such network, each faction has brought themselves closer to discovery as well. At the speed of light, we will catch your information, tag it like an animal in the wild, and release it unharmed -- if such should serve our purposes.

Re:Nethack Terminus (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054960)

laughing my ass off.. ;-)
thanks.

counterattack? (5, Interesting)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054220)

I wonder how much China would complain if the NSA launched an attack against any confirmed hosts? If there is evidence that computers are attacking use, either live or as bots, can China make a real complaint about us protecting our interests?

mitigate the problems (3, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054222)

The DoD should create a firewall rule to automatically drop any packets it recieves from China, North Korea, South Korea, or any of those countries trying to root its machines. On my dad's dinky little small business network with one segment and 10 machines, I saw no less than 300 daily attempts to root the gateway via SSH coming from North Korean and Chinese IP addresses. Now, mind you, I use SSH to remotely administer the gateway. Naturally, the gateway is a secure BSD machine as I wouldn't dare front end a network with a Windows 2003 server. I was dismayed that, in these attempts, the attackers are getting a login and password prompt. Thank God syslog reported that no attempts got past that point. So, I made SSH listen to a non-standard port and added a PF firewall rule to drop ANY incoming connection attempts from Pacific Rim countries. I also checked to see if there were any strange binaries or daemons running and ran a netstat -n to look at activity and there was nothing suspicious. Finally, as an additional safety precaution, I decided I would add firewalls to drop the Microsoft ports in and outbound. Now, instead of reporting access denied, syslog reported copious amounts of dropped packets for about two weeks and then the attacks seemed to drop off altogether. Now I see one only occasionally.

Re:mitigate the problems (5, Interesting)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054332)

I strongly suspect that DoD WANTS to see the attacks. You are exactly right, if the DoD were really concerned about the loss of classified information they would simply block those IP ranges. Something more sophsiticated is probably at work.

1. Create a honeypot that doesn't look like a honeypot.
2. Fire off press releases complaining about how intelligent and crafty those 1337 Chinese Hackers are.
3. Watch and learn.

I can't think of a better way to assess the level of skill the Chinese possess. I seriously doubt that valuable classified information is within reach of internet connected machines. This article and probably most like it are misinformation designed to encourage the Chinese.

Re:mitigate the problems (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055028)

Absolutely the best comment on this story!

Re:mitigate the problems (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054412)

drop any packets it recieves from China,

So, they go through a botnet spread from Spokane to Tuscaloosa. Try again.

-jcr

Re:mitigate the problems (1)

jofny (540291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054428)

1. Learn to tell the difference between automated blind attacks (the ssh stuff youre talking about) and targeted attacks, which the DoD is referring to. 2. Have you considered that maybe there are legitimate reasons to allow traffic to/from those countries? 3. Were you aware that the DoD owns a few of the root internet DNS servers?

Re:mitigate the problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054474)

So, they just need to filter out packets with the (axis of) evil bit set?

South Korea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054858)

I think the DoD has some people there they might want to be staying in touch with.

Dubya made them do it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054238)

It's all Dubya's fault because he's a war monger! If anyone else was president, China would be everyone's best friend.

I say we nuke 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054270)

Nuke those commie bastards til they glow. Nuke 'em to glass!

What's that you say, Skippy? Bonds? Deficit? Debt?

Hey... all the more reason to roll out the Los Alamos Lump-hammers!!

PC Anywhere (2, Funny)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054294)

By 'hackers' do they mean people scanning their networks for machines with no firewall running PC Anywhere with default passwords like Gary McKinnon did?

propaganda, not news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054320)

Attacks coming from China, probably with government support

And the US isn't supporting the same thing against China? Riiiight... wanna buy a bridge?

Seriously though, every gov't with reasonable IT will be using it in any way possible to gain an advantage over other countries. This is merely one of the more obvious methods. Duh!

~

Government supported? (0, Troll)

dema (103780) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054376)

The 'volume, proficiency and sophistication' of the attacks supports the theory that the attacks are government supported.

Interesting, that would lead me to the conclusion that its obviously NOT government supported. Maybe we need to model the US government more closely after China's.

Re:Government supported? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054704)

I was thinking exactly the same thing
Governments can't get anywhere near sophistication without screwing it up.

Takeout food, anyone? (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054490)

It's like their food: you hack away, but find you are not satisfied after a few hours and have to hack some *more* ;-P
         

view from a different perspective (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054496)

I often find those postings one-sided. In this case,some posters are readily to advocate the USE of military as a result of this. We have the most sophisticated electronic and information warfare capability in the world and people just tend to pretend that we don't do this kind of information warfare everyday. And whenever other nations are "alleged" to conduct such, those ignorant people just ready to beat the drum of war.

Another thing is, as of now, China doesn't even need to fire a single bullet to beat the crap out of us if we decide to launch a war on them.

China currently has 1000 billion US dollar foreign reserve, that is somewhere 1/5 to 1/4 of ALL US dollar reserve held by foreign countries. At the onset of the war, China will have three options: one is conventional warfare, two is nuclear warfare, three is financial warfare.

Conventional warfare is something US would avoid, think Korean War. Nuclear Warfare is something both would avoid, unless the fat lady sings(the absolute last resort.)

At the beginning, we of course would bomb the crap out of their infrastructure and military installation, given our air superiority, as we did in Iraq. And China knows this and know they would not win in this course of action.

All they need to do is to make a threat or actually dump US dollar reserve on the international market.

Don't think this would happen? Brush up your knowledge of Suez Canal crisis of 1956. That was exactly what happened when British and French forces rapily withdrew after successful military invasion after Eisnehower threathened to sell US reserves of British pound and thereby to collapse the British currency. Of course the British pound was already under pressure after decades of British colonial expansions that spent a lot of money, not unlike the current US national debt of today. Most historians agree the Suez Canal is the major milestone of the demise of British empire.

When you have 25% of another country's currency on the market, that is a pretty powerful hand. All you need to do is dump all that at once onto the international market. It effectively and immediately collapses the US currency and the whole American economy. Do you think other countries will have the capacity and more importantly the willingness to buy those currency. Do you think other nations would be willing to lend us money by buying up treasury bills, knowing our money would be worthless on the market.Hell no. People all over the world will be dumping US dollar like crazy. US stockmarket will crash; there will be endless runs to the bank.

The economy as we know of will cease to exist.

Some people of course will doubt that China woud do this. But when you are been bombed crap out of you a-ss and you are getting desperate. Trust me, you'lldo anything.

This, my friend, is how the war between China and US will play out NOW. But very very unlikely to happen. It is like two big boys on the playground. Of course it is nice to be the only king of THE playground. But sometimes it easier to share it a little with someone as strong as you are. That is, the essence of international relation. Boy, I just hope we don't have some airheads in the administration thinking otherwise.

So for those people ignorant of economy and internation politics, you can stop making those senseless remarks. Brush up on your knowledge before making a fool out of yourself.

I am the Decider. (4, Funny)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054508)

"My job is to pertect the American people from cyberattack. When we find IP packets that are in that country that are hurting our computers, we're going to do something about it. ... Does this mean I'm looking for a pretext to start a war with China? No. It means I'm trying to protect our computers. That's what that means.

Despite our warrantless wiretaps, I don't think we know who picked up the phone and said .Hackers, go do this,. but we know it's a vital part of the Chinese government."

Secretary of States Bill Gates added "For the umpteenth time, we are not looking for an excuse to go to war with China. We are not planning a war with China. Yes, we do have contingency plans for wars with every other country in the world, but not China. And even it we did, we have not taken any actual final decisions to act on them in the immediately foreseeable future. We have just sent elint-equipped cruisers to the East China Sea, but those are just there to help Taiwan with its streaming internet video capacity."

In response to a question from reporters as to whether cyberattacks originating from other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, had been observed, Gates said "That's classified information. And besides, who cares? We're not talking about Saudi Arabia, we're talking about China."

That's all artificiall and more.. (1, Insightful)

alex_1234661 (1065412) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054528)

Bullshit, that's for US people to be brainwashed by their goverment. To make them more acceptant and relaxed to US opposition to China and to comply with its future plans to cope with the China phenomenon. Don't believe to that bullshit. 95% of what you hear and read is artificial. Attacks happen all the time. Even to insignificant systems like honeypots, imagine DoD.. Furthermore, what's the proof for this? Who says that? The US goverment itself? You must be kidding. Bring the proof. You can't claim things up in the air. alex

Re:That's all artificiall and more.. (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054610)

Furthermore, what's the proof for this? Who says that? The US goverment itself? You must be kidding. Bring the proof. You can't claim things up in the air.

considering what happened last time the US showed "proofs" of something to the world, I wouldn't be in a hurry to see those ones.

Re:That's all artificiall and more.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18055066)

They used Goatse as proof?

Once upon a time (2, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054556)

the military drove technology advances and used their money to get computer systems researched and built to their requirements.

Why aren't they running hardened clients on the inside? Why are they running systems against which phishing is useful? Why aren't they deploying advanced OS technology in which stealing a password or compromising a browser doesn't give away the entire machine?

Not to mention that the whole article doesn't make sense. Either the source IP addresses are in China or they aren't. If they are, why haven't they simply dropped all packets from China, and why are they so convinced that a Chinese IP means a Chinese attacker? If the IP addresses aren't from China, what is their reason for believing it's a Chinese-0wned set of machines?

Relax, it's just a new years celebration (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054580)

Setting off virtual fireworks is so much fun.

a thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054600)

When as the last time, or was there ever a first time, that the U.S. military publicly announce that we NEVER conduct any information warfare or surveillance on other nations? It is funny how we can do it, but others can.

This is the same thing happened when China destroyed a satellite a month ago. That technology is circa 1980s, we already did that back then. We can do it, but nobody else should.

WTF are computers with sensitive info... (2, Insightful)

knorthern knight (513660) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054638)

...connected to the public internet in the first place. Most sensitive US DOD sites have armed soldiers guarding the physical gateways. They don't let the general public meander through the grounds. Yet they're doing exactly that with their computers.

If China did it, it wouldn't use Chinese IPs (4, Insightful)

dysk (621566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054650)

Basically, if it were the Chinese government behind it, they would find machines in the US and Europe to zombify, and launch their attacks on government computers from those machines. They would use so many layers of net access that it'd be exceedingly difficult to track it back to hacker.gov.cn. If there was a coordinated attack by the Chinese government, and the US managed to track it back to them, the NSA would probably keep quiet about it so that they don't give away their capabilities and so that they'd have a method to feed China misinformation.


This is most likely a coordinated attack by someone who wants US information (could be any country/organization in the world) and developed a botnet which happens to mostly reside in China, since China's computers tend not to get frequent security updates. The fact that the IP addresses are originating from China indicates that it's probably anyone but China.


However...China-bashing does score political points right now.

Why are they still "Most Favored Nation" ??! (0, Troll)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054712)

Why indeed?

And call me troll all you want but why can't they hack our
computers if they make them in the first place?

Need to pull a japanese type mis information (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18054744)

Years ago, a Japanese company found that a Chinese operative was attempting to steal info. So they fed her with their formulas for capacitors from the 60's. In particular, several formulas that were well known to fail after only a few years of service. Sound Familiar?

We need to do the same. China is bright enough to not run Windows in their equipment (frightening that USA does on our ships which will be used in defending Tiawan). But we can provide ideas/plans that we will not use or that we found subtly flawed. Basically, disinformation. I would be surprised if we are not doing just that.

Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18054996)

Your network chipsets are made in China. Sometimes even the drivers for the chipsets.

Busted on both fronts.

I have a solution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18055016)

man iptables

proficiency and sophistication' == Gov't??? (1)

comforteagle (728960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18055204)

Since when does 'proficiency and sophistication' lead one to believe a Government is behind something? -shudder-
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