Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Chinese Military linked to hacking group attacking US infrastructure

  1. #1
    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    6,863

    Chinese Military linked to hacking group attacking US infrastructure

    I've been following these attacks for a bit. Read this a while back in the NYT:

    The mounting number of attacks that have been traced back to China suggest that hackers there are behind a far-reaching spying campaign aimed at an expanding set of targets including corporations, government agencies, activist groups and media organizations inside the United States. The intelligence-gathering campaign, foreign policy experts and computer security researchers say, is as much about trying to control China’s public image, domestically and abroad, as it is about stealing trade secrets.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/te...ref=technology

    It's a good article. Four pages, including info on other similar cyber attacks, such as the US and Israel against Iran in 2011.

    Anyway, it had been suspected the hackers were funded by the government, but now it's all but confirmed:

    On the outskirts of Shanghai, in a run-down neighborhood dominated by a 12-story white office tower, sits a People’s Liberation Army base for China’s growing corps of cyberwarriors.

    The building off Datong Road, surrounded by restaurants, massage parlors and a wine importer, is the headquarters of P.L.A. Unit 61398. A growing body of digital forensic evidence — confirmed by American intelligence officials who say they have tapped into the activity of the army unit for years — leaves little doubt that an overwhelming percentage of the attacks on American corporations, organizations and government agencies originate in and around the white tower.

    An unusually detailed 60-page study, to be released Tuesday by Mandiant, an American computer security firm, tracks for the first time individual members of the most sophisticated of the Chinese hacking groups — known to many of its victims in the United States as “Comment Crew” or “Shanghai Group” — to the doorstep of the military unit’s headquarters. The firm was not able to place the hackers inside the 12-story building, but makes a case there is no other plausible explanation for why so many attacks come out of one comparatively small area.

    “Either they are coming from inside Unit 61398,” said Kevin Mandia, the founder and chief executive of Mandiant, in an interview last week, “or the people who run the most-controlled, most-monitored Internet networks in the world are clueless about thousands of people generating attacks from this one neighborhood.”

    Other security firms that have tracked “Comment Crew” say they also believe the group is state-sponsored, and a recent classified National Intelligence Estimate, issued as a consensus document for all 16 of the United States intelligence agencies, makes a strong case that many of these hacking groups are either run by army officers or are contractors working for commands like Unit 61398, according to officials with knowledge of its classified content.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/te...t-us.html?_r=0

    Of course the Chinese government is denying it. But the evidence against them is pretty compelling. More about why this specific attack campaign is so concerning:


    Mandriant also traced attacks from the Comment Group to Digitial Bond (a company that has access to a major power plant and a mining company), the Chertoff Group (former Department of Homeland head Michael Chertoff's company, which has run simulations of cyber attacks against the U.S.) as well as contractors for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. But the main concern expressed by experts was about Telvent, the company with access to 60% of North America's gas and oil pipelines. According to the report, Telvent was attacked in September of last year and project files were stolen before the hackers' access was cut off, preventing them from gaining control of of the company's systems.

    "This is terrifying because - forget about the country - if someone hired me and told me they wanted to have the offensive capability to take out as many critical systems as possible, I would be going after the vendors and do things like what happened to Telvent," Mr. Peterson of Digital Bond said. "It's the holy grail."
    As to the US government response:

    But other government officials noted a reluctance by the U.S. to connect the hacking attacks to the Chinese government. "There are huge diplomatic sensitivities here," one official told the Times. Another government official, a high ranking member of the Defense Department, said the hacking attacks created a tension not seen since the existence of the Soviet Union.

    "In the cold war, we were focused every day on the nuclear command centers around Moscow," one senior defense official said recently. "Today, it's fair to say that we worry as much about the computer servers in Shanghai."
    http://gawker.com/5985233/chinese-mi...infrastructure

    This is also apparently unprecedented in its scope. I can't find it now, but the list of companies includes coca-cola o_O.

    Nice view into one of the less noticeable ways wars are being fought while we go about our day-to-day lives. Before computers this would have required spies, actual bodies, and on our soil. Now it only takes some talent, an Internet connection and maybe an ergonomic chair.

    If major corporations and US government agencies can't secure their information, the idea that the average person has any security seems like an illusion, doesn't it?

    Sorry for any typos. This is brought to you by my iPhone.
    Last edited by missesdash; 02-19-2013 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Banned Opty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The 'Noog
    Posts
    3,960
    Where's Anonymous when ya need them?

  3. #3
    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Next to the dirigible docking station
    Posts
    11,942
    Know thy enemy.
    It's NOT the end of steam, it's the end of CHEAP steam.
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...&postcount=757

    Be prepared. (Sandy said so.)

  4. #4
    Pain in the writing wrist Cramp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    131
    I get the feeling that it's not likely to be a one-sided war.

  5. #5
    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Next to the dirigible docking station
    Posts
    11,942
    Quote Originally Posted by Cramp View Post
    I get the feeling that it's not likely to be a one-sided war.

    True.

    Meanwhile, the amount of money we owe China is setting us up for either a confrontation with them, or a foreclosure by them on whatever tangible assets they would be willing to take from us in lieu of actual cash. Such as ... maybe they might like to be compensated with huge chunks of US real estate to forgive us out debt. (All of Hawaii, perhaps?? The Grand Canyon? Half of Las Vegas? All of Yellow Stone National Park? All of Suffolk County, New York --and to hell the Shinecock Native American Tribe, right?? Seven ocean port cities of their choice? Silicon Valley? All of the Great Lakes?) Or maybe they might like it if we start giving away 30 million metric tons of grain per year to them completely for free for ten years straight. Or maybe they'd like a nifty combination of both the real estate and the grain --and toss in the Hope Diamond as well as every last American-owned Rodin artwork for good measure.

    Regardless of how they might bring the debt hammer down upon us, I'm certain you are correct and that mutual spying and even malicious hacking is happening at both ends of this bizarre relationship.
    It's NOT the end of steam, it's the end of CHEAP steam.
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...&postcount=757

    Be prepared. (Sandy said so.)

  6. #6
    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Agorism FTW!
    Posts
    22,910
    Quote Originally Posted by Plot Device View Post
    True.

    Meanwhile, the amount of money we owe China is setting us up for either a confrontation with them, or a foreclosure by them on whatever tangible assets they would be willing to take from us in lieu of actual cash. Such as ... maybe they might like to be compensated with huge chunks of US real estate to forgive us out debt. (All of Hawaii, perhaps?? The Grand Canyon? Half of Las Vegas? All of Yellow Stone National Park? All of Suffolk County, New York --and to hell the Shinecock Native American Tribe, right?? Seven ocean port cities of their choice? Silicon Valley? All of the Great Lakes?) Or maybe they might like it if we start giving away 30 million metric tons of grain per year to them completely for free for ten years straight. Or maybe they'd like a nifty combination of both the real estate and the grain --and toss in the Hope Diamond as well as every last American-owned Rodin artwork for good measure.

    Regardless of how they might bring the debt hammer down upon us, I'm certain you are correct and that mutual spying and even malicious hacking is happening at both ends of this bizarre relationship.
    Let's give 'em D.C. and call it even. All the loan paperwork was signed by somebody from there, I'm guessing.
    I wrote a blog.
    Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference - the one takes account of the visible effect;
    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
    Economics puts parameters on people’s utopias. ~Peter Boettke
    The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest. ~Don
    The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today. ~Don

    I tend to blame the Feds for Don, actually.
    If they'd get it right, we wouldn't need Don pointing out that they'd gotten it wrong.
    ~ Medievalist

  7. #7
    Pain in the writing wrist Cramp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    131
    I'm also fairly sure that China wants America to have enough money to keep spending on their exports to drive their growth. Calling in debts would be counter to that.

  8. #8
    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Next to the dirigible docking station
    Posts
    11,942
    Quote Originally Posted by Cramp View Post
    I'm also fairly sure that China wants America to have enough money to keep spending on their exports to drive their growth. Calling in debts would be counter to that.

    Well ... if they leave our money alone and just take the Family Jewels (Hope Diamond, Central Park, all of Upper Idaho, etc) we'd still be able to keep on buying their plastic and polyester offerings.

    At the same time, China itself is facinng its own massive debt problem. So I'm thinking they want to start cashng in at some point. (How soon, I'm not sure.)
    It's NOT the end of steam, it's the end of CHEAP steam.
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...&postcount=757

    Be prepared. (Sandy said so.)

  9. #9
    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Next to the dirigible docking station
    Posts
    11,942
    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    Let's give 'em D.C. and call it even. All the loan paperwork was signed by somebody from there, I'm guessing.

    The contents of just the Smithsonian should be enough to square things up quite nicely.
    It's NOT the end of steam, it's the end of CHEAP steam.
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...&postcount=757

    Be prepared. (Sandy said so.)

  10. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    2,702
    US bonds don't work like that.

    You can't buy a bunch of bonds and then show up to a post office and demand the deed. The terms of the bond are clearly stated on them, and that is that. The biggest holder of US bonds is the US government, especially the social security administration. The idea that the fact that China holds a certain amount of our bonds gives them power over us is foolish. Actually, it gives us power over them.

    Remember the old saying: If you owe the bank a million dollars, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank a billion dollars, you own the bank. If China wants to get any return on the bonds they hold, they better maintain good relations. If they declare war, we simply won't pay them. Sure, they can sell them to someone else, but they won't be getting the same rate of return.
    Last edited by Sarpedon; 02-19-2013 at 07:04 PM.

  11. #11
    Represent.
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    6,736
    It astonishes me that the myth that China can call in the debt persists. They can't, legally, as long as payments are being made, and they wouldn't even if they could. And furthermore, it would never be in China's interest to do so.

    Now it's true they could use the money to buy up stuff (the Japanese did before them), but that's a different issue.
    NaNoWriMo:
    The Forest of Oblivion 51,077/50,000
    Finished!

  12. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    2,702
    Even if they buy land in the USA (and many foreign entities do) it does not become part of China. When land changes hands in most cases all that happens is the rights to use the land are transferred. Sovereignty, which is the right to 'rule' over a land, pass laws, govern etc, is only transferred by treaty.

  13. #13
    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Next to the dirigible docking station
    Posts
    11,942
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarpedon View Post
    Even if they buy land in the USA (and many foreign entities do) it does not become part of China. When land changes hands in most cases all that happens is the rights to use the land are transferred. Sovereignty, which is the right to 'rule' over a land, pass laws, govern etc, is only transferred by treaty.
    If the Chinese build a self-sustaining factory in Idaho (see link below), they might very well attempt to negotiate some measures of sovereignty inside of such an enclosed factory town.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/chin...state-of-idaho

    For example ...

    I used to assist with a very large corpoarte account dealing with the company called Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco is the American arm of the mega-monster oil company from Saudi Arabia. And there is an isolated compound in Arabia where several hundred American emplyees of Saudi Aramco right now live and work. And when I say it is an isolated compound -- it is EXACTLY that. It is like a fully enclosed space station in the middle of the Arabian desert, and only Americans live there, and those Americans are sternly warned NEVER to stray away from the compound to go a visit in one of the local Arabian towns or cities, especially the American women who live there. That compound has a movie theatre, a baseball diamond, a general store, a couple of houses of worship, a hair salon, a town square, etc. It's like a modern version of a walled Medieval city.

    I used to handle in-bound phone calls for Saudi Aramco. And while most Saudi Aramco phone calls came from the stateside offices down in Texas, some came from Arabia. The Americans stationed at the Arabian compound told me what it was like lvimg there, what the compound entailed, and how they NEVER left the compound.


    The Chinese want to build a prototype factory town here in the USA out in the countryside of Idaho. They want to make it enclosed and isolated. They want to import Chinese workers to live and work there. And they want to treat their factory workers there in that factory town however the hell they feel like treating them. Which means the Chinese will need a measure of sovereignty over their proposed factory town never before granted to any foreign entity seeking to build a non-embassy facility on US soil.
    It's NOT the end of steam, it's the end of CHEAP steam.
    http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...&postcount=757

    Be prepared. (Sandy said so.)

  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    2,702
    Yeah, and we'd have to agree to it. I doubt we would, because we don't need the Chinese like the Saudis need us. While this might have been possible during the heyday of Chinese US relations, but with growing hostility, I don't think it will happen now. If I were an Idahoan(?) I'd be talking to my rep and senators about that.

  15. #15
    It's a matter of what is.
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    1,771
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarpedon View Post
    Yeah, and we'd have to agree to it. I doubt we would, because we don't need the Chinese like the Saudis need us. While this might have been possible during the heyday of Chinese US relations, but with growing hostility, I don't think it will happen now. If I were an Idahoan(?) I'd be talking to my rep and senators about that.
    I don't know, seems like a convenient way to collect long term house guest, if the need arose.
    Our Flag needs washed

  16. #16
    nurturing tomorrows criminals today PorterStarrByrd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Moose Creek, Maine
    Posts
    26,484
    Anything the Chinese do in the US comes under the conditions of the US constitution, not Chinese law or company demands. It is still American property owned by the foreign country. About the worst thing that can happen is the Chinese get tired of NOT having power and walking away from the factory. I've seen it done by the Japanese and the Taiwanese already in the semi-conductor industry.

    As to the OP, they are serious threat in line with what that is about. Their goal of, of course, is to help us self destruct in any number of ways. We seem to be working on that slowly
    http://porterstarrbyrd.blogspot.com/


    We have met the enemy and he is us - Pogo
    The reason I spend so much time out of the box is that somebody crapped in it - Porter Starr Byrd
    Yield to temptation, it may never come again - unknown

  17. #17
    She blinded me--with magic! third person's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    In my head.
    Posts
    861
    They're just, like, keeping an eye on their inve$tment, man.
    "My beauty shalt wilt, unseen,
    save for twin black eyes that shalt come to take
    my soul to peace...or Hell for company."

  18. #18
    Benefactor Member dfwtinman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    2,761

    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarpedon View Post
    Even if they buy land in the USA (and many foreign entities do) it does not become part of China. When land changes hands in most cases all that happens is the rights to use the land are transferred. Sovereignty, which is the right to 'rule' over a land, pass laws, govern etc, is only transferred by treaty.
    It would be too much of a derail, with far too little pay-off, to explore the question deeply, but I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea that private land ownership is merely about "use." There are, after all, lesser estates in land (the license, easement or life estate, each permitting "use") than fee simple ownership. The ability to direct the disposition of property at one's death is but one example (though you may say that is merely the question of who gets to use property next). John Locke is quoted enough here with respect to his conception of natural law, so perhaps it's best not to walk through his theory of private ownership.

    Still and all, I do wholly agree that acquiring private property does not effect any attendant sovereignty. Yet, while the sovereign does have certain power over my person (conscription comes to mind) I do not consider that my person is owned, and that I possess merely the right to use my body.
    "We do not talk - we bludgeon one another with facts and theories gleaned from cursory readings of newspapers, magazines and digests."

    Henry Miller

  19. #19
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    2,702
    Yes, I was simplifying. I am not a lawyer, so my whole concept of land ownership is 'I can do whatever within the boundaries of land use laws.' Defacto, even land you 'own,' you cannot use as you wish, I don't see how Locke's theories apply to the situation on the ground at this time.

    I think that the distinction between right to 'use' and the right to 'rule' is a good enough generalization for the concept of ownership vs sovereignty, even if it doesn't take in all the legal subtleties.

  20. #20
    The One Ring? Teinz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came!
    Posts
    1,880
    I'm confused.

    Some part of me says this whole story sounds like; okay, it's 1941, American spies have found out the Japanese are planning the attack on Pearl Harbor, their fleet has been spotted playing wargames and American officials are like, "Yeah you know, we know there's a fleet out at sea, but we don't really care and who knows who they are anyway, and...."

    Kinda lukewarm?

  21. #21
    Represent.
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    6,736
    Quote Originally Posted by Cramp View Post
    I get the feeling that it's not likely to be a one-sided war.
    I have a feeling it hasn't been one for a while, and that the Chinese likely didn't launch the first strike.
    NaNoWriMo:
    The Forest of Oblivion 51,077/50,000
    Finished!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search