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As someone in the Network Security field, I agree that a hack of this magnitude from the outside would be nearly impossible.
an action that must be classified as an act of war
They also manufacture all of our microprocessors and computer parts. How hard would it be for them to implement a hardware-based back door that we couldn't detect?
originally posted by: mister.old.school
By now, many of you will have become aware of the overwhelming breach of national security that is the hack into the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM): OPM hack: China blamed for massive breach of US government data. While Beijing continues to stomp their feet in denial, their involvement is a certainty. The detailed records of more than four million US government employees, are now in the hands of an enemy state via an action that must be classified as an act of war.
Much of the mainstream media is either demonstrating their cluelessness over the serious nature of this action, or under instructions to not to speculate on the implications. One need not employ much imagination to discern that the security of the United States is in an extremely vulnerable position.
The Nature of the Data
Consider the nature of the data obtained; secret, if not top-secret, details of key intelligence employees that include background checks, secret personal files, medical history, financial records, tax records, disciplinary actions, and much more. The data represents a treasure-trove of extortionable data that will be used to pressure people to divulge sensitive information to the enemy. Any government employee with access to information the enemy desires, could be rapidly overwhelmed with a myriad of pressure-points to reveal that information. This is the most serious cyber-attack ever levied on the United States, and it may have been preventable.
I've spoken with two network security experts (off the record) who have knowledge of government network architecture through prior contract work with government agencies. They both contend that an attack of this nature could not have been from an external point of origin -- meaning, penetration of the network from outside the network. Instead, they maintain that it must have been through some internal pre-existing breach or bad-actor within the network(s). When I called on them to recall the rather serious news of seven years ago, counterfeit Chinese networking hardware installed in government networks, the response was unanimous. They both said that it wasn't just likely that some of the counterfeit network hardware are still in government networks, but that it is a certainty.
Seven Years Ago
Back then, we here at ATS broke some rather significant news. The thread, FBI Fears Chinese Hackers Have Back Door Into US Government & Military, revealed an internal FBI presentation on the dangers of newly discovered counterfeit Cisco routers, switches, Interface Converters, and WAN cards originating in China, being installed within dozens of secure government networks. Indeed, the final slide in the presentation identified that bad-actors could use the hardware to gain access to secure systems.
The story was quickly picked up by several sources, including Reuters and the New York Times. Additionally, technology experts on Slashdot were able to obtain and analyze one of the counterfeit routers, and discovered hundreds of lines of source code that shouldn't be there.
The FBI responded to the revelations of our efforts here at ATS with a press release on May 9th of 2008, at this URL: www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel08/finch050908.htm. However, the release has since been removed from their site. Luckily, I retained it for just such a circumstance.
The press release outlined the criminal investigation and prosecution of the vendors involved in "Operation Cisco Raider," but makes no mention of any effort to remove the counterfeit routers that have a very strong potential for significant back-doors into secure networks.
What it Means Today
The Chinese are experts at the long game. They are exceedingly patient. They've been in "secure networks" for years. Most importantly, they're at war with the US, and are winning.
Welcome to World War Three.
originally posted by: NiZZiM
Why would we still be using 7 year old systems or routers? I thought they get phased out just like a two year old or three year old computer would be?
Back then, we here at ATS broke some rather significant news. The thread, FBI Fears Chinese Hackers Have Back Door Into US Government & Military, revealed an internal FBI presentation on the dangers of newly discovered counterfeit Cisco routers, switches, Interface Converters, and WAN cards originating in China, being installed within dozens of secure government networks.
Specialists at the intelligence organization succeeded years ago in penetrating the company’s digital firewalls.
A document viewed by SPIEGEL resembling a product catalog reveals that an NSA division called ANT has burrowed its way into nearly all the security architecture made by the major players in the industry — including American global market leader Cisco and its Chinese competitor Huawei, but also producers of mass-market goods, such as US computer-maker Dell and Apple’s iPhone.
These NSA agents, who specialize in secret back doors, are able to keep an eye on all levels of our digital lives — from computing centers to individual computers, from laptops to mobile phones. For nearly every lock, ANT seems to have a key in its toolbox. And no matter what walls companies erect, the NSA’s specialists seem already to have gotten past them.
The detailed records of more than four million US government employees, are now in the hands of an enemy state via an action that must be classified as an act of war.
China is building massive databases of Americans’ personal information by hacking government agencies and U.S. health-care companies, using a high-tech tactic to achieve an age-old goal of espionage: recruiting spies or gaining more information on an adversary, U.S. officials and analysts say.
Groups of hackers working for the Chinese government have compromised the networks of the Office of Personnel Management, which holds data on millions of current and former federal employees, as well as the health insurance giant Anthem, among other targets, the officials and researchers said.
“They’re definitely going after quite a bit of personnel information,” said Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer of ThreatConnect, a Northern Virginia cybersecurity firm. “We suspect they’re using it to understand more about who to target [for espionage], whether electronically or via human recruitment.”
[How the Internet became so vulnerable]
The targeting of large-scale databases is a relatively new tactic and is used by the Chinese government to further its intelligence-gathering, the officials and analysts say. It is government espionage, not commercial espionage, they say.
originally posted by: ugmold
a reply to: mister.old.school
Why the NSA isn't spending its time trying to crack down on sh•t like this, and leave the good citizens of this Country alone, useless bastards.