For the first time, in a long time ( it seems ) I find myself compelled to post in my usual subject matter. Whether this is a good thing or a bad
thing, I leave up to the reader.
It is no secret to anyone who has even minimal exposure to network security that China is, by far and away, the number one source of those naughty
little pings that tend to hit most, if not all, of our computers during the coarse of any given day. Any visit to a website listing dangerous or
suspicious IP's is almost always a mixture of mostly Chinese flags, a few from the former Soviet Union states, and then a smattering from
Thus, as a person who has an interest in this subject matter - the following news story didn't strike me as at all shocking. It did, however, strike
me as something worth sharing.
So, ATS, for your review:
China Is America’s #1 Cyber Threat: U.S. Govt. Report
A new report by the National Intelligence Estimate confirms that China is America's biggest cyber threat.
The report is classified, but people with knowledge of the findings spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity.
"The United States is the target of a massive, sustained cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening the country’s economic competitiveness,"
According to the article "The report, which represents the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community,
describes a wide range of sectors that have been the focus of hacking over the past five years, including energy, finance, information technology,
aerospace and automotive."
But other industries have been targeted as of late, including the media and the U.S. Federal Government.
In recent weeks, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg disclosed cyber attacks traced back to China. Twitter
was also hacked, but the origins of that attack remain unknown. But perhaps the most disturbing case of cyber-espionage involves the Federal Reserve
and Department of Energy.
And further digging, into the article that Yahoo sourced, the Washington Post:
The National Intelligence Estimate identifies China as the country most aggressively seeking to penetrate the computer systems of American
businesses and institutions to gain access to data that could be used for economic gain.
The report, which represents the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, describes a wide range of sectors that have been the focus of
hacking over the past five years, including energy, finance, information
technology, aerospace and automotives, according to the individuals familiar with the report, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the
classified document. The assessment does not quantify the financial impact of the espionage, but outside experts have estimated it in the tens of
billions of dollars.
In a sign of such concerns, the Obama administration is seeking ways to counter the online theft of trade secrets, according to officials. Analysts
have said that the administration’s options include formal protests, the expulsion of diplomatic personnel, the imposition of travel and visa
restrictions, and complaints to the World Trade Organization.
Cyber-espionage is “just so widespread that it’s known to be a national issue at this point,” said one administration official, who like other
current and former officials interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
The National Intelligence Estimate names three other countries — Russia, Israel and France — as having engaged in hacking for economic
intelligence but makes clear that cyber-espionage by those countries pales in comparison with China’s effort.
China has staunchly rejected such allegations, saying the Beijing government neither condones nor carries out computer hacking.
The article goes on to discuss how many very high profile business, including Google, have been hacked by the Chinese - something that may be more
widespread than even the government knows as many companies may opt to keep such intrusions secret to avoid scandal and loss of confidence - largely
in pursuit of proprietary business knowledge and the private information of dissidents within China.
It also briefly discusses what amounts to Chinese spies living in the US.
This all strikes me as somewhat contrary. China, after all, is our largest creditor - and on the surface one would want to think that they would be
hesitant to do anything to mess up their odds of getting paid back. Then again, what if their agenda never involved being paid back? What if they
engaged in a large scale sort of predatory lending - planning to destroy us and take over in receivership at the end of it all?
That makes a lot of sense to me. Even if they were only to take over from behind the curtain - allowing the appearance of a two super power world to
continue - thus preventing the chance of provoking others to rise up against a singular super power.
It's all food for thought.
I saw a movie, not too long ago, where Tom Hanks was playing a doctor who was nursing a sick man back to health - or so it seemed. It turns out that
he was also poisoning the man even as he went through the very public motions of appearing to be nursing and caring for the man.
Is China playing the same ruse? Pouring poison into the bowl of soup that it's feeding us - so that all who see think they're helping rather than
Intriguing stuff that I am sure will become increasingly the topic of conversation as the coming years start to unravel.