Chinese State sponsored Hackers ?

Discussion in 'China' started by hit&run, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    For years, the U.S. intelligence community worried that China’s government was attacking our cyber-infrastructure. Now one man has discovered it’s worse: It’s hundreds of thousands of everyday civilians. And they’ve only just begun

    At 8 a.m. on May 4, 2001, anyone trying to access the White House Web site got an error message. By noon, whitehouse.gov was down entirely, the victim of a so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Somewhere in the world, hackers were pinging White House servers with thousands of page requests per second, clogging the site. Also attacked were sites for the U.S. Navy and various other federal departments.

    A series of defacements left little doubt about where the attack originated. "Beat down Imperialism of American [sic]! Attack anti-Chinese arrogance!" read the Interior Department's National Business Center site. "CHINA HACK!" proclaimed the Department of Labor home page. "I AM CHINESE," declared a U.S. Navy page. By then, hackers from Saudi Arabia, Argentina and India had joined in. The military escalated its Infocon threat level from normal to alpha, indicating risk of crippling cyber-attack. Over the next few weeks, the White House site went down twice more. By the time the offensive was over, Chinese hackers had felled 1,000 American sites.

    The cyber-conflict grew out of real-world tensions. A month earlier, a U.S. EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft flying off the southern coast of China had collided with a Chinese F-8 fighter jet. The American pilot landed safely, but the Chinese pilot was killed. China's hackers lashed out. It wasn't the first foreign attack on American sites, but it was the biggest -- "the First World Hacker War," as the New York Times dubbed it.

    The Chinese attacks were poorly coordinated, and it's tempting to dismiss them as harmless online vandalism. But subsequent attacks have become more serious. In the past two years, Chinese hackers have intercepted critical NASA files, breached the computer system in a sensitive Commerce Department bureau, and launched assaults on the Save Darfur Coalition, pro-Tibet groups and CNN. And those are just the attacks that have been publicly acknowledged. Were these initiated by the Chinese government? Who is doing this?


    View attachment 563
    Xiao Tian: Hot & Live 'fiber optic'
    In the male-dominated world of hacking, Xiao Tian, leader of a female hacker group called the China Girl Security Team, is a rarity.
    Her 2,200-plus-member group is responsible for several defacements.

    Early clues came through the boasts of a single Chinese hacker. On May 20, 2003, a man named Peng Yinan, then known only by the moniker coolswallow, logged into a public Shanghai Jiaotong University student forum and described how he formed a group at the university's Information Security Engineering School that coordinated with other hackers to bring down whitehouse.gov in 2001. "Javaphile was established by coolswallow (that's me)" and a partner, he wrote in Chinese. "At first we weren't a hacker organization. After the 2001 China-U.S. plane collision incident, Chinese hackers declared an anti-American Battle . . . and coolswallow joined in the DDoS White House attacks." Later, he bragged, his group defaced other sites it considered anti-Chinese, including that of the Taiwanese Internet company Lite-On.

    Peng left two e-mail addresses, his chat information and the screen names of four other hackers. He soon expanded his online profile with a blog, photos, and papers describing his hacking openly. But his boasts went unnoticed until 2005, when a linguist in Kansas typed the right words into Google, found Peng, and pulled back the curtain on a growing danger.

    GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE

    In its report to Congress last year, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission called Chinese cyber-espionage a major threat to U.S. technology. "China is aggressively pursuing cyber warfare capabilities that may provide it with an asymmetric advantage against the United States," the commission warned. As everything from health-care services to credit-card records to classified military information moves into a networked age, the risk that our digital systems could be crippled by outside attackers -- or worse, pillaged for sensitive information -- is very real. The commission report cited vulnerable American targets such as the electric grid and the municipal-waste, air-traffic-control, banking and Social Security systems. Before leaving office in January, President Bush authorized the creation of a National Cyber Security Center under the Department of Homeland Security, and in February, President Obama's budget proposal called for giving the department $355 million to secure private- and public-sector cyber-infrastructure.

    But there's reason to believe that a damaging attack won't originate in some dedicated Chinese government bureau. In previous testimony before the commission, James C. Mulvenon, director of the defense think tank the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis, said he was more immediately concerned with independent, civilian-led "patriotic hacking."

    James Andrew Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which helped develop cybersecurity policy recommendations for the Obama administration, shares that concern. "The U.S. government had a number of serious computer incidents in 2007, most of which were attributed to China," he says. "The focus in Washington is on what appear to be state-sponsored activities. That, of course, is only a part of what's going on in China."

    From China, where I've lived for four years, this assessment looks spot-on. Hackers are pervasive, their imprint inescapable. There are hacker magazines, hacker clubs and hacker online serials. A 2005 Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences survey equates hackers and rock stars, with nearly 43 percent of elementary-school students saying they "adore" China's hackers. One third say they want to be one. This culture thrives on a viral, Internet-driven nationalism. The post-Tiananmen generation has known little hardship, so rather than pushing for democracy, many young people define themselves in opposition to the West. China's Internet patriots, who call themselves "red hackers," may not be acting on direct behalf of their government, but the effect is much the same.

    STUMBLING ONTO THE DANGER

    In 2004, Scott Henderson, a trim 46-year-old with sandy brown hair, had just retired from decades as a language expert for the U.S. Army to work for a private intelligence contractor in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. With a command of Mandarin, not to mention a Taiwanese wife, Henderson's knowledge of China makes him valuable in the intelligence community. His mandate at the new job was open-source intelligence, which meant using only information from publicly available sources, mimicking the capabilities of the average civilian. Although he had little experience in the subject, he was assigned a report on Chinese hackers.

    Sitting down at a desk overlooking the Fort Leavenworth military base, Henderson started, like any novice, with Google. Using Mandarin characters, he typed heike -- literally, "black guest" -- pulling up the characters for "hacker." Probably, he thought, he'd find articles rehashing weak Western reports. But when he hit "return," his browser displayed a slew of unfamiliar sites: hackbase.com, hacker123.com, hack8.cn. There were hundreds, maybe thousands. He quickly realized that each was the online headquarters of a Chinese hacker organization, with detailed logs of hacks, contact information for hackers, and forums where users discussed targets. Chinese hackers, it turns out, take credit on their own sites for attacks, leaving a long trail of documentation. They are so attention-driven that when they post images of their successes to online trophy rooms, they tag them with e-mail addresses, URLs, even cellphone numbers. Within three minutes, Henderson had more information than he knew what to do with.

    He spent the next few months trying to make sense of the data. To map connections among hacker sites, he laid a large sheet of paper out on the floor of his office and started sketching the network by hand. The diagram quickly extended off the page. Then it extended off several taped-together pages. After a co-worker suggested the computer program i2 Analyst's Notebook, an investigative tool that allowed him to craft a more sophisticated model, Henderson, following links from site to site, connected 250 hacker pages. Monitoring a cross-section of sites over several days to estimate the number of people logged in at any given time, he came up with 380,000 hackers.

    There were localized clubs, whose members saw one another regularly. There were fleeting groups, whose sites appeared and disappeared in a matter of weeks. There were kid hackers, femme-fatale hackers and hacker wannabes (although most hackers are simply computer-savvy 20-somethings -- what Henderson calls "normal guys"). One group penned a theme song. Henderson recognized early on that such publicity ploys were not the work of the state. "If this was some secret government-run organization," he says, "it was the most horribly run secret government organization in the universe."

    Instead, Chinese hackers work in small, competing crews, he found. During moments of crisis, like the 2001 EP-3 collision, the groups band together into coalitions called "Chinese emergency conference centers." The Red Hacker Alliance, often described in the Western press as a monolithic group, is in fact a loose association allowing disparate cells to coordinate their efforts.

    But the largest unifying characteristic is nationalism. In a 2005 Hong Kong Sunday Morning Post article, a man identified as "the Godfather of hackers" explains, "Unlike our Western [hacker] counterparts, most of whom are individualists or anarchists, Chinese hackers tend to get more involved with politics because most of them are young, passionate, and patriotic." Nationalism is hip, and hackers -- who spearhead nationalist campaigns with just a laptop and an Internet connection -- are figures to revere.

    Henderson says he's found nothing to show a direct connection between the central government and civilian hacker groups. But he emphasizes that the relationship between citizen and state is fluid in China, and that the Chinese government tends not to prosecute hackers unless they attack within China. To Henderson, that lack of supervision is tacit approval, and it constitutes a de facto partnership between civilian hackers and the Chinese government.

    Jack Linchuan Qiu, a communications professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who spent the 2001 hacker war logged into mainland forums, agrees. "Chinese hackerism is not the American 'hacktivism' that wants social change," he says. "It's actually very close to the state. The Chinese distinction between the private and public domains is very small." Chinese entrepreneurs returning from working in Silicon Valley, Qiu says, sometimes comply with government requests to provide filtering technology to China's Internet police. Homegrown hackers might just as easily be recruited to write viruses or software for the People's Liberation Army.

    Ultimately, hackers with loose government connections may be more frightening than state-sponsored cyberwarfare. According to Lewis, "The government at a minimum tolerates them. Sometimes it encourages them. And sometimes it tasks them and controls them." In the end, he says, "it's easy for the government to turn on and hard to turn off."

    "These rogue groups are missing oversight," Henderson says. "When a situation is approaching critical mass" -- if, for instance, these hackers decide to abandon simple vandalism and start gunning for Social Security numbers or classified information -- "who's the guy who pulls back and says, 'No, we don't go any further'?"

    A HACKER IS BORN

    Shanghai Jiaotong University, one of the best in China, sits on the southern edge of Shanghai, surrounded by the R&D labs of multinational corporations. On the day I visit, students are sprawled on a verdant lawn, chatting and studying. Just behind them is the Information Security Engineering School, a futuristic mélange of maroon and gray.

    Peng Yinan formed Javaphile here in September 2000. Peng originally saw the group as a way to explore physics and programming. But the following spring, patriotic fury at the EP-3 collision turned the group to hacking. A scholarship student, Peng was dark and intense, with long bangs hanging over his eyes and a fondness for horror films, Buddhist texts, and blogging about food. A former roommate of Peng's tells me his anti-American sentiments were common. "Everybody was very nationalistic," he says. "It's not like he was exceptional."

    In 2002, Peng and two other hackers broke into the Web site of Lite-On and replaced the Taiwanese firm's home page with an image of a white face with hollowed-out eyes, along with the message "[F-ck] Taiwan's pro-independence!!!" In December 2003, the ghost face reemerged on the U.S. Navy Chartroom site, an internal Navy page. "[F-ck] usa.gov," read the defacement, which was signed by coolswallow and four others.

    Soon after, Javaphile disintegrated. But Peng continued to take online casualties, defining his role as electronic patriot more and more broadly. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Peng, objecting to American imperialism, plastered the Washington, D.C. -- area Fox News site with "Allah Bless Iraq!!! Don't throw bombs, throw Bush."

    CHASING PENG

    In 2006 Henderson published a book about his search for Chinese hackers, The Dark Visitor, and in November 2007 he posted a profile of Javaphile to his blog, thedarkvisitor.com. He didn't yet know coolswallow's real name, so he used the hacker's screen handle, which was easy to deduce from Javaphile forum posts. Hackers regularly read Henderson's blog; once, one e-mailed to complain that government censors had blocked the site. So when traffic spiked a few weeks after the Javaphile post, Henderson checked to see where it was coming from.


    View attachment 565
    Withered Rose: His group, NCPH, built viruses that may have stolen classified U.S. documents. Withered Rose represented the Sichuan Military Command in a hacker competition against other provinces—and won.


    He traced the traffic to a Jiaotong University forum, where a user named ericool had linked to Henderson's site. "There's a passage about Javaphile and coolswallow," ericool wrote. "He uses my blog." Henderson soon pulled up posts connecting ericool to a Jiaotong University group called Pneuma, along with a post from 2002 that ericool had signed "CoolSwallow of Javaphile." They were the same person.

    Clicking through the discussion schedule on Pneuma's Web site, pneuma.cn (devoted to "cherishing the motherland when gazing at the world"), Henderson learned that a "senior hacker" named Peng Yinan had delivered Pneuma's second-anniversary lecture, "Hacker in a Nutshell." The poster for the event was appended with a quote from Hamlet: "I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space."

    One PowerPoint slide from the lecture underlines the importance of simple, openly available techniques, noting that in 2006 the Chicago Tribune obtained contact information for 2,600 CIA agents using a commercial online service and suggesting that hackers "use illegal methods in weak sites to obtain information on personnel from safe sites." Chinese coverage of the event showed Peng lecturing easily from behind an open laptop. Henderson now had definitive evidence connecting coolswallow and ericool to Peng's name, allowing him to reconstruct the hacker's biography. What most intrigued him, however, was a phrase in small type at the bottom of the Pneuma flyer describing Peng as a consultant for the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Public Security.

    Henderson promptly posted his findings on his blog, with a copy of the presentation, an introduction to Pneuma, and Peng Yinan's photo. It was impossible to deduce the exact nature of Peng's new job. Based on the flyer, he was working for the Shanghai government, not for the national intelligence service. But such an arrangement supported Henderson's assessment of China's informal government-hacker relationship, providing evidence that after hackers cut their teeth on nationalist campaigns, the government might hire them to take on freelance work.

    Five hours after the post went up, a user calling himself Pneuma Collegium posted a comment: "Your use of the logo and the photo of Pneuma Collegium is . . . an infringement of Pneuma Collegium's copyright." When Henderson saw that the poster's IP address belonged to pneuma.cn, his blood boiled. Henderson removed the logo and the PowerPoint presentation but kept the photo up, citing U.S. law on fair use of images. His aim, he told me later, was to keep the image of Peng publicly available. "When the FBI gets their hands on you," he said, as if still in conversation with the hacker, "I want them to match this picture to your face -- and take you to jail."

    WHEN WILL WE CATCH ON?

    The problem, of course, is that it's practically impossible for the FBI to catch or prosecute hackers operating abroad. "The international legal framework doesn't exist," says the CSIS's Lewis. And extraditing a hacker to the U.S. simply doesn't happen, given our current relationship with China. Learning to defend ourselves seems to be the only option.

    In the meantime, Chinese hackers are becoming harder to monitor. Increasingly, they coordinate through private text-messaging rather than on blogs or Web sites, leaving no public record of their activities. In late 2007, after finding the Javaphile profile on Henderson's blog, Peng logged into the Jiaotong University forum and typed, "Looks like I should quit the historical stage." A few weeks later, he stopped posting on public forums altogether. He graduated the next month.

    Last summer, I e-mailed Peng at nine e-mail addresses collected from his blog, academic papers, hacks and the Pneuma site. Eventually I received a reply from a Pneuma member called janeadios. "Peng Yinan is no longer involved with Internet security," it read. But traces of him remained. Earlier that year, in March, he was one of three graduates invited back by the Information Security Engineering School to deliver a career talk to students.

    Rather than quit hacking, Henderson speculates, Peng retreated from view. In the months leading up to the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government tightened its control on information. Peng may have been contracted to monitor the Web. In any case, his disappearance from the virtual realm means the loss of valuable indicators of future attacks.

    In February, President Obama launched a 60-day investigation into cybersecurity, pledging to improve U.S. Internet defense. Acting on the review commission's findings, however, will require a coordinated, interdepartmental effort. First on the list should be reading Henderson's painstakingly detailed reports. And Peng's disappearance suggests that time is running out. If we can't handle the information Chinese hackers are leaving now, scarier still is what could happen when it disappears.

    Article by By Mara Hvistendahl Posted 24.04.2009 @ popsci.com.au
    Mara Hvistendahl also writes for the New Republic, Harper's and Science. She lives in Shanghai.
     
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  3. MMuthu

    MMuthu Regular Member

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    Why India does not provide help to Indian Hackers.
     
  4. prahladh

    prahladh Respected Member

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    Funny ha. They give technological assistance (nuclear, missile) to every rogue country there is, Sponspers such hackers, etc...etc..., and U.S or U.N doesn't give a damn. Poor Pak, NK test that tech in the form of missile under different names and sanctions are placed.
     
  5. Koji

    Koji New Member

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    Chinese student, 18, wins, prompting call for earlier math and science education in U.S.
    By Patrick Thibodeau
    June 8, 2009 04:24 PM ET




    Computerworld - Programmers from China and Russia have dominated an international competition on everything from writing algorithms to designing components.
    Bin Jin
    Winner: Bin Jin, or 'crazyb0y.'

    Whether the outcome of this competition is another sign that math and science education in the U.S. needs improvement may spur debate. But the fact remains: Of 70 finalists, 20 were from China, 10 from Russia and two from the U.S.

    TopCoder Inc., which runs software competitions as part of its software development service, operates TopCoder Open, an annual contest.

    About 4,200 people participated in the U.S. National Security Agency-supported challenge. The NSA has been sponsoring the program for a number of years because of its interest in hiring people with advanced skills.

    Participants in the contest, which was open to anyone -- from student to professional -- and finished with 120 competitors from around the world, went through a process of elimination that finished this month in Las Vegas.

    China's showing in the finals was also helped by the sheer volume of its numbers, 894. India followed at 705, but none of its programmers were finalists. Russia had 380 participants; the United States, 234; Poland, 214; Egypt, 145; and Ukraine, 128, among others.

    Of the total number of contestants, 93% were male, and 84% were aged between 18 and 24.

    Rob Hughes, president and COO of TopCoder, said the strong finish by programmers from China, Russia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere is indicative of the importance those countries put on mathematics and science education.

    "We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there," Hughes said. He said the U.S. needs to make earlier inroads in middle schools and high school math and science education.

    That's a point Hughes is hardly alone on. President Barack Obama, as well as many of the major tech leaders including Bill Gates, have called for similar action.

    Of the participants in the contest, more than 57% had bachelor's degrees, most in computer science, and of that 20% had earned a masters degree, and 6% a PhD.

    But the winner of the algorithm competition was an 18-year-old student from China, Bin Jin, who went by the handle "crazyb0y". Chinese programmers have a history of doing very well in this contest.

    Mike Lydon, TopCoder's CTO, said Jin's future in computer science is assured. "This gentleman can do whatever he wants," he said.

    The participants are tested in design, development, architecture, among others, but one of the most popular is the algorithm coding contest.

    To give some sense of difficulty, Lydon provided a description of a problem that the contestants were asked to solve:

    "With the rise of services such as Facebook and MySpace, the analysis and understanding of such networks is a particularly active area of current computer science research. At an abstract level, these networks consist of nodes (people), connected by links (friendship).

    "In this problem, competitors were given the description of two such networks, but with the names of all the nodes removed from each. The networks were each scrambled up before given to the competitors. The task was to determine if the two networks could possibly be from the same group of people.

    "The competitors were to unscramble and label the two networks so that if Alice was connected to Bob in one of the two networks, then Alice was also connected to Bob in the other network. This problem is known as the network isomorphism problem, and solving it for large networks is a major unsolved problem in the realm of theoretical computer science."

    Lydon said the overall problem is unsolved for larger networks, and what's considered a correct answer for this problem would not be considered large enough for the solution in this case to be groundbreaking.

    Two people solved the problem.
     
  6. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    As far as I know currently every Modern military has a cyber warfare unit.India being one of the modern militaries definitely has one such unit.Above that IT is one of the greatest strength of India and reason behind her success.So I believe Indian hackers are used by Govt. when needed and they obviously get whatever they need.Only reason people don't hear about it because the whole thing is considered underground.May be Top secret.
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The military doesn't have to print in the media about it's hacking program or it's capabilities.
     
  8. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Exactly.it would be like revealing the positions of your nuclear bombs.Cyber warfare will be the next battlefield used by both the armies and terrorists.And Cyber war tactics have already been used in India by SIMI,correct me if I am wrong.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    China filters the internet so there is no possible way a hacker could hack without government assistance.
     
  10. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    An old report from India-Defence

    Indian Army Gears Up for Cyber, Electronic Warfare | India Defence

    Indian Army Gears Up for Cyber, Electronic Warfare
    Dated 2/5/2008

    Guarding the borders, battling militants and training for blitzkrieg battles is just not enough now. Facing mounting attacks in the virtual world, the Indian Army is now gearing up for battles in the digitized battlefield as well.

    The ongoing army commanders' conference, chaired by General Deepak Kapoor, has decided to boost the "cyber-security" of its information networks right down to the level of divisions, which are basically field formations with over 15,000 troops. Apart from creating cyber-security organizations down to the division-level to guard against cyber warfare and data thefts, the Army top brass has also underlined the urgent need for "periodic cyber-security audits" by the Army Cyber Security Establishment (ACSE).

    "The most advanced armies in the world like the US one also face 3,000 to 4,000 attempts a year to hack their networks. As our Army boosts its infotech levels, we also become more vulnerable to such threats. Future conflicts will be fought by 'networks'," said a senior officer. Both China and Pakistan, for instance, are bolstering their cyber-warfare or information warfare capabilities at a rapid clip. China, in particular, has made cyber-warfare one of its topmost military priorities, with Chinese hackers breaking into sensitive computer networks of the US, UK, Germany and even India on a regular basis.

    "By crippling or destroying an adversary's economic, communication and strategic networks and infrastructure, cyber-warfare can even prove more deadly than ballistic missile strikes. It can, for instance, be in the form of denial-of-service cyber-attacks and paralysing computer viruses," said another officer. The Indian armed forces, of course, are also trying to hone their information warfare weapons as well as enhance their C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capabilities.

    The tri-service integrated defence staff, on its part, has also come out with an information warfare doctrine. But the progress is slow compared to the infotech boom in the civilian arena. Even as the armed forces take some strides forward on the infotech superhighway, the need to protect their own systems from cyber-attacks of hostile forces is increasingly being felt.
     
  11. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Chinese hackers scooped into Joint Strike Fighter plans

    A new report suggests that the Air Force's computer systems have been compromised, and that the Joint Strike Fighter program was among the victims. Once again, China is getting the blame.

    Add top-secret plans for the expensive, much-delayed Joint Strike Fighter to the list of victims of alleged Chinese and Russian hack attacks, or so the Wall Street Journal reports. The paper cites "current and former government officials familiar with the attacks," and claims that the Air Force's air traffic control system has also been compromised. These reports follow allegations from earlier in the month that hackers have also been probing our electrical grid.

    We've been reporting on the alleged Chinese hack attacks for at least two years now, but nobody is certain that China is actually behind them. Indeed, as is typical with these incidents, the Chinese government has denied any involvement in the latest intrusions. Still, China has been blamed for breaching everything from Pentagon e-mail to congressional PCs. And there are relatively frequent reports of "widespread" and "systematic" waves of China-based attacks on both the private and public sectors.

    I have an alternate theory as to why the Chinese are engaged in a massive campaign to infiltrate every aspect of America's infrastructure, from the power grid to defense. Our largest creditor has already expressed serious concerns about the safety of their massive US assets, so they probably just want to make sure that, in the event that the country completely falls apart, they can take over our critical infrastructure and keep everything running for us so that we can get back on our feet and finish paying down our debts. And in the event that we go into default and they have to foreclose on us, they at least want to know how everything works so that they'll have an easier time moving in and getting things sorted.

    Ok, I jest, but there's a kernel of painful truth to the joke: if China really wanted to decimate our infrastructure, they could do so with a simple press release from the People's Bank of China announcing the immediate liquidation of their roughly $2 trillion in dollar-denominated reserves. The resulting dollar collapse would be devastating to the US, and also, of course, to China's savings. This Sino-US economic interdependence, which economic historian Niall Ferguson has dubbed "Chimerica," is the most commonly cited argument against the likelihood of any war, "cyber" or otherwise, between the US and China.

    So if China's foremost concern is the safety of its US investments, then what's behind the post-downturn spike in Chinese hacking activity? Or, to put the question differently, even if we take it for granted that the Chinese military is like every other major military in that it too is looking for the upper hand in the new theater of "cyberwar," this still doesn't necessarily explain why the global slump has coincided with an increase in cyberattacks. One Chinese security expert has suggested that the answer is straightforward: massive numbers of Chinese people are now looking for work, and cybercrime still pays. So the spike in malware and network intrusions originating in China could be the result not of some communist military plan, but of American-style entrepreneurial activity.
    http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2009/04/chinese-hackers-nick-joint-strike-fighter-plans.ars
     
  12. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    After news of such cyber intrusions by chines; should we be ensured that our defense data is safe as following article is s/o.

    Cyber war: Indian Army says its systems are hack-proof
    31 Mar 2009,

    NEW DELHI: The Army is geared up for skirmishes in the digitised battlefield as well. The force is quite confident that its information systems
    are quite "secure'' from hostile strikes in the backdrop of China-based hacker groups increasingly mounting attacks on computer networks across the globe.

    "We have put in place a very secure network and I can confidently say that it cannot be tampered with,'' said signal officer-in-chief Lt-General P Mohapatra on Monday.

    "There are various cryptographic controls that we have put in place and there are training activities to ensure that no loss of information takes place,'' he added.

    Lt-Gen Mohapatra's statement comes in the wake of reports that a vast cyber spy network controlled from China has hacked into nearly 1,300 government and private computers across 103 countries, including those of the Indian embassy in Washington and the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

    As earlier reported by TOI, the Army is boosting the "cyber-security'' of its information networks right down to the level of divisions, which are basically field formations with over 15,000 troops.

    Apart from creating cyber-security organisations down to the division-level to guard against cyber-warfare and data thefts, the Army top brass has also underlined the urgent need for "periodic cyber-security audits'' by the Army Cyber Security Establishment (ACSE).

    This becomes important since both China and Pakistan are known to be bolstering their cyber-warfare or information warfare capabilities at a rapid clip.

    China, in particular, has made cyber-warfare one of its topmost military priorities, with Chinese hackers breaking into sensitive computer networks of the US, UK, Germany and even India on a regular basis.
    TOI/NEWS
     
  13. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Snooping Dragon opens a new chapter in social malware
    The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has fallen victim to a cyber attack, but two computer security experts say it could have happened to anyone. Indeed, “social malware” attacks are easy to mount but very difficult to defend against.

    Two computer scientists investigating the penetration of computer systems run by the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (OHHDL) have concluded that the “combination of well-written malware with well-designed email lures, which we call social malware, is devastatingly effective. Few organisations outside the defence and intelligence sector could withstand such an attack.”

    Shishir Nagaraja from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Ross Anderson from the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory helped the OHHDL with a forensic investigation of the penetration described in http://www.scribd.com/doc/13731776/Tracking-GhostNet-Investigating-a-Cyber-Espionage-Network, published in Information Warfare Monitor. The first author visited the OHHDL’s office in Dharamsala. Their report, The snooping dragon: social-malware surveillance of the Tibetan movement, is now available online.

    The method turned out to be simple. The attackers wrote emails that appeared to come from fellow Tibetans or even co-workers, and added malware attachments that enabled them to log keystrokes and access the infected PCs remotely. The report says: “We assume that one monk clicked on an infected attachment, giving the attackers their first foothold.” However, the authors noted that the monks were sending emails as plain text, instead of encrypting them, and that some used passwords that could be cracked in 15 minutes.

    Also, “although this particular case involved the agents of a major power, the attack could in fact have been mounted by a capable motivated individual.”

    In the past, attackers might have needed technical skills to create their code, but today, the malware industry works on a commercial basis. People who want it can buy it.

    Although this type of malware is most common for Microsoft Windows, which we assume the OHHDL was using, it can be created for any operating system.

    The larger problem is that “the ‘best practice’ advice that one sees in the corporate sector comes nowhere even close to preventing such an attack,” say the authors. They believe that the OHHDL staff “were probably more aware of the Chinese threat and as a result more alert than a typical company security team,” and that “the Tibetans’ performance has been more effective than we would have expected from a randomly-chosen Western organisation.”

    In sum, a typical western company could be hacked just as easily, but might be less likely to notice that its systems had been compromised.

    In this case, the Chinese attackers made a fundamental mistake. The report says the monks “sent an email invitation on behalf of His Holiness to a foreign diplomat, but before they could follow it up with a courtesy telephone call, the diplomat’s office was contacted by the Chinese government and warned not to go ahead with the meeting.”

    This alerted the OHHDL staff to the possibility of a security leak, which they then had investigated by experts.

    Key defences against social malware include controlling information flows and making sure sensitive data are never held on internet-connected computers, but stored on ones that don’t have email or browsers installed. But operating with increased levels of security has its drawbacks. The report says:

    “In fact, neither of the two authors is confident that we could keep secrets on a network-connected machine that we used for our daily work in the face of determined interest from a capable motivated opponent. The necessary restrictions on online activity would not be consistent with effective academic work.”
     
  14. Koji

    Koji New Member

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    You really think that a hacker so talented to break into national networks can be stopped by an off the shelf censoring program?
     
  15. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    What the hell on earth they want to know and do??

    It is up to more than 1,300 computers. Here is a selected list of infections, including the number of compromised computers at that organization:

    Organization Infections

    ASEAN 3

    Asian Development Bank 3

    Associated Press, U.K. 2

    Bureau of International

    Trade Relations 1

    CanTV, Venezuela 8

    Ceger, Portugal 1

    Consulate General of Malaysia,

    Hong Kong 1

    Deloitte & Touche, New York 1

    Department of Commerce,

    Solomon Islands 1

    Department of Foreign Affairs,

    Indonesia 3

    Department of Foreign Affairs,

    Philippines 1

    Department of Science

    & Technology, Philippines 2

    Embassy of Cyprus, Germany 1

    Embassy of Germany, Australia 1

    Embassy of India, Belgium 1

    Embassy of India, Serbia 1

    Embassy of India, Germany 1

    Embassy of India, Italy 1

    Embassy of India, Kuwait 1

    Embassy of India, U.S. 7

    Embassy of India, Zimbabwe 1

    Embassy of Indonesia, China 1

    Embassy of Malaysia, Cuba 1

    Embassy of Malaysia, Italy 1

    Embassy of Malta 4

    Embassy of Malta, Australia 1

    Embassy of Malta, Belgium 11

    Embassy of Malta, Libya 1

    Embassy of Pakistan, Bahrain 1(spying friend indeed :blum3:)

    Embassy of Papua New Guinea,

    Embassy of Portugal, Finland 1

    Embassy of Portugal, Germany 1

    Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Swaziland 1

    Embassy of Romania, Finland 1

    Embassy of Romania, France 1

    Embassy of Romania, Norway 1

    Embassy of Romania, PRC 1

    Embassy of Thailand, Philippines 2

    Embassy of the Republic of Korea

    Government Integrated Tele-communication Network, Malaysia 2

    High Commission of India, Cyprus 1

    High Commission of India, U.K. 1

    Institute for Information Industry, Taiwan 1

    Organization Infections

    International Campaign for Tibet 7

    International Chamber of Shipping, United Kingdom 1

    Lanka Education and ResearchNetwork, Sri Lanka 1

    Malta External Trade Corporation Ltd. 1

    Maritime Police, Solomon Islands 1

    Ministry of Communications,Brunei 1

    Ministry of Education, Solomon Islands 1

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh 4

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Barbados 5

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bhutan 11

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brunei 1

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iran 1

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia 2

    Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam 30

    Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, Bhutan 1

    National Informatics Centre, India 12

    NATO (SHAPE HQ) 1

    Net Trade, Taiwan 1

    Office of the Dalai Lama, India 2

    Pakistan Mission to the United Nations 4(what the heck you are douing their i am your UN :(( )

    Permanent Delegation of Cyprus to the European Union 1

    Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations 1

    PetroVietnam 74

    Prime Minister's Office, Laos 5

    Public Service Division, Solomon Islands 1

    Russian Federal University Network, Russian Federation 1

    Software Technology Parks of India, India 2 !!!!!!!! jago pyare jago

    South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation 5

    Students for a Free Tibet, United States 2

    TAITRA, Taiwan 79 Taiwan Government

    Service Network, Taiwan 1

    Tibetan Government in Exile, India 4,

    Trade and Industry Department,

    Government of Hong Kong 1

    Tracking the cyber-spies

    it was revealed that cyber-spies broke into Pentagon computers and stole blueprints for the $300 billion U.S. Joint Strike Fighter (F-35 Lightning II program)[details in previous post]. While the intrusion was only just detected, investigators found that hackers may have been monitoring U.S. Department of Defense systems for the past two years.

    This month, it was discovered that cyber-spies from China and elsewhere have gained access to the U.S. electrical system, mapped it and left behind computer viruses and worms that could damage or bring down sections of the U.S. electrical grid. Canada has also admitted that it knows of similar intrusions to its electrical systems.

    Last November, reports surfaced suggesting cyber-spies have raided the e-mail archives of the White House on numerous occasions.

    During the U.S. election campaign, cyber-spies gained access to the campaign computer systems of both Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. The spies stole a large number of policy-related files that outlined the position of each presidential hopeful.

    In 2004, a group of Chinese hackers, who called themselves Titan Rain, broke into numerous U.S. military systems to steal all sorts of sensitive information, including military vehicle plans.



    whenever you will open the doors of awareness; life will improve itself.
     
  16. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    US 'troubled' by China cyberattacks

    Peter Barron from Google: ''We should no longer agree to censor our results in China''
    A senior US official has said the country is "troubled" by recent cyberattacks originating from China targeted human rights activists.

    Internet giant Google has said it may end its operations in China following a spate of attacks on e-mail accounts.

    Google, while not accusing Beijing directly, said it was no longer willing to censor its Chinese search engine.

    Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said China must ensure a "secure" commercial environment for Google and other firms.

    "The recent cyber intrusion that Google attributes to China is troubling to the US government and American companies doing business in China," Mr Locke said in a statement.

    Censorship

    He said the incident should be just as troubling to the Chinese government and added that he had personally raised the issue with Chinese officials.

    Some Google shareholders... will see this as a commercial example of cutting off your nose to spite your face

    He said during these discussions he had emphasised the importance that US President Barack Obama placed on "the full and free flow of information on the internet".

    Google has said that closing its google.cn site could mean it would shut its Chinese offices.

    Google said the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists were the primary target of the attack, which occurred in December.

    The search engine has now said it will hold talks with the government in the coming weeks to look at operating an unfiltered search engine within the law in the country, though no changes to filtering had yet been made.

    Google launched google.cn in 2006, agreeing to some censorship of the search results, as required by the Chinese government.

    It currently holds around a third of the Chinese search market, far behind Chinese rival Baidu with more than 60%.

    Email targeted

    In a blog post announcing its decision, Google's chief legal officer David Drummond said: "A primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists."

    The company said its investigation into the attack found two accounts of its online mail service - Gmail - appeared to have been accessed.

    However, the attack was limited to accessing account information such as the date the account was created and subject line, rather than e-mail content, it said.

    It said it had also discovered that the accounts of dozens of US, China and Europe-based Gmail users, who are "advocates of human rights in China", appeared to have been "routinely accessed by third parties".

    It said these accounts had not been accessed through any security breach at Google, but "most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on users' computers".

    At least 20 other large companies from a wide range of businesses were similarly targeted, it added.

    Google's decision to concede to China's demands on censorship in 2006 led to accusations it had betrayed its company motto - "don't be evil" - but Google argued it would be more damaging for civil liberties if it pulled out of China entirely.

    Nearly 340 million Chinese people now online, compared with 10 million only a decade ago.

    Last year, the search engine market in China was worth an estimated $1bn and analysts previously expected Google to make about $600m from China in 2010.

    But, unlike most markets, Google comes second in search in China.

    In US trade on Wednesday Baidu's shares were up 13%, and Google's down 0.57%.

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    One may argue that it is something to do with the money. Yes Money makes the mare to go. But at the end of the day rest of the world may see china as oppressive regime.

    Today google is synonyms to a reference rendezvous where very fair information about any question asked can be explored. Google is very much owed by global citizens as just after i will submit this article i be able to search it back after any time onwards.

    When rest of the world has no major complaints about google which till date has only represented what has been digitally poured into www by all of us including Chinese people. Then why its a major sensitive issue for China to suppress.

    Why the level of suppressing to such fair information is so extended that possibility of state involved can not be ruled out.

    Any nation would practise such tactics as a last resort to rescue its dying bonafide legacy or when a nation has to hide something which is objectionable to rest of the world or when a nation has hidden agenda or there in an impending design in process to raise something against another nation/s; it wants to predominate by unconventional means.

    Google may be whinging about a less fruitful endeavors but the ball is towards Chinese side of the fence. A typical blame to typical Chinese policy is again in the air; on the record.
    May be it will be a counterproductive business for google but the damage has been done to benign china.
     
  17. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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  18. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/cwg-website-was-crashed-deliberately/133123-3.html?from=tn

    New Delhi: The Commonwealth Games (CWG) website, which got more than seven million visitors everyday, buckled not because of technical glitches but a deliberate mischief, sources said.
    Few weeks ago, the Commonwealth Games website came under cyber attack which was possibly routed from China.
    Sources tell CNN-IBN that within two hours of the Games opening ceremony, the website faced massive cyber attacks, possibly from China. India's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERTIN) had to set up a special cyber control room at the games village. But the cyber attacks continued till the end of Games.

    The servers which were connected to ticket sales, event timings, and accreditation for authorized personnel and barriers controlling entry and exit into the games Village, all came under attack. The website became unusually slow and did not display correct timings for different events.
    ......................
    This is what these looser are up to. Now they need fitting reply during Asian games. Chinese trespasser are now crossing their limits. Their Jealousy and identity crisis is now well exposed.
     
  19. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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    Cyber attack before CWG opening ceremony

    NEW DELHI, INDIA: Government of India has beefed up physical security in and around the national capital region where CommonWealth Games are to take off from this evening but cyber criminals found their way to attack official website of Union Public Service Commission that has pool of valuable information on it.


    This website of Union Public Service Commission (http://www.upsc.gov.in/) came under attack from hacker this morning. The hacker used German language on the page but published MSN e-mail id issued from Chinese edition of MSN website on the hacked UPSC portal.
    “Heir geht’s zur Hauptseite,” read the home page. On clicking this text it displayed e-mail id [email protected]



    Computer Emergency Response Team took note of this attack and isolated the website from server to prevent further damage.“We have taken note of this attack and the website will be restored soon. This website is on NIC server and we have isolated it,” said Dr Gulshan Rai, director, CERT-In.Rai mentioned that there had been no other cyber attack apart from this lone incident and his team is ready to foil any attempt being made to cause damage to Indian cyberspace.


    http://www.ciol.com/News/News/News-Reports/Cyber-attack-before-CWG-opening-ceremony/141895/0/
     
  20. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Piracy is a not only ignored in China but also encouraged. Piracy, cracking, hacking and what no are all part of the training process that many Chinese go through and China seems to be preparing well for a Cyber Warfare.

    For those from Mumbai:
    Take a walk from Fountain (Hutatma Chowk) to Colaba (Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Chowk) along Mahatma Gandhi Road and you'll see hundreds of pirated CDs being sold on the footpaths.

    For those from Kolkata:
    Simply walk around the Chandni Market and you'll see exactly the same pirated CDs.

    Almost all of these CDs are from China and their packaging is also pretty good with nice cases, labels and printed CDs. If you need anything, any software, any game, just name it. You'll get it.

    N.B.: I am no Saint myself, if you know what I mean (shhhhhh).
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  21. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Well, everything that happens in China is state-sponsored. There's no sizable private sector.
     

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