China’s Escalating Unrestricted Warfare against the U.S.

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 8 months ago

From the Wall Street Journal:

Computer spies have broken into the Pentagon’s $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project — the Defense Department’s costliest weapons program ever — according to current and former government officials familiar with the attacks.

Similar incidents have also breached the Air Force’s air-traffic-control system in recent months, these people say. In the case of the fighter-jet program, the intruders were able to copy and siphon off several terabytes of data related to design and electronics systems, officials say, potentially making it easier to defend against the craft.

The latest intrusions provide new evidence that a battle is heating up between the U.S. and potential adversaries over the data networks that tie the world together. The revelations follow a recent Wall Street Journal report that computers used to control the U.S. electrical-distribution system, as well as other infrastructure, have also been infiltrated by spies abroad.

Attacks like these — or U.S. awareness of them — appear to have escalated in the past six months, said one former official briefed on the matter. “There’s never been anything like it,” this person said, adding that other military and civilian agencies as well as private companies are affected. “It’s everything that keeps this country going.”

Many details couldn’t be learned, including the specific identity of the attackers, and the scope of the damage to the U.S. defense program, either in financial or security terms. In addition, while the spies were able to download sizable amounts of data related to the jet-fighter, they weren’t able to access the most sensitive material, which is stored on computers not connected to the Internet.

Former U.S. officials say the attacks appear to have originated in China. However it can be extremely difficult to determine the true origin because it is easy to mask identities online.

A Pentagon report issued last month said that the Chinese military has made “steady progress” in developing online-warfare techniques. China hopes its computer skills can help it compensate for an underdeveloped military, the report said.

The Chinese Embassy said in a statement that China “opposes and forbids all forms of cyber crimes.” It called the Pentagon’s report “a product of the Cold War mentality” and said the allegations of cyber espionage are “intentionally fabricated to fan up China threat sensations.”

The U.S. has no single government or military office responsible for cyber security. The Obama administration is likely to soon propose creating a senior White House computer-security post to coordinate policy and a new military command that would take the lead in protecting key computer networks from intrusions, according to senior officials.

The Bush administration planned to spend about $17 billion over several years on a new online-security initiative and the Obama administration has indicated it could expand on that. Spending on this scale would represent a potential windfall for government agencies and private contractors at a time of falling budgets. While specialists broadly agree that the threat is growing, there is debate about how much to spend in defending against attacks.

The Joint Strike Fighter, also known as the F-35 Lightning II, is the costliest and most technically challenging weapons program the Pentagon has ever attempted. The plane, led by Lockheed Martin Corp., relies on 7.5 million lines of computer code, which the Government Accountability Office said is more than triple the amount used in the current top Air Force fighter.

Six current and former officials familiar with the matter confirmed that the fighter program had been repeatedly broken into. The Air Force has launched an investigation.

Pentagon officials declined to comment directly on the Joint Strike Fighter compromises. Pentagon systems “are probed daily,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Butterbaugh, a Pentagon spokesman. “We aggressively monitor our networks for intrusions and have appropriate procedures to address these threats.” U.S. counterintelligence chief Joel Brenner, speaking earlier this month to a business audience in Austin, Texas, warned that fighter-jet programs have been compromised.

Foreign allies are helping develop the aircraft, which opens up other avenues of attack for spies online. At least one breach appears to have occurred in Turkey and another country that is a U.S. ally, according to people familiar with the matter.

Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft are already flying, and money to build the jet is included in the Pentagon’s budget for this year and next.

Computer systems involved with the program appear to have been infiltrated at least as far back as 2007, according to people familiar with the matter. Evidence of penetrations continued to be discovered at least into 2008. The intruders appear to have been interested in data about the design of the plane, its performance statistics and its electronic systems, former officials said.

The intruders compromised the system responsible for diagnosing a plane’s maintenance problems during flight, according to officials familiar with the matter. However, the plane’s most vital systems — such as flight controls and sensors — are physically isolated from the publicly accessible Internet, they said.

The intruders entered through vulnerabilities in the networks of two or three contractors helping to build the high-tech fighter jet, according to people who have been briefed on the matter. Lockheed Martin is the lead contractor on the program, and Northrop Grumman Corp. and BAE Systems PLC also play major roles in its development.

Lockheed Martin and BAE declined to comment. Northrop referred questions to Lockheed.  Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

“The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid,” said a senior intelligence official. “So have the Russians.”

The espionage appeared pervasive across the U.S. and doesn’t target a particular company or region, said a former Department of Homeland Security official. “There are intrusions, and they are growing,” the former official said, referring to electrical systems. “There were a lot last year.”

Shame on Northrop Grumman and Lockheed for their lack of control over their IT systems, and the Pentagon response is lousy as well.  Sure the Pentagon systems are probed daily.  That’s not the point.  China is currently in unrestricted warfare against the U.S.. and this aggresive pattern requires a robust response.  How long will we continue to make technology available to China, either through system vulnerabilities or intentional commercial technology transfer?

Prior:

China and the U.S. at War

China’s Unrestricted Warfare Against the U.S.



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  • Rider I

    Communist Chinese use Proxy agents then invade via SOE free trade zones after the economy is weakened by the fighting of proxy agents.

    How the Communist Chinese Party and their espionage unit fund terrorist and genocidal dictators that oppress world women’s rights.

    Over four years ago, America suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history, caused by a terrorist group largely known as al Qaeda. About a month after the attack, it was first reported that Communist China bought unexploded American cruise missiles from al Qaeda in order to “reverse engineer” them, i.e., use them to advance its own cruise missile capabilities. That report was just confirmed on Nov. 29. The subsequent silence from mainstream media has been deafening. What gives here? For over four years, as the democratic world has fought the War on Terror, Communist China has managed to stay out of sight and out of mind, despite the information above and immediately below. Even the pro-democracy, anti-Communist movement has largely been quiet on this. This remains a terrible and dangerous mistake. For those new to this topic, what follows is a quick synopsis of Communist China’s actions regarding al Qaeda and the Taliban. 1998: After the American cruise missile attack on al Qaeda, Communist China pays up to $10 million to al Qaeda for unexploded American cruise missiles. 1999: A book by two Communist Chinese colonels presents a battle scenario in which the World Trade Center is attacked. The authors recommend Osama bin Laden by name as someone with the ability to orchestrate the attack. September 11, 2001 (yes, that date is correct): Communist China signs a pact on economic cooperation with the Taliban. Just after September 11, 2001: The Communist press agency makes a video “glorifying the strikes as a humbling blow against an arrogant nation.” Also after September 11, 2001: According to Willy Lam (CNN), the Communist leadership considers al Qaeda to be “a check on U.S. power,” and only decides to back away from it after deciding that “now is not the time to take on the United States.” Also after September 11, 2001: As Pakistan mulls a request from the United States to allow its troops to be based there for operations against the Taliban, Communist China—a 50-year Pakistan ally—announces it would “oppose allowing foreign troops in Pakistan.” Also after September 11, 2001: U.S. intelligence finds the Communist Chinese military’s favorite technology firm—Huawei Technologies—building a telephone network in Kabul, the Afghan capital. November 2001: As U.S. Special Forces and local anti-Taliban Afghans are liberating Afghanistan, Communist China, through public statements and behind-the-scenes actions, tries to prevent what it calls “a pro-American regime” in Kabul. 2002: Raids of al Qaeda hideouts by U.S. Special Forces and allies net large caches of weapons from Communist China, including surface-to-air missiles. This comes weeks after the U.S. government warns that al Qaeda terrorists in the U.S. would try to use said missiles to take down American planes. April 2002: Then-Communist Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, while visiting Iran, rips the U.S. military presence in Central Asia. Late summer 2002: Almost a year after Afghanistan’s liberation, a three-man delegation from the Taliban—led by Ustad Khalil, purported to be Mullah Omar’s right-hand man—spends a week in Communist China meeting with cadres, at their invitation. August 2002: Intelligence from the post-Taliban Afghan government reveals that Communist China has turned a part of Pakistan deemed under its control (most likely “Aksai Chin,” the piece of disputed Kashmir that Pakistan gave to its longtime ally in the 1960s) into a safe haven for al Qaeda. May 2004: Media reports expose how the Communist Chinese intelligence service used some of its front companies in financial markets around the world to help al Qaeda raise and launder money for its operations. Yet Communist China continues to claim that it is our friend in the War on Terror, and foolish supporters of “engagement” continue to believe it. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not merely al Qaeda that has received Communist support (for more on Communist China’s extensive ties to terrorists, check out my book on the subject), but given the nearly universal acceptance of al Qaeda as an enemy of the democratic world, one would think that the above information would be enough for a serious and thorough reexamination of our relations with the Communists. After all, Communist China’s reasons for supporting anti-American terrorists are not difficult to ascertain. The U.S. is the main obstacle to the Communists’ plans for conquering Taiwan, replacing Japan as the lead power in Asia, and replacing the U.S. as the lead world power. If Communist China fails in any of these, its reliance on radical nationalism—the regime’s raison d’etre since the Tiananmen Square massacre—will backfire badly. Thus, the Chinese Communist Party sees the United States as the chief threat to its power, and its survival. Yet President Bush has not once demanded that Communist China end its support for al Qaeda—indeed, he has not even acknowledged the existence of that support. Sadly, he is not alone. In fact, those of us who insist on spreading the word about this are in the distinct minority. If we are to win the War on Terror, this must change. The War on Terror is, in fact, part of the Second Cold War—the cold war between Communist China and the democratic world. As such, the War on Terror can not and will not be won unless the free world sees the Chinese Communist Party for what it really is: an enemy. The road to victory in the War on Terror ends not in Kabul, Baghdad, Tehran, or Damascus, but in Beijing. America and her allies will never be secure until China is free. D.J. McGuire is President and Co-Founder of the China e-Lobby, and the author of Dragon in the Dark: How and Why Communist China Helps Our Enemies in the War on Terror. http://www.homelandsecurityus.net/al%20qaedas%20link%20to%20other%20countries/al_qaeda%20china%20tie.htm http://rideriantieconomicwarfaretrisiii.blogspot.com/

    Rider I


You are currently reading "China’s Escalating Unrestricted Warfare against the U.S.", entry #2730 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) China,Department of Defense,Unrestricted Warfare and was published April 21st, 2009 by Herschel Smith.

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