Archive for the 'China' Category



China, SAPI Plates And Environmental Hypocrisy

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 4 months ago

Fellow gun blogger Mike Vanderboegh gives us a link to Strategy Page on the various issues surrounding quality with SAPI plates.  As I’ve said before, my own son was saved by a SAPI plate.

I usually don’t like citing Strategy Page for anything.  They don’t provide sources, and if it’s public domain (as it is from time to time), they don’t supply URLs.  I also think that this particular Strategy Page article spends too much effort to explain something fairly simple.  SAPI plates are for 5.56 mm rounds, while ESAPI plates are designed for 7.62 X 39.  Troops generally train with SAPI plates, and get issued ESAPI plates in theater.

But this little tease at the end of the article is worth some thought.

All these plates are made of boron carbide ceramic with a spectra shield backing. This combination causes bullets to fragment and slow down before getting through the plate. Occasionally, some fragments will get through, but these are stopped by the layers of Kevlar that make up the flak jackets. The ceramic plates require a manufacturing process that uses, and produces, a lot of toxic chemicals. As a result of this, much of the production has moved to China.

Did you get that?  Much of the production has moved to China.  Ponder that statement for a moment.

China is the land of counterfeit parts, and not just any counterfeit parts, but ones intended for our military.  But there is another dirty little secret that most engineers know.  The Far East (China, and to some extent Japan) doesn’t do QA.  Engineers who have components fabricated in Japan must travel there extensively and repeatedly to ensure that they get what they’ve ordered.  Then usually they still don’t.

China is even worse.  The concept of QA isn’t part of the cultural or social fabric of the country.  They don’t understand it, don’t live it, don’t abide by its principles, and don’t have any conceptual understanding of it.  Nuclear power plants are forbidden by federal orders from installing parts fabricated in China.

Here is a note to my readers.  Procure anything that must be reliable in America.  Do not purchase guns, ammunition, tactical equipment, important products and supplies, body armor (soft or hard plate) or anything else from China.  Don’t do it.  Just say no.

As for the ESAPI plates being made there, it’s just a little hypocritical to claim that our EPA is trying to protect the environment while in fact we just ship our “pollution” overseas.  This isn’t the only product with which this kind of thing is done.

Ah.  Hypocrisy.  Rather like the ATF claiming to enforce gun laws while shipping thousands of rifles and handguns into the hands of Mexican cartels, no?

Continuing Fallout from Bin Laden Raid: Growing Chinese Role in Pakistan?

BY Glen Tschirgi
2 years, 11 months ago

The raid to kill Bin Laden in Abbatabad, Pakistan, like a nuclear blast, has fallout beyond the immediate event.

One of those effects is the apparent impetus for closer relations between Pakistan and China.

The Economist noted earlier this month that Pakistan made no secret of praising its relations with China in the aftermath of the Bin Laden raid.

PAKISTAN’S ambassador to Beijing, Masood Kahn, was this week fully armed with metaphors to describe the robust friendship between the two countries. “We say it is higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, stronger than steel, dearer than eyesight, sweeter than honey, and so on.”

The relationship is indeed a geopolitical keystone for both countries. Pakistan serves as China’s closest friend both in South Asia and among Islamic countries. So close, indeed, that many suspect China has asked Pakistan for the valuable remains of the American stealth helicopter abandoned during the bin Laden raid. Meanwhile, China can help counterbalance Pakistan’s arch-rival, India, including in Afghanistan.

Pakistan seems keen to foster the impression that new tensions with America might nudge it even closer towards China. In his blustery speech to parliament on May 9th Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani struck out on an odd tangent to praise China as an “all-weather friend”, providing Pakistan with strength and inspiration. Not to be outdone, President Asif Zardari issued an effusive statement of his own about a friendship “not matched by any other relationship between two sovereign countries”.

Others have noted the attempts by Pakistan to curry favor with China as well.   The Wall Street Journal Online has this:

BEIJING—Pakistan’s defense minister said China has agreed to take over operation of the strategically positioned but underused port of Gwadar, and that Islamabad would like the Chinese to build a base there for the Pakistani navy.

Ahmad Mukhtar gave no clear timetable on the possible change at Gwadar, on Pakistan’s western coast, which is currently managed by a Singaporean government company. But his statement Saturday is the latest illustration of how Pakistan is portraying China as a powerful alternative ally and aid source if the U.S. scales down military assistance for Islamabad in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s killing.

On the whole, given the duplicity of Pakistan and the inevitable conflict in the Pakistani tribal areas, putting some distance between the U.S. and Pakistan may be beneficial in the long run.   In other words:  if you want to jump into bed with China, good luck with their cold feet.

Both The Economist and The Wall Street Journal Online note the decidedly ambivalent feelings about Pakistan by the Chinese.  The Economist cautions:

But if Islamabad is worried about falling out with Washington and hopes to get more out of Beijing, it may be in for disappointment. According to Zhu Feng of Peking University, such calculations based on “the traditional mentality of power politics” are misplaced. China’s robust, longstanding ties with Pakistan stand on their own merits, he says, and owe nothing to America’s standing in Pakistan. Both China and America want a stable Pakistan.

For all that, China’s dealings with Pakistan have always been conducted with one eye on India. Last year Beijing chose to supply Pakistan with two new civilian nuclear reactors, even though the deal appeared to violate Chinese non-proliferation commitments. It was a boon not only for Pakistan’s energy-starved economy. It was, as Mr Zhu points out, also a way for China to counterbalance a controversial nuclear deal reached earlier between America and India.

China and Pakistan have a lustily growing trade relationship, worth almost $9 billion last year. China provides military gear, including fighter jets and frigates. Some Chinese infrastructure projects in Pakistan have strategic implications. They include ports on the Arabian Sea and a proposed rail project which has yet to be approved, but which would arouse controversy, and Indian ire, by running through contested territory in Kashmir.

Still, China’s commitment to Pakistan has its limits. After devastating floods last year, America gave Pakistan $690m, 28% of all international aid. China’s contribution was a mere $18m. According to Andrew Small of the German Marshall Fund, an American policy institute, Pakistan may be “talking up the ‘China option’ beyond where the Chinese are willing to go.” China, he reckons, will be reluctant to tilt too far towards what might look like an anti-India alliance”. Despite border disagreements, China wants to keep its relations with India in reasonable order.

What is more, Pakistan’s chronic instability and its failure, whether by design or incompetence, to suppress extremism make Pakistan as hard a partner for China to trust as for America. “Sweeter than honey” may be plenty sweet enough.

The WSJ sounds a similar note:

China is eager to expand its influence in Pakistan over the long term, but is wary of the country’s chronic instability, which was highlighted late Sunday when a Pakistani naval base was attacked in the western port of Karachi, about 300 miles southeast of Gwadar.

Indeed.  In some ways, Pakistan and China are made for each other.  One is chronically unstable and in dire need of constant foreign aid while the other is infamously stingy and calculating in its foreign affairs.   May they enjoy each others’ company for many years.  We can certainly use the money wasted in foreign aid to Pakistan for better purposes such as freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil.

At the same time, there is no doubt that India feels the pressure of a nuclear Pakistan and nuclear China on its borders.   The U.S. has everything to gain by pursuing closer ties with India, the rising power of the Near East.   Trading Pakistan for India would be like trading Hillary Clinton for Sarah Palin.   I think we can live with that exchange.

But we should be under no illusions that, whatever happens to the American-Pakistani relationship, China is increasingly in the mood to flex its muscles in the region.   According to an article flagged at Hot Air, China has reportedly given the U.S. something of an ultimatum regarding any future border incursions into Pakistan:

Barack Obama says that if the US has another chance to get a high-value terrorist target like Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, he’ll make the same call as he did earlier this month.  Not so fast, says China.  According to a report from India a few days ago, China has warned that an “attack” on Pakistan will be taken as an attack on China (via Pundit Press):

In the wake of the US raid in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden, China has “warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China”, a media report claimed today.

The warning was formally conveyed by the Chinese foreign minister at last week’s China-US strategic dialogue and economic talks in Washington, The News daily quoted diplomatic sources as saying. China also advised the USa to “respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and solidarity”, the report said.

Chinese Premier Mr Wen Jiabao informed his Pakistani counterpart Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani about the matters taken up with the US during their formal talks at the Great Hall of the People yesterday. The report said China “warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China”. The two premiers held a 45-minute one-on-one meeting before beginning talks with their delegations.

The Chinese leadership was “extremely forthcoming in assuring its unprecedented support to Pakistan for its national cause and security” and discussed all subjects of mutual interest with Mr Gilani, the report said. Mr Gilani described Pakistan-China relations and friendship as “unique”. Talking to Pakistani journalists accompanying him, he said that China had acknowledged his country’s contribution and sacrifices in the war against terrorism and supported its cause at the international level. “China supported Pakistan’s cause on its own accord,” Mr Gilani said with reference to the Sino-US strategic dialogue where the Chinese told the US that Pakistan should be helped and its national honour respected. Mr Gilani said China had asked the US to improve its relations with Pakistan, keeping in view the present scenario.

It it difficult to believe that China would truly be willing to go to war over, say, a Predator drone attack or even a SOF incursion into the FATA, but uncertainty over China’s reaction to any future missions of a similar nature will only add to the difficulty of having an ally with whom you are, in some measure, at war.

China Undermining U.S. Efforts in Afghanistan?

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 4 months ago

From Aviation Week (courtesy of Tigerhawk):

Chinese advisers are believed to be working with Afghan Taliban groups who are now in combat with NATO forces, prompting concerns that China might become the conduit for shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, improved communications and additional small arms to the fundamentalist Muslim fighters.

A British military official contends that Chinese specialists have been seen training Taliban fighters in the use of infrared-guided surface-to-air missiles. This is supported by a May 13, 2008, classified U.S. State Department document released by WikiLeaks telling U.S. officials to confront Chinese officials about missile proliferation.

China is developing knock-offs of Russian-designed man-portable air defense missiles (manpads), including the QW-1 and later series models. The QW-1 Vanguard is an all-aspect, 35-lb. launch tube and missile that is reverse-engineered from the U.S. Stinger and the SA-16 Gimlet (9K310 Igla-1). China obtained SA-16s from Unita rebels in then-Zaire who had captured them from Angolan government forces. The 16g missiles have a slant range of 50,000 ft. The QW-1M is a variant that incorporates even more advanced SA-18 Grouse (9K38 Igla) technology.

So far, there has been a curious absence of manpad attacks on NATO aircraft in Afghanistan. One reason is that the Russian equipment still in place is out of date and effectively no longer usable, the British official says. Another may be that the possession of such a weapon is a status symbol, so owners are reluctant to use it. However, the introduction of new manpads could change that equation.

Although there have been no attacks using manpads, “we act as if they exist,” notes the British officer. “We know they are out there,” he says, alluding to the proliferation of increasingly advanced missiles on the black and gray markets.

In fact, NATO officials know they exist, at least in Iraq, according to the classified U.S. State Department document. U.S. officials were instructed to provide the Chinese government with pictures of QW-1 missiles found in Iraq and ask how such missiles were transferred.

The report goes on to outline various question marks thrown up within the intelligence and diplomatic communities about this report.  But assuming its accuracy, it shows once again that China is at war with the U.S., and correctly and accurately speaking, unrestricted warfare.

Secretary Gates recently made a fantasy land visit to China, calling for the two countries to prevent “mistrust, miscalculations and mistakes.”  Into which category does providing weapons to insurgents in Afghanistan fall?

Concerning Cartoons and the Chinese Military

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 6 months ago

I was watching cartoons over the weekend (don’t ask me the context, please), and spent a couple of minutes on one very special one about the bears and foxes.

Kai-lan and her friends are playing in the backyard when they get a visit from their superhero friend, the Monkey King, who really needs their help! There’s trouble in a kingdom far away–the foxes and bears who live there won’t talk to each other and there’s only one person who can help them become friends–Kai-lan! Kai-lan and her friends set off on a magical adventure with the Monkey King to help the Fox King and Bear Queen (voiced by Lucy Liu) work out their differences.

As it turns out, the bears danced and shook the ground, while the foxes sang and polluted the environment with noise.  All they really needed was to talk to each other.  The solution to their differences was for the bears to dance while the foxes sang, and they were both happy!

It was all very sweet – for a two or three year old.

In our very own, real life version of the bears and foxes, Secretary Gates must figure that we just need to communicate better with the Chinese military.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie, in Vietnam on Monday for the first time since the two militaries suspended talks with each other last winter, calling for the two countries to prevent “mistrust, miscalculations and mistakes.”

His message seemed directed mainly at officers like Lt. Cmdr. Tony Cao of the Chinese Navy.

Days before Mr. Gates arrived in Asia, Commander Cao was aboard a frigate in the Yellow Sea, conducting China’s first war games with the Australian Navy, exercises to which, he noted pointedly, the Americans were not invited.

Nor are they likely to be, he told Australian journalists in slightly bent English, until “the United States stops selling the weapons to Taiwan and stopping spying us with the air or the surface.”

The Pentagon is worried that its increasingly tense relationship with the Chinese military owes itself in part to the rising leaders of Commander Cao’s generation, who, much more than the country’s military elders, view the United States as the enemy. Older Chinese officers remember a time, before the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 set relations back, when American and Chinese forces made common cause against the Soviet Union.

The younger officers have known only an anti-American ideology, which casts the United States as bent on thwarting China’s rise.

“All militaries need a straw man, a perceived enemy, for solidarity,” said Huang Jing, a scholar of China’s military and leadership at the National University of Singapore. “And as a young officer or soldier, you always take the strongest of straw men to maximize the effect. Chinese military men, from the soldiers and platoon captains all the way up to the army commanders, were always taught that America would be their enemy.”

The stakes have increased as China’s armed forces, once a fairly ragtag group, have become more capable and have taken on bigger tasks. The navy, the centerpiece of China’s military expansion, has added dozens of surface ships and submarines, and is widely reported to be building its first aircraft carrier. Last month’s Yellow Sea maneuvers with the Australian Navy are but the most recent in a series of Chinese military excursions to places as diverse as New Zealand, Britain and Spain.

China is also reported to be building an antiship ballistic missile base in southern China’s Guangdong Province, with missiles capable of reaching the Philippines and Vietnam. The base is regarded as an effort to enforce China’s territorial claims to vast areas of the South China Sea claimed by other nations, and to confront American aircraft carriers that now patrol the area unmolested.

Even improved Chinese forces do not have capacity or, analysts say, the intention, to fight a more able United States military. But their increasing range and ability, and the certainty that they will only become stronger, have prompted China to assert itself regionally and challenge American dominance in the Pacific.

That makes it crucial to help lower-level Chinese officers become more familiar with the Americans, experts say, before a chance encounter blossoms into a crisis.

It’s almost as if the Chinese military is already studying cyber exploitation within the context of offensive operations; it’s almost as if they already practice it; it’s almost as if the Chinese military has been trained up in the art of unrestricted warfare; it’s almost as if, in a different time, the recent Chinese saber-rattling in the South Pacific would have caused Japan to seek stronger military ties with the U.S. Oh, wait.  They have already done that.

Perhaps Japan needs to watch the cartoon about the bears and foxes.  Then we could all understand everyone’s point of view and get along.

Cyber Exploitation

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 7 months ago

Today at The Captain’s Journal:

Cyber_Exploitation

Take careful note.  This is a visit from the Chinese Army, searching the terms “cyber exploitation and offensive operations.”

Now recall TCJ articles:

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

China and U.S. at War

China’s Unrestricted Warfare Against the U.S.

Cutting Japan Loose from U.S. Support

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 7 months ago

The recent Japanese elections have caused Japan to turn a corner, or so the current analysis goes.

Japanese voters swept the opposition to a historic victory in an election on Sunday, ousting the ruling conservative party and handing the untested Democrats the job of breathing life into a struggling economy.

The win by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended a half-century of almost unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and breaks a deadlock in parliament, ushering in a government that has promised to focus spending on consumers, cut wasteful budget outlays and reduce the power of bureaucrats …

“This is about the end of the post-war political system in Japan,” said Gerry Curtis, a Japanese expert at Columbia University. “It marks the end of one long era, and the beginning of another one about which there is a lot of uncertainty” …

The Democrats have pledged to refocus spending on households with child allowances and aid for farmers while taking control of policy from bureaucrats, who are often blamed for Japan’s failure to tackle problems such as a creaking pension system.

“The problem is how much the Democrats can truly deliver in the first 100 days. If they can come up with a cabinet line-up swiftly, that will ease market concerns over their ability to govern,” said Koichi Haji, chief economist at the NLI Research Institute in Tokyo.

“Because hopes for change are so big, the disappointment would be huge if the Democrats can’t deliver results.”

The Democrats want to forge a diplomatic stance more independent of the United States, raising concerns about possible friction in the alliance.

“The LDP is probably going to be missed more in Washington than in Japan,” said Michael Auslin at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

Yea, other nations have had that problem of huge disappointment at the broken promises too.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes before reality sets in.  As for forging a future more independent of the U.S., we should oblige them.  Stability in the Pacific rim, particularly for South Korea and Japan, has been assured by the financially convenient arrangement to rely on the umbrella of protection afforded by U.S. military power.

China has been profoundly unwilling to help with the neurotic dictator in North Korea for the same reason that its Navy has been more aggressive in Pacific waters (mostly littoral waters) and cyberwar is being forced on the U.S. by China.  There is no proximate threat to its security.

The best way to ensure that North Korea is reined in is to help South Korea to become independent of U.S. help and protection.  Once this is effected, the silly “sunshine diplomacy” with the North will be history.  Likewise, the easiest way for China to feel the effects of a militaristic neighbor on its coast and forget its preoccupation with the U.S. military is to let Japan become truly independent of U.S. military protection.

The Democrats in Japan probably aren’t thinking about U.S. protection when they say that they want a future more independent of the U.S.  But a change to Article 9 the Japanese constitution should occur within short order if it is made clear that their umbrella has evaporated.  It is believed that Japan is a de facto nuclear state anyway due to the fact that it could produce nuclear weapons in about a year.

There isn’t any reason that Japan should feel the freedom to forge closer ties with Asia while at the same time it relies on nuclear protection by the U.S.  If Japan wants to grow up, we should let her.  But growing up comes with new responsibilities – expensive ones.  It’s doubtful that the Democrats planned for that.

Cyber Command for Department of Defense

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 12 months ago

SECDEF Gates plans for a new Cyber Command.

The Pentagon is planning to create a new military command to focus on cyberspace and protect its computer networks from cyber attacks, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The move comes as the White House is poised to release a broader study on the nation’s cyber security. Officials in recent months have increasingly warned that the nation’s networks are at risk and repeatedly are being probed by foreign governments, criminals or other groups.

The Pentagon has been reviewing for at least a year just how it needs to reorganize military efforts on cyber issues, one official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. Another official said that under the new plan, being finalized now, a sub-command could be set up under the U.S. Strategic Command.

Located at Offutt Air Force Base just south of Omaha, Neb., the command oversees space issues and is responsible for protecting and monitoring the military’s information grid, as well as coordinating any offensive cyber warfare on behalf of the country.

Defense Department networks are probed repeatedly every day and the number of intrusion attempts have more than doubled recently, officials have said. Military leaders said earlier this month that the Pentagon spent more than $100 million in the last six months responding to and repairing damage from cyber attacks and other computer network problems.

In the Pentagon’s budget request submitted last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon will increase the number of cyberexperts it can train each year from 80 to 250 by 2011.

It’s the right move.  It may result in draconian new rules and regulations on IT practices and data fidelity and security, but the defense contractors should remember that their own sloppy IT practices in part led to this.  It’s about time we fully engaged China in their Unrestricted Warfare against the U.S.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Prior:

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

China and the U.S. at War

China’s Unrestricted Warfare Against the U.S.

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

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 12 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.

China and U.S. at War

BY Herschel Smith
5 years ago

We have previously noted how the Chinese hackers and cyberspies are not merely snooping; they are engaged in what China considers to be Unrestricted Warfare against the U.S.  Now comes an even more disturbing account of the extent of their activities.

The Chinese cyber spies have penetrated so deep into the US system — ranging from its secure defence network, banking system, electricity grid to putting spy chips into its defence planes — that it can cause serious damage to the US any time, a top US official on counter-intelligence has said.

“Chinese penetrations of unclassified DoD networks have also been widely reported. Those are more sophisticated, though hardly state of the art,” said National Counterintelligence Executive, Joel Brenner, at the Austin University Texas last week, according to a transcript made available on Wednesday.

Listing out some of the examples of Chinese cyber spy penetration, he said: “We’re also seeing counterfeit routers and chips, and some of those chips have made their way into US military fighter aircraft.. You don’t sneak counterfeit chips into another nation’s aircraft to steal data. When it’s done intentionally, it’s done to degrade systems, or to have the ability to do so at a time of one’s choosing.”

Referring to the Chinese networks penetrating the cyber grids, he said: “Do I worry about those grids, and about air traffic control systems, water supply systems, and so on? You bet I do. America’s networks are being mapped. There has also been experience of both Chinese and criminal network operations in the networks of some of the banks”.

Note the malicious intent – counterfeit routers and chips found in U.S. military aircraft.  No longer restricted to just water supply systems, electrical grids and banking networks, as if that isn’t enough, we are now finding intentional electronic attacks against U.S. military hardware.

There is a Sino-American war going on, even if America is not yet engaged.

China’s Unrestricted Warfare Against the U.S.

BY Herschel Smith
5 years ago

Just nosy snooping, or something larger?

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.”

Many of the intrusions were detected not by the companies in charge of the infrastructure but by U.S. intelligence agencies, officials said. Intelligence officials worry about cyber attackers taking control of electrical facilities, a nuclear power plant or financial networks via the Internet.

Authorities investigating the intrusions have found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components, the senior intelligence official said. He added, “If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on.”

Officials said water, sewage and other infrastructure systems also were at risk.

“Over the past several years, we have seen cyberattacks against critical infrastructures abroad, and many of our own infrastructures are as vulnerable as their foreign counterparts,” Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair recently told lawmakers. “A number of nations, including Russia and China, can disrupt elements of the U.S. information infrastructure.”

The concerns about nuclear reactors being controlled from software is an overreach, since the plant operators and control systems are the only ones who have direct control over plant components.  However, the balance of the concerns are salient.

This is much more than nosy snooping, although there is no need to exonerate nosy snooping either.  In 1999 two Colonels in the Chinese Army, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, authored a study entitled Unrestricted Warfare.  In it, they argued that while conventional warfare had become too costly in terms of its financial and political ramifications, rather than relying on direct military confrontation alone, other means must be employed to defeat the U.S.  These include lawfare and political pressure, network warfare and terrorism, among other means.  The entire study is worth reading.

What is being witnessed is network warfare.  It’s more than just stealing proprietary information and technological secrets (although they have indeed managed to obtain some very important technology in miniturization of nuclear weapons).  This goes to actual warfare, although not of the kind the public typically thinks of when considering war.

But it is no less dangerous, hostile and intended for harm.  If you doubt this, consider a nation without electricity, water, banking, refrigeration, and traffic signals.  Now consider the fact that China is pursuing an aircraft carrier, is flexing its muscle in its littorals, and is designing UAVs for the purpose of “military aerial inspection and detection, electronic warfare and other missions.”


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