Archive for the 'Unrestricted Warfare' Category



Cyber Exploitation

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 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.

Cyber Command for Department of Defense

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 8 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
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.

China and U.S. at War

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 8 months 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.


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