Cyber warfare is part of every developed country’s 21st century arsenal. Although no U.S. official will admit it, the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA regularly probe and try to hack into China’s military and industrial computer networks to obtain the information that years ago were brought back by the James Bonds of spy services. The U.S., and many of our European allies, try to find ways to wreck some havoc in the Chinese computer grid if a conflict ever takes place. The difference is that the Chinese are better than anyone else and lead the way in technological breakthroughs for the cyber battlefield. An FBI report concludes that a massive Chinese cyberattack could “be in the magnitude of a weapon of mass destruction,” says the analyst, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about it, adding that it would do substantial damage to the American economy, telecommunications, electric power grid, and military preparedness.

The FBI report estimates that since 2003, the Chinese Army has specifically developed a network of over 30,000 Chinese military cyberspies, plus more than 150,000 private-sector computer experts, whose mission is to steal American military and technological secrets and cause mischief in government and financial services. China’s goal, says the FBI report, is to have the world’s premier “informationized armed forces” by 2020. According to the bureau’s classified information, the Chinese hackers are adept at implanting malicious computer code, and in 2009 companies in diverse industries such as oil and gas, banking, aerospace, and telecommunications encountered costly and at times debilitating problems with Chinese-implanted “malware.” The FBI analyst would not name the affected companies.

The idiots who insist on connecting critical military and infrastructure systems to public networks make it easy for these guys.




  1. LOWER CASE SCREEN NAME says:

    Yeah, we’re screwed.

    The Apache foundation was just hacked again. It’s hard enough to secure things, why make it easier?

  2. ECA says:

    I agree, and its the same complaint Iv given MANY..
    IMPORTANT machines should NEVER be allowed NEAR the net.
    A physical PERSON, must evaluate and scan anything that comes in, and is SUPPOSED to be placed on the MAIN machine.

  3. bill says:

    What ever happened to SNA/SDLC?

    It seems like we need a change to TCP/IP and maybe make it a little more sophisticated..

  4. Somebody_Else says:

    The regulations state that computers containing classified data are never supposed to be connected to the internet. All the contractors I’ve worked for were great in this regard. They go as far as banning unchecked electronics (even calculators) from being brought in and locking down USB ports on all systems, classified or not.

    The problem is, as usual, government ineptitude. The Pentagon didn’t stop people from bringing in USB drives until 2008. God knows how much crap is floating around on their systems.

  5. Killer Duck says:

    I’ve been saying for a couple years that the next world war will be won in the first 20 milliseconds.
    Of course, I’m confident we have far better hackers than China has, they are just at the NSA and CIA and not going to show up in some report.

    #3 you are correct. China was much safer for the US when it was fully communist. Now that they have a taste of capitalism, their hunger for world domination will only increase. We could outsource every job in the US to China, and China would still have a labor surplus. Too many walmart dwellers in the US are oblivious to what their cheap purchases of crap are doing to the overall economy…and balance of power.

    Of course there is one “hack” that could really destroy the industrialized world. A single nuclear device detonated over Ohio would pretty much throw the US into the stone ages. Google for “EM Pulse”

  6. sargasso says:

    Sandboxing essential systems, would stop this style of trojan infiltration in it’s tracks. I agree with honeyman’s comment.

  7. Evil Mr. Foo says:

    what sort of moron would put info that sensitive on the net and then cry about it being taken?

    if you leave your wallet on a bus would you expect it to stay there nice and safe?

  8. Skeptic says:

    “An FBI report concludes that a massive Chinese cyberattack could “be in the magnitude of a weapon of mass destruction,”

    Aw crap… not another alarmist campaign. Isn’t ‘global warming but temporary cooling climate change’ and the worldwide killer H1N1 pandemic enough? I guess the scariness of those two is wearing thin.

    Ask yourself this… Why would China financially incapacitate it’s biggest customer?

  9. Grandpa says:

    I’m not worried at all with China cyber attacks. I worry a lot more about my own country doing the same thing to US and not getting caught. Do you really think the good ole USA government doesn’t watch our e-mail? Just what do you think your government does when it finds citizens it thinks are dangerous?

    Shame on China for getting caught!

  10. GetReal says:

    Read the novel “Breakpoint” by Richard C. Clarke, the former national security advisor to democratic and republican presidents. In the first chapter he talks about our military using the public internet infrastructure for many functions.

    Some think our government can’t do anything right. They do many things right and many things wrong; but at least they don’t willingly sell out their country for money.

    That distinction belongs to private enterprise, senators and representatives – not government employees.

  11. Camacho For President says:

    The FBI report estimates that since 2003, the Chinese Army has specifically developed a network of over 30,000 Chinese military cyberspies, plus more than 150,000 private-sector computer experts,

    30,000 cyber spies? 150,000 computer experts? Do you all believe these numbers?

    China is big but not that big. FBI is creating these reports so that counter espionage contracts can be given out to private contractors.

    American intelligence agencies routinely use Chinese servers to launch attacks on American assets. Chinese authorities provide the utmost cooperation to the American agencies in this.

  12. deowll says:

    It is harder to hack a dedicated machine running off ROM chips.

    #6. EMP is the magic weapon in the electronic age. Any country that can make the right kind of nuke and put it in the correct orbit about 300 miles up can terminate just about every sophisticated electronic device in North America or one end of Eurasia.

    You don’t put a weapon in space you put up a communication device/weather satellite/astronomical instrument that contains the bomb. You set it off before the lasers on the ground can cook it or a missile can take it out and that should take at least a few seconds even with the laser so you would have some warning though maybe not enough depending on the orbit of the satellite. This suggests you need to be the one to act first. Not good.

    The victim is going to take a year or more to even began to recover if they ever do.

  13. GF says:

    Do you think China is cracking down on internet porn because of morality or that they don’t want to shit (release maleware) were they eat?

  14. Mike Strong says:

    I almost never see anyone mention the amount of computer hardware made in China as being a massive problem. All those chips down on the mother board and in how many places? Should never have been any wonder. I wondered why almost 30 years ago. Didn’t seem safe then but we’ve sold out on our industrial base – and these centrally important parts are now manufactured out of our control.

  15. ECA says:

    1/2 THE PROBLEM comes with EDUCATION..
    They REALLY arnt teaching kids to THINK.
    To THINK BROADLY and to go out and LEARN something.

    There is a derogatory going around, “SCRIPT KIDDIES”. And it has ALLOT of meaning behind it.
    MANY of us OLDER then 30, remember Mags that HELPED us program computers and Game machines, like the C64, AMIGA, and even the old INTEL.
    Learning PEEKS, POKES, and copying 16 pages of Decimal converted to HEX for TRUE ML games, was cool.
    WHEn the Internet got interesting and HTML was just starting, there were a good amount of BAREBONES net programmers.
    NOW there are 6+ Languages and you use Conversion programs to make things EASY, and you PROBABLY would be able to SEE a RAW error if it STOOD UP AND YELLED, “LOOK OVER HERE”.

  16. ECA says:

    iM SORRY,
    I have to say something else and its weird.
    I will say that BASIC ed is great.
    BASIC learning is great.
    LEARNING to THINK is great.

    But as with computers the WORLD gets to complex, MOST of the time to keep all of this in 1 head.
    They call it INFORMATION OVER LOAD.
    and it is HERE.
    They have made a EASY SIMPLE world, into a complex pile of BULL.(BS, for those that understand)
    they want you to work 40 + hours per week(just to LIVE)
    They want you to READ at least 200 pages per day of NEWS and politics to KEEP UP.
    They want you to know HOW to DRIVE
    They want you to KNOW how to cook and clean
    They want you to KNOW what is happening in the world(WHO CARES)
    They want you to …… this could go “on and ON”. but you have to CARE for what you are doing, and DOING to others.
    DONT just LABEL them. HELP THEM.
    HIDING WORDS and HIDING the PROBLEM does NOT get rid of it.
    THOSE that are understanding ENOUGH, know there are 3 ways of understanding, and that TEACHERS only use 1.
    SOME of the smartest people in the WORLD, tend NOT to be HANDI-CAPABLE..fun word isnt it. IT MEANS THEY ARE HANDICAPPED.
    If you study LONG and HARd and cant do the job..
    YOU TEACH the job..
    IF you cant TEACH the job, you go into POLITICS or RELIGION..

  17. dazedandconfused says:

    uhmm, what was the topic again??

  18. Pikachu says:

    If the Chinese are such great software engineers, why do they need to STEAL source code?

  19. Corsair says:

    China?!? lol. Germany FTW

  20. Guyver says:

    2, ECA, IMPORTANT machines should NEVER be allowed NEAR the net.

    That’s not always practical in a network-centric world.

    9, Skeptic Ask yourself this… Why would China financially incapacitate it’s biggest customer?

    China is currently a regional power. China desires to be a global power and has a “100-year” plan to get there. In the big picture, they realize we will eventually try to put them in check when they start to expand their sphere of influence as a global power. They things they are doing today help setup the framework for their vision of the future. They will not overtly “incapacitate” us in the near future.

    If they ever needed to engage us militarily, they would take us out at our weakest point. I forget the name of the Chinese General they’re following, but they believe in what is called asymmetric warfare when engaging a technologically superior enemy. In other words, you take your enemy out at their weakest link. In this case, they will likely use the technological infrastructure they’ve manufactured for us against us.

    This all being said, I’m pretty certain that many U.S. tech companies have also intentionally developed back doors and kill switches at the request of the U.S. government.

    11, GetReal, Some think our government can’t do anything right. They do many things right and many things wrong; but at least they don’t willingly sell out their country for money.

    That distinction belongs to private enterprise, senators and representatives – not government employees.

    Google how the 3Com deal went down in the past year or so and what the ramifications were on that.

    15, Mike Strong, I almost never see anyone mention the amount of computer hardware made in China as being a massive problem. All those chips down on the mother board and in how many places? Should never have been any wonder. I wondered why almost 30 years ago.

    BINGO!!! COTS drove a lot of this too. What has happened is the MBA-mindset amongst civilian leadership within the DOD. When you reduce national defense down to just a bottom line, then you invite cutting corners in order to save money. Not a good idea when it comes to national defense. The key concerns are:

    1. Kill Switches
    2. Back Doors
    3. Unreliable performance (poor quality)

    The tragic part is the DOD civilians who sold the idea of using COTS within the military probably got promoted due to their sales pitch of how they saved everyone money.

    DARPA is looking into the first two concerns through a program called “Trust in Integrated Circuits”. Google it.

    How concerned is the Pentagon? “Despite a six-year effort to build trusted computer chips for military systems, the Pentagon now manufactures in secure facilities run by American companies only about 2 percent of the more than $3.5 billion of integrated circuits bought annually for use in military gear.

    http://tinyurl.com/ye5e7gt

    19, Pikachu, If the Chinese are such great software engineers, why do they need to STEAL source code?

    That’s how they close the technological gap they have with us. Rather than spend tons of time and money closing the gap, they’re simply stealing it from us. They want to learn everything thing that took us years to develop in a fraction of the time. It’s part of their “100-year” plan.

  21. chris says:

    #12 Camacho For President <-Love the name.

    China's intelligence efforts are based on the idea of "a thousand grains of sand." This means that they try to recruit almost anyone with technical aptitude who is western bound. Successful recruits tend not to be intelligence goldmines, but if everybody brings back a bit then the overall take is pretty good.

    #15 Actually chips of Chinese manufacture are a known security concern.

  22. ECA says:

    #21 GUYVER..
    yES IT IS..
    If you have a computer that YOU THINK will be a major target, DONT allow it on the net.
    USE a Second machine as a CRASH machine. LOAD UP and test and RUn what you wish..ONLY transfer progs/data tot he MAIn machine after its tested and CLEANED and verified.

    The 2 machines should run almost the same, really. UNLESS an infection or attempt is made to kill it.
    AND if this happens, GUESS WHAT. you still have the MAIN as a backup.
    CLEAN the CRASH computer, ERASE and start over, as the MAIN is running the site, and install what IS’ still alive on the main to the CRASH computer(the NEW MAIN). as the OLD main, is NOW the CRASH computer.

    Its just a RUNNING backup computer, that you KNOW is clean and working.
    If you are foolish enough to let the MAIn computer have access to the NET, you are aiming for a crash. There are to many ways to crash it. esp with WINDOWS.

  23. honeyman says:

    #25 Chilico

    If US companies weren’t so eager to exploit cheap Chinese labour and lax environmental / labour standards, then perhaps things might have been different. As it stands, corporate greed and mindless consumption is killing the US. Sometimes less is more.

  24. ECA says:

    #25, 26…

    ummm!!!
    hold IT…
    think only 1 thought..
    In the 1940-50’s…GUESS WHO TAUGHT THEM???
    the USA.
    In the 1970’s GUESSSSSSSSS WHO TAUGHT THEM ECONOMY????
    the USA…

    NOW, the lesson..
    3 ways to SCREW a country…
    WAR
    ECONOMICS…
    ANd……………..

  25. Guyver says:

    24, ECA, in an ad hoc wireless battlefield, what you’re proposing isn’t practical…. at least not yet.

    That being said, the previous administration reduced the number of domestic DOD servers having access to the outside world to curb cyber attacks from the likes of China. But connections to the outside world are still needed. By reducing the number of outside connections, they’ve forced the bad guys to concentrate their efforts in only a few entry points which is much easier to monitor from our end.


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