Chinese Hackers Stole Plans For Israel’s Iron Dome

China-based hackers stole plans for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in 2011 and 2012, according to an investigation by a Maryland-based cyber security firm first reported by independent journalist Brian Krebs.

The hackers also stole plans related to other missile interceptors, including the Arrow 3, which was designed by Boeing and other U.S.-based companies.

According to Krebs, “the attacks bore all of the hallmarks of the ‘Comment Crew,’ a prolific and state-sponsored hacking group associated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and credited with stealing terabytes of data from defense contractors and U.S. corporations.” The hackers gained access to the systems of three Israeli companies working on missile defense. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services could prove that 700 documents were stolen in the breach although it’s likely that the actual number is higher. Continue reading

Chinese Missile Forces Pose Threat to U.S. in Future Conflict

ASPEN, Colo.—China’s advanced cruise and ballistic missiles pose a significant threat in future conflict with the United States, the chief of naval operations (CNO) warned last week.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the CNO, also said during a security conference Friday that China is building a second aircraft carrier that could be deployed in the not too distant future.

Asked what Chinese weapons systems he is most concerned about if the United States went to war with China, Greenert noted Beijing’s growing arsenal of cruise and ballistic missiles.

“They have an extraordinary selection of cruise missiles, and a ballistic missile force that they developed,” Greenert told the Aspen Security Forum.

If the conflict were close to China, the missile forces would pose the most serious threat, he said.

“If it’s in their backyard, I’m a little worried about their ballistic missile [force] because of its reach,” Greenert said. Continue reading

China builds listening station in Hong Kong

 

The existence of a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) communications installation atop Hong Kong’s tallest mountain – the 957 m-high peak of Tai Mo Shan – recently came to light.

Construction began around 2010, with a geodesic dome first appearing in satellite imagery in 2011. The facility has been operational for approximately three years. Continue reading

PLA Navy conduct naval exercises to ‘take back’ lost sea territories

The People’s Liberation Army Navy is ready to launch two major exercises in the disputed South and East China Seas between July 26 and Aug. 1 to demonstrate its fighting prowess to Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, according to the Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao. Continue reading

As China Stalks Satellites, U.S. and Japan Prepare to Defend Them

 

 

In May 2013 the Chinese government conducted what it called a science space mission from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China. Half a world away, Brian Weeden, a former U.S. Air Force officer, wasn’t buying it. The liftoff took place at night and employed a powerful rocket as well as a truck-based launch vehicle—all quite unusual for a science project, he says.

In a subsequent report for the Secure World Foundation, the space policy think tank where he works, Weeden concluded that the Chinese launch was more likely a test of a mobile rocket booster for an antisatellite (ASAT) weapon that could reach targets in geostationary orbit about 22,236 miles above the equator. That’s the stomping grounds of expensive U.S. spacecraft that monitor battlefield movements, detect heat from the early stages of missile launches, and help orchestrate drone fleets. “This is the stuff the U.S. really cares about,” Weeden says.

The Pentagon never commented in detail on last year’s launch—and the Chinese have stuck to their story. U.S. and Japanese analysts say China has the most aggressive satellite attack program in the world. It has staged at least six ASAT missile tests over the past nine years, including the destruction of a defunct Chinese weather satellite in 2007. “It’s part of a Chinese bid for hegemony, which is not just about controlling the oceans but airspace and, as an extension of that, outer space,” says Minoru Terada, deputy secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Continue reading

Japanese special forces ‘better than US’ to retake Diaoyutai

This is essentially tantamount to saying there is no more confidence in America’s ability to defend Japan, let alone be a reliable partner.

Japanese special forces would be more qualified than American to carry out amphibious combat operations against China’s People’s Liberation Army over the disputed Senkaku (Diaoyutai or Diaoyu) islands in the East China Sea, Vice Admiral Yoji Koda, a former fleet commander in chief of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, has written in his article for the Tokyo-based Ships of the World magazine. Continue reading

DF-41 missile can wipe out 3 US cities in one attack: report

China’s DF-41 solid-fueled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile is capable of wiping out three American cities in just one attack, according to the Kanwa Defense Review, operated by Canadian military analyst Andrei Chang, also known as Pinkov.

With an attack range of between 11,500-12,000 kilometers, the article said that the DF-41 missile is capable of reaching any target within the continental United States. Continue reading

What would the US do if war were to break out over Diaoyutais?

In an article for the Washington-based National Interest magazine on June 21, US defense expert Harry Kazianis laid out a possible a scenario involving Japan and China clashing over the airspace of the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Senkaku to Japan, Diaoyu to China) in the East China Sea to analyze whether the United States would be ready for such a conflict.

The scenario takes place on Mar. 1, 2015, Kazianis wrote, noting that China has already instituted daily non-naval maritime patrols around the disputed islands while its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and other warships have conducted exercises only 50 miles away from the islands since February. Continue reading

US should be worried about China’s artificial island: expert

Vassily Kashin, a Russian defense expert from the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, says the amount of money spent by China to build an artificial island in a disputed part of the South China Sea is enough to build a brand-new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, according to the Voice of Russia. Continue reading

PLA sends multiple signals in first RIMPAC naval exercise

China is sending out multiple signals in its first ever participation in the US-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercises over the summer, reports Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao.

The US-led RIMPAC is the largest international maritime exercise in the world and has been held biennially since 1971. China has sent officials to observe the exercises since 1998, but this marks the first time the PLA is an official participant. Continue reading

PLA’s new test submarine revealed at Zhongshan exp

A model of China’s new Type 032 Qing-class test submarine went on display at the Sixth Shipping Expo held in Zhongshan in southern China’s Guangdong province between June 6-8, reports the Chinese-language Guangming Daily operated by the Communist Party of China. Continue reading

X Another Chinese military unit accused of hacking by US company

San Francisco: A private US cyber-security company on Monday accused a unit of China’s military of conducting far-reaching hacking operations to advance the country’s satellite and aerospace programs.

Security company CrowdStrike said Shanghai-based unit 61486 of the People’s Liberation Army 12th bureau has attacked networks of Western government agencies and defence contractors since 2007.

CrowdStrike said the hacking targeted the US space, aerospace and communications sectors. The cyberspying targeted “popular productivity applications such as Adobe Reader and Microsoft Office to deploy custom malware through targeted email attacks,” CrowdStrike said. Continue reading

Rising red tide: China’s navy, air force rapidly expanding its size and reach

Away from the Chinese military’s expanding capabilities in cyberspace and electronic warfare, Beijing is growing the size and reach of its naval fleet, advancing its air force and testing a host of new missiles, the Pentagon said Thursday.

An annual report to Congress on China’s evolving military capability concluded that the modernization was being driven in part by growing territorial disputes in the East and South China seas, as well as by Beijing’s desire to expand its presence and influence abroad. Continue reading

UAVs, Stealth, Carriers, Amphibs: DoD Report Details China’s Weapons

WASHINGTON: The People’s Liberation Army has practiced jamming GPS signals, according to a Pentagon report today. The Chinese are testing those and other electronic warfare weapons and they have “proven effective.”

China plans to launch 100 satellites through 2015, including “imaging, remote sensing, navigation, communication, and scientific satellites, as well as manned spacecraft,” says a special section headlined  ”Special Topic: Reconnaissance Satellites” in the annual Pentagon report to Congress about China’s military capabilities and intentions. (Note: that includes manned spacecraft and most of the satellites mentioned are weather, agriculture and related satellites — not advanced spy satellites.)

In another “special section,” this one about low observable technology, the Pentagon report lists weapons “demonstrated” last year: Continue reading

Codenamed hackers from secret Chinese military unit Unit 61398 charged in world-first move by US

THE US has charged five members of a shadowy Chinese military unit for allegedly hacking US companies for trade secrets, infuriating Beijing which suspended cooperation on cyber issues.

Hacking has long been a major sticking point in relations between the world’s two largest economies, but Washington’s move marks a major escalation in the dispute.

In the first-ever prosecution of state actors over cyber-espionage, a federal grand jury overnight indicted the five on charges they broke into US computers to benefit Chinese state-owned companies, leading to job losses in the United States in steel, solar and other industries. Continue reading