Chinese spy ship arrives at giant U.S.-led naval exercise off the coast of Hawaii

A giant U.S.-led naval exercise with 22 nations from around the world got an unexpected visitor on Sunday — a Chinese spy ship perched in international waters.

The 24th Rim of the Pacific exercises (RIMPAC) in and around the Hawaiian Islands features more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. China is part of a host of nations taking part, which also includes Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, the United Kingdom and others. Continue reading

How Russian Hackers Stole the Nasdaq

In October 2010, a Federal Bureau of Investigation system monitoring U.S. Internet traffic picked up an alert. The signal was coming from Nasdaq (NDAQ). It looked like malware had snuck into the company’s central servers. There were indications that the intruder was not a kid somewhere, but the intelligence agency of another country. More troubling still: When the U.S. experts got a better look at the malware, they realized it was attack code, designed to cause damage.

As much as hacking has become a daily irritant, much more of it crosses watch-center monitors out of sight from the public. The Chinese, the French, the Israelis—and many less well known or understood players—all hack in one way or another. They steal missile plans, chemical formulas, power-plant pipeline schematics, and economic data. That’s espionage; attack code is a military strike. There are only a few recorded deployments, the most famous being the Stuxnet worm. Widely believed to be a joint project of the U.S. and Israel, Stuxnet temporarily disabled Iran’s uranium-processing facility at Natanz in 2010. It switched off safety mechanisms, causing the centrifuges at the heart of a refinery to spin out of control. Two years later, Iran destroyed two-thirds of Saudi Aramco’s computer network with a relatively unsophisticated but fast-spreading “wiper” virus. One veteran U.S. official says that when it came to a digital weapon planted in a critical system inside the U.S., he’s seen it only once—in Nasdaq.

The October alert prompted the involvement of the National Security Agency, and just into 2011, the NSA concluded there was a significant danger. A crisis action team convened via secure videoconference in a briefing room in an 11-story office building in the Washington suburbs. Besides a fondue restaurant and a CrossFit gym, the building is home to the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), whose mission is to spot and coordinate the government’s response to digital attacks on the U.S. They reviewed the FBI data and additional information from the NSA, and quickly concluded they needed to escalate. Continue reading

FBI: Chinese hacker accessed gold mine of data on F-22, F-35 and 32 U.S. military projects

A Chinese hacker allegedly broke into the network of world’s largest aerospace company and other defense contractors to steal sensitive information on the United States’ F-22 and F-35 fighter jets, as well as Boeing’s C-17 cargo plane.

The FBI believes that Su Bin, formerly of the Chinese aviation firm Lode Technologies, and two Chinese-based co-conspirators accessed a gold mine of information from Boeing and other contractors in Europe. The plan was to gather enough information so that the communist nation might “stand easily on the giant’s shoulders,” The Register reported Monday. Continue reading

American Federation of Communists

Communist pamphleteers are using the American Federation of Teachers annual convention as a recruiting ground, according to a new video.

Men with Mao Zedong-emblazoned messenger bags distributed fliers to union members as they entered the Los Angeles convention center, where thousands of teachers have gathered to discuss the state of the nation’s second largest teachers union.

Communist literature has appeared throughout the convention floor. Issues of the communist newspaper Red Flag have also been handed out to teachers as they gathered to reelect president Randi Weingarten, one of the most influential Democrats in the nation and a leader of the shadowy Democracy Alliance. Continue reading

Germany weighs how to hit back in US spying row

Berlin (AFP) – Germany debated retaliatory measures against the United States on Tuesday after the discovery of an alleged double agent stoked still smouldering public anger over the NSA scandal.

The case of a German intelligence operative suspected of spying for Washington drew a fierce response from Berlin, where indignation against one of its closest allies has run high since reports last year that the US National Security Agency (NSA) tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Merkel fumed over the latest allegations on a visit to China, saying on Monday that if they proved to be true it “would be for me a clear contradiction as to what I consider to be trusting cooperation between agencies and partners.” Continue reading

KGB papers, kept in secret since 1992, released by British archive

Original documents from one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history — a who’s who of Soviet spying — were released Monday after being held in secret for two decades.

Intelligence historian Christopher Andrew said the vast dossier, released by the Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge University, was considered “the most important single intelligence source ever” by British and American authorities.

Mitrokhin was a senior archivist in the KGB’s foreign intelligence headquarters — and a secret dissident. For more than a decade, he secretly took files home, copied them in longhand and then typed them and collated them into volumes. He hid the papers at his country cottage, or dacha, some stuffed into a milk churn and buried.

The world did not learn of Mitrokhin until Andrew published a book based on his files in 1999. It caused a sensation by exposing the identities of KGB agents including 87-year-old Melita Norwood, the “great-granny spy,” who had passed British atomic secrets to the Soviets for years. Continue reading

U.S. Nuke Sites Dismantled Security to Save Money, Report Warns

Problems persist two years after major security breach

The organization responsible for securing America’s highly sensitive nuclear sites has been suffering from a “chaotic” and “dysfunctional” security policy that has endangered the country’s nuclear sites and left them vulnerable to attack, according to a new report by the government’s watchdog group.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which is tasked with managing the nation’s nuclear stockpile and securing classified research sites, has “increased risks and reduced security” over the past several years in a bid to reduce overhead costs, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Continue reading

Out with Keystone XL, In with Enbridge Northern Gateway

Claiming it could no longer abide the Obama administration’s five-year refusal to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline designed to bring 830,000 barrels a day of much-needed Alberta shale oil to U.S. refineries, the Canadian government recently approved plans for a huge new pipeline and port project to ship that oil to Asia instead. 

When completed, the $7.9 billion Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, approved by Canada’s federal government on June 17, will consist of an environmentally safe, 730-mile oil pipeline. It will be capable of moving 600,000 barrels a day of Alberta oil to the pacific coast town of Kitimat, British Columbia, where a new state-of-the-art super tanker port facility will be built to ship the oil to thirsty Asian ports. Continue reading

Congress to Cut Key U.S. Missile Defense System

Funding cut comes as Chinese, Iranian, Russian cruise missile threat grows

Congress is poised to significantly cut funding for a key U.S. missile defense system that is slated to be deployed against threats in the Washington, D.C., area, prompting outrage from former military leaders and defense industry insiders.

Congress is seeking to slash $25 million from JLENS, or the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor, an advanced missile detection radar system capable of finding and intercepting missiles, drones, and planes far before they reach the homeland.

Major cuts to the system are coming down the pike just as JLENS is to be deployed in the nation’s capital and integrated into the region’s air defense system. Continue reading

‘Double 7′ strategy may give China more control over internet: Duowei

China is deploying what is referred to as its “double seven” strategy in an attempt to take more control in the global governance of the internet, reports Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese.

Representatives of China are currently among the 3,300 people from 130 countries in London to attend the 50th global conference of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates the internet’s global domain name system.

The corporation established in California in 1998, helps keep internet protocols in order by ensuring that each web address is not assigned more than once. The organization also facilitates the addition of top-level domains, which are suffixes to web addresses like “.com”, “.org”, and “.gov”. Continue reading

Russia in secret plot against fracking, Nato chief says

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas

Russia is secretly working with environmental groups campaigning against fracking in an attempt to maintain Europe’s dependence on energy imports from Moscow, the secretary-general of Nato has said.

Speaking at the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank in London, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated disinformation campaign aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas.

He said: “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation.”

Continue reading

Anonymous plans global cyber attacks on energy firms on Friday

Dubai: AnonGhost, a politically motivated group of hacktivists, is planning to launch cyber attacks on energy companies globally, including Adnoc and Enoc in the UAE, on Friday for using the dollar in oil trades.

This is according to a YouTube post link tweeted by the AnonGhost team.

“It is a follow-up from the #opPetrol operation in 2013. They [Anonymous] are serious about its political message and they will deliver it,” Nicolai Solling, director of technology services at Help AG, told ‘Gulf News’.

Continue reading

Edward Snowden was targeted by Russian spies 6 years BEFORE he exposed US secrets

Which is likely why Snowden was seeking to join a KGB veterans group — he literally and intentionally seeked them out and applied. In this case, the KGB could very likely be covering for him and painting him as a victim of a trick.

Russian spies had whistleblower Edward Snowden in their sights SIX YEARS before he exposed US secrets, reports the Sunday People.

Moscow believed the cyber wizard working for the CIA in Geneva was ripe for defection in 2007 and opened a file on him, says a KGB defector.

But secret agents did not swoop until last year when Snowden, 30, fled to Hong Kong with 1.7 million top secret documents which he leaked to the media. Continue reading

German spies want $400M to play catch-up with the NSA

Your new post-America superpower:

Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR have turned up secret documents belonging to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s counterpart to the NSA. It seems the BND is jealous of the digital espionage capabilities of the NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ, and wants to up its game.

The documents warn that, if the BND doesn’t get the €300 million ($409 million) it needs to run expanded surveillance activities until 2020, Germany will fall behind even Italy and Spain in the spook stakes. They also suggest the spies hope to get their funding in the coming weeks. Continue reading

Cyber War Underway

Certainly we hear about eBay being hacked. In fact, it was just revealed that a second security flaw exists. And, we all heard about the Chinese indictments last week. Don’t assume, however, that this means we are on top of the problem. Rather, we (at best) are top of the tip, almost oblivious to the enormous iceberg underneath. This was made plain in recent reporting by Bill Gertz, perhaps America’s preeminent national security reporter. Gertz is the reporter who initially broke the story on my Pentagon findings that there was evidence of financial terrorism at work in the 2008 market collapse. Continue reading

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