German intelligence warns of increased Chinese cyberspying

Hans-Georg Maassen said his agency, known by its German acronym BfV, believes more than 10,000 Germans have been targeted by Chinese intelligence agents posing as consultants, headhunters or researchers, primarily on the social networking site LinkedIn.

“This is a broad-based attempt to infiltrate in particular parliaments, ministries and government agencies,” Maassen said.

Continue reading

Russia plans to create an ‘independent internet’ by 2018 to protect it from ‘global internet malfunctions’ – but critics say the plan could make it easier to launch its own attacks

The Russian government has revealed plans to develop an ‘independent internet’ that operates separately from the Domain Name System used worldwide. According to Russian news site RT, Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) is targeting August 1, 2018 for its completion

 

  • Russian Security Council met in October to discuss an ‘independent internet’
  • Would cover Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa with alternative DNS
  • Currently, a global Domain Name System (DNS) is used to connect to internet
  • While they cited security concerns, others suggest it could be used maliciously

The Russian government has revealed plans to develop an ‘independent internet’ that operates separately from the Domain Name System used worldwide.

During a recent meeting of the Russian Security Council, officials discussed an initiative to create an alternative to the DNS, claiming the move could protect Russia and a handful of other nations in the event of a large-scale cyberattack. Continue reading

Dunford: US Military Superiority Over Russia, China Markedly Decreasing

General Dunford

 

The US has been losing its military supremacy over its peer countries like Russia and China over the last 10-15 years and should step up efforts to increase its deterrence potential, Joe Dunford, Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was cited as saying during a lecture at the Tufts University in Massachusetts earlier this week. Continue reading

Report Says Dissident Under Cyber, Information Attack from China

Guo Wengui / Ellen Dubin Photography

 

Commission calls disinformation campaign ‘unprecedented’

China is engaged in an unprecedented campaign of cyber attacks and information operations aimed at discrediting Beijing critic Guo Wengui, according to a congressional report.

The campaign was outlined in the annual report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review commission, made public on Wednesday. Continue reading

The Home Game Has Arrived: Lessons from the 10th Asymmetric Threat Symposium

 

Last week I was privileged to attend the 10th Asymmetric Threat Symposium. It’s not the first of these I’ve attended but was clearly the best. Maybe the participants felt less restrained by politics and thus spoke more directly to the issues we truly face. Or maybe the quality of experts is rising. For whatever reason, the event was candid and sobering, even for me. The event was held near our nation’s capitol and was sponsored by CACI International, the Center for Security Policy, and ISW (Institute for the Study of War). The title:  What Does It Take to Protect America? Combatting Global Asymmetric Threats.

While the rules of the event require that comments be shared without attribution, I’m pleased to offer a recap for our readers. You can read the agenda and see information about prior versions at www.asymmetricthreat.netThe speakers and panelists were impressive. In fact, I counted 36 stars on the shoulders (Admirals and Generals) of about a dozen participants, both active and retired, not to mention academic and civilian experts.

There were many important points covered and I’ll recap just a few:

First, the question was asked and answered. Are we already at war? Continue reading

US Army Is Preparing For Decades Of Hybrid Wars

 

Released on Monday, the US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, drafted a new strategy for how US ground forces will operate, fight, and campaign successfully across multiple domains—space, cyberspace, air, land, maritime—against all enemies in the 2025-2040 timeframe.

The new strategy calls for “super-empowered individuals and small groups”, who are mobile and can simultaneously fight in every domain of warfare, which will replace the conventional large units like today. Continue reading

China targets American technology in drive to become innovation leader

Photo by: Mark Schiefelbein Robotic military technology was displayed at an exhibition highlighting China’s achievements under five years of leadership by President Xi Jinping. The exhibition at the Beijing Exhibition Hall opened in September ahead of a Communist Party congress this month. (Associated Press/File)

 

China has stepped up efforts to work with American businesses in a bid to acquire advanced technology, part of a drive to become a leading technology-innovation power.

“China is pushing to further deepen technology collaboration with U.S. business and academic institutions as part of a national effort to transform its economy, including by putting China at the leading edge of global technological innovation,” said a U.S. intelligence official who provided a recent assessment of China.

“At the same time, Beijing is trying to downplay concerns that this state-led technology acquisition drive creates an unlevel playing field, forces technology transfers to China, limits foreign companies’ access to the Chinese market and is a threat to U.S. and other companies economic strengths,” the official added. Continue reading

Israel reportedly behind discovery of Russian antivirus company’s spy links

Computer hacking

 

Israeli spy services were reportedly behind the United States government’s recent decision to purge Kaspersky Lab antivirus software from its computers, citing possible collusion with Russian intelligence. Last month, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a directive ordering that all government computers should be free of software products designed by Kaspersky Lab. Formed in the late 1990s by Russian cybersecurity expert Eugene Kaspersky, the multinational antivirus software provider operates out of Moscow but is technically based in the United Kingdom. Its antivirus and cybersecurity products are installed on tens of millions of computers around the world, including computers belonging to government agencies in the US and elsewhere. But last month’s memorandum by the US government’s domestic security arm alarmed the cybersecurity community by alleging direct operational links between the antivirus company and the Kremlin. Continue reading

Russia’s on the Way Back

Yellen and Nabiullina

 

Russia is poised to break out of its oil-related slump and become one of the best performing emerging markets economies in the years ahead. This sleeping giant is breaking its dependence on oil prices and embraces diversified growth.

When you hear the name “Russia” you probably run for cover. Russia has been the subject of nearly continuous media coverage bordering on frenzy since the election of Donald Trump last November. Continue reading

Russian Hackers Used Kaspersky Software to Steal NSA Data on U.S. Cyber Defense

An employee works near screens in the virus lab at the headquarters of Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Labs / Getty Images

 

Russian hackers stole data belonging to the National Security Agency about America’s cyber defense from the home computer of a U.S. government contractor, according to people familiar with the matter.

The material was highly classified and was identified by the hackers since the contractor was using Russian Kaspersky Lab antivirus software, the Wall Street Journal reports. Continue reading

The Rise of China as a Superpower

Shanghai, China (ISTOCK.COM/LIUFUYU)

 

 

It is one of the most impressive economic and political miracles in modern times. And it isn’t over yet.

China is a sovereign state with a population of over 1.3 billion people. The nation possesses the world’s largest economy by some measurements, the world’s largest population and the fourth-largest territory.

These are the building blocks of a superpower. While the world anticipates China gaining superpower status, analysts debate over when and whether its rise will be peaceful.

The Trumpet forecasts that China will continue to grow as a formidable power, combining its strength with Russia. Further, we forecast that it will play a major role in waging economic war that will devastate America.

Where do these forecasts come from? Continue reading

America’s Cyber Vulnerabilities

ISTOCK.COM/MONSITJ

 

Cyber is the newest branch of warfare. Even in its baby stages, it has the potential to cripple the United States.

On the afternoon of Dec. 23, 2015, Ukrainian engineers from a Prykarpattya Oblenergo power station stared at a computer screen while the cursor progressed on its own across the monitor. The mouse on the table had not moved. But the cursor hovered over the station’s breakers, each one controlling power to thousands of Ukrainian citizens. Then, with one mouse click at a time, the hackers now in control of the power station began shutting off power to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.

At the same time, Kyivoblenergo employees watched as dozens of substations shut down, one by one. In their case, there was no phantom mouse. A computer on their network that they could not locate was being used by someone to shut down the power—and there was nothing they could do. Continue reading

Russia Throws North Korea a New Lifeline

Meet one of the enemies behind the enemy, feeding the rogue nation and keeping it alive. The other is China. Were it not for them, North Korea would’ve been bombed away 30 years ago. Why do they keep the North Korean regime afloat, you ask? Because North Korea serves as a proxy for both Russia and China. It is their way of making America look like the aggressor and reason for going to war should the U.S. attack their proxy/ally first.

 

Russia Throws North Korea a New Lifeline

Russia has provided North Korea with a new means of access to the Internet following reports the U.S. has engaged in cyber warfare against its Internet espionage group.

 

The Russian telecommunications company TransTeleCom has begun offering a new line of Internet access to North Korea’s regime in the wake of tightening economic sanctions against the Hermit Kingdom. Continue reading

No Safe Place In Next War: The Army’s Expanded Battlefield

A soldier from the Army’s offensive cyber brigade during an exercise at Fort Lewis, Washington.

 

What if the next war starts, not with a gunshot, but with a tweet? As tensions rise, US troops discover their families’ names, faces, and home addresses have been posted on social media as they prepare to deploy, along with exhortations to kill the fascists/imperialists/infidels (pick one). Trolls call them late at night with death threats, a mentally ill lone wolf runs over a soldier’s children, fake news claims the military is covering up more deaths, and official social media accounts are hacked to post falsehoods. The whole force is distracted and demoralized.

Meanwhile, defense contractors discover the networks they use to deliver supplies to the military have been penetrated. Vital spare parts go missing without ever leaving the warehouse because the serial number saying which crate they’re in has been scrambled in the database. As railways and seaports prepare to transport heavy equipment, they discover key railroad switches, loading cranes, and other equipment – civilian-owned but vital to the military operation – now malfunction unpredictably, forcing prolonged safety inspections. Continue reading

If the Iran Nuclear Deal Collapses, Iranian Hackers Will Target These U.S. Companies

 

If the Iran nuclear deal fails, U.S. companies will suffer never-before-seen security breaches thanks to Tehran’s “hacker army.”

This particular cyber militia has been honing its skills and expanding since 2013. That’s when then-Iranian President Hassan Rouhani increased the country’s cybersecurity spending 12-fold, Business Insider reported in 2015. Rouhani allocated roughly $19.8 million to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Tehran’s military) to up its cyber capabilities. Continue reading