Beijing sent the first messaging salvo ahead of the Steven Mnuchin-led delegation to China (which will engage in trade talks over May 3-4) overnight when the PBOC fixed the yuan sharply lower than many expected. The signal was clear: push us hard enough, and we may just launch another devaluation. Or worse.
A little while later, Beijing did its best attempt at managing expectations, when it said that it’s “unrealistic” to expect to solve all issues between the U.S. and China at a single meeting, given the economic sizes of the two countries and their complex economic and trade relationship, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says at daily briefing.
While Hua tried his best to pay the diplomatic “good cop”, saying it was in the mutual interest of both countries to solve trade issues through consultation, just a few hours later, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi was the bad cop, who warned that whereas China would welcome a successful outcome from upcoming trade talks with the United States, it is “fully prepared for all outcomes and will not negotiate on core interests.”
A senior U.S. counterintelligence official recently said publicly what many officials and experts have been warning privately for years: China is using its large student population in the United States to spy.
Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, a DNI agency, said recently that China poses a broad-ranging foreign intelligence threat that includes the use of academics, students, cyberespionage and human agents to steal secrets from the government and private sectors.
“I look at the China threat from a counterintelligence perspective as a whole-of-government threat by China against us,” Mr. Evanina told a conference last week at The Aspen Institute.
“We allow 350,000 or so Chinese students here every year,” he said. “That’s a lot. We have a very liberal visa policy for them. Ninety-nine point nine percent of those students are here legitimately and doing great research and helping the global economy. But it is a tool that is used by the Chinese government to facilitate nefarious activity here in the U.S.” Continue reading
Obama instead issued veiled warning to Moscow
Despite an unprecedented Russian intelligence operation to influence the 2016 presidential election, former President Barack Obama rejected a plan to conduct retaliatory cyber action against Moscow during the campaign, according to former CIA Director John Brennan.
Brennan disclosed Saturday that Obama opposed a plan to carry out “a cyber event” against the Russians because the former president feared the action would lead to more aggressive interference by Moscow. Continue reading
The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has warned of security risks resulting from Chinese direct investment in high-technology German and other European companies. Since 2012, Hans-Georg Maassen has served as director of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic security and counterintelligence agency. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Maassen said his agency had noticed an inverse correlation between cyber-espionage attacks on Germany by Chinese actors and the acquisition of German technology firms by Chinese companies. German counter-intelligence officials were puzzled, he said, about a dramatic reduction in Chinese cyber-espionage activities in 2016. But they eventually realized that cyber-espionage operations had been replaced by “lawful methods”, he said, such as direct takeovers of German hi-tech firms by Chinese companies. Continue reading
Cybercom nominee: U.S. intrusions in foreign networks to deter China and Russia
American military cyber warriors are ready to shut critical infrastructures in China and Russia during a future conflict by conducting cyber intrusions into their networks, according to the general set to lead Cyber Command.
Both China and Russia have been detected conducting similar cyber battlefield reconnaissance against the U.S. networks used to control critical infrastructure in the United States, including electric grids, transportation, financial, and other critical systems. Continue reading
Robust internal networks will keep the military and government operating, says Putin’s top IT advisor.
A two-year-old effort to allow the Russian military to rely solely on internal networks during wartime has apparently blossomed into support for a digitally isolated government and civil society as well, a top advisor to Vladimir Putin said this week. Continue reading
‘Gray Zone’ conflict outlined at Senate hearing
The Pentagon’s top intelligence official warned that China and Russia are engaged in information and cyber attacks against the United States as part of an undeclared low-level conflict.
Army Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said during a Senate hearing the character of war is changing as technology facilitates greater global reach with weapons such as cyber attacks. Continue reading
Iran is putting a greater focus on espionage and cyber operations targeting American and U.S. ally networks in a bid to lay the groundwork for devastating hack attacks on sensitive American networks, according to a new warning from the U.S. intelligence community. Continue reading
President Donald Trump on Monday (December 18, 2017) in what may well be remembered as an historic speech describing his new “America First” National Security Strategy, broke new ground by promising to protect U.S. critical infrastructures from “cyber, physical, and electromagnetic attacks.”
After 8 years of the Obama Administration ignoring the existential threat posed by electromagnetic pulse (EMP), President Trump deserves the gratitude of his nation for being the first president to include EMP in his National Security Strategy. Continue reading
Nearly every American household has been affected by a massive data breach that exposed their private information, but few people even know about it yet.
A “cyber risk team” of security researchers with UpGuard says Alteryx left a cloud-based data repository open to online access earlier this year. The Experian consumer credit reporting agency, already involved in one of the biggest data breaches in history, is a partner of Alteryx, a California-based data analytics firm. Continue reading
Two years after the People’s Liberation Army created a new Strategic Support Force, a combined cyber and space warfare and military spy service, details about the force’s structure and mission remain wrapped in mystery.
As with most of China’s advanced arms programs and warfighting capabilities, the Strategic Support Force (SSF) remains a closely guarded secret. But the fact that China’s leaders have combined four or five military departments into a service on a par with its army, air force and navy in terms of stature highlights the importance the Chinese have placed on non-kinetic forms of warfare. Continue reading
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.
- 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
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