Pentagon report highlights Chinese submarine buildup

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier is seen during its launch ceremony in Dalian. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

The large-scale buildup of China’s naval forces is the most visible part of a major rearmament campaign that has been under way for more than a decade. But Chinese development of modern and increasingly quiet submarines poses one of the more serious strategic challenges for the United States and other nations concerned about Beijing’s growing hegemony in Asia.

The increasing size of the People’s Liberation Army Navy fleet of surface vessels captures most international attention, based on the sheer numbers and advanced weapons on an array of new warships. Continue reading

Pentagon says China has Big Military Expansion Plans, Including Base in Pakistan

A Pentagon report released on Tuesday singled out Pakistan as a possible location for a future Chinese military base, as it forecast that Beijing would likely build more bases overseas after establishing a facility in the African nation of Djibouti.

The prediction came in a 97-page annual report to Congress that saw advances throughout the Chinese military in 2016, funded by robust defense spending that the Pentagon estimated exceeded $180 billion. Continue reading

World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy

The United States is fractured and permanently scarred with very little diplomatic room to maneuver, and as the article states, doesn’t even know it. We’re looking at a new world shaping up within the next 10 years… a new world without the United States having a voice in its affairs. This is an unprecedented new chapter in world history that the old order doesn’t recover from. If you’re an American, get used to second or third-rate living standards and all the problems that come with it.

To add clarification: President Trump has a great chance in saving America from ruin, and let’s hope he will. Where he has almost zero chance is in saving it’s standing in the world. An alternative world structure has already been built and members are being filtered in. The ‘on button’ is waiting to be pushed. All that needs to happen is an event, such as global economic collapse, that sets America back and simultaneously provides the new world structure a window of opportunity to spring into first place.

 

World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy

 

While vaudevillian comedy-like shouting matches broke out in the West Wing of the White House between President Donald Trump and his senior advisers and between the White House press secretary and various presidential aides, world leaders gathered in Beijing to discuss the creation of modern-day land and maritime «silk roads» to improve the economic conditions of nations around the world. Nothing more could have illustrated the massive divide between the concerns of many of the nations of the world and those of the United States, which is rapidly descending into second-rate power status, along with its NATO allies Britain, France, and Germany. Continue reading

Greece and Iran: The Dark Side of the Relationship

As you can glean from the article, there’s a lot more to the EU than business as usual. Some things will never see the light of day, but here we have a glimpse into the darker inner workings and depth of corruption within the Greek system. Greece is an extremely sick nation.

Greek problems aren’t limited to a constant economic and political hammering by Germany. The wounds are many, and bone deep.

It makes you wonder where you would even start to get your nation out of this mess if you were an honest Greek.

 

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, on February 8, 2016. (Image source: Office of the Supreme Leader)

 

  • The Iranian government, with these two cases (Kabis and Noor 1), seems to hold in its hands a bomb that can blow up the Greek economic and political system. If Greek authorities seriously investigate these cases, they will trigger a domino-effect of disclosures that could well destabilize Greece’s government.
  • Iran can blackmail and manipulate its political influence inside Greece, or Iran can use its ability to destabilize a member of NATO and Eurozone, Greece, to strengthen its international position.

As Sunnis and Shiites are fighting for regional hegemony in the Middle East — Syria, Yemen — Greece, as geographical gate for Europe and the Balkans, is a trophy country for the Iranian regime. In recent years, the Iranians have been exploiting the corrupt establishment’s thirst for money. Through drug dealing and oil smuggling, Iran seems to be trying to buy political influence and access to the Greek media. Well-informed diplomatic sources say that the Iranian Embassy in Athens is extremely active in Greece’s political and economic life behind the scenes. Continue reading

Sources: SWIFT System Under Constant Cyber Attack

Sources:  SWIFT System Under Constant Cyber Attack

Sources: SWIFT System Under Constant Cyber Attack

 

(LONDON) Cyber attacks targeting the global bank transfer system have succeeded in stealing funds since February’s heist of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank as hackers have become more sophisticated in their tactics, according to a SWIFT official and a previously undisclosed letter the organization sent to banks worldwide.

  • The messaging network in a Nov. 2 letter seen by Reuters warned banks of the escalating threat to their systems, according to the SWIFT letter.
  • The attacks and new hacking tactics underscore the continuing vulnerability of the SWIFT messaging network, which handles trillions of dollars in fund transfers daily.
  • “The threat is very persistent, adaptive and sophisticated – and it is here to stay,” SWIFT said in the November letter to client banks, seen by Reuters. Continue reading

China-backed AIIB ‘on track to meet 2016 lending targets’

The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is “on track” to meet its big first-year targets, including lending US$1.2 billion by the end of 2016, bank president Jin Liqun said on Friday.

After bringing many US allies on board and a high-profile launch in January, the multilateral lender moved onto the business of raising funds, gaining expertise, and recruiting experienced executives.

The bank, part of Beijing’s push to expand its regional clout, has lent US$829 million to six projects in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Continue reading

Deutsche Bank Seeking Alternatives, Reforms to SWIFT

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Duetsche Bank Seeking Alternatives, Reforms to SWIFT A Deutsche Bank logo adorns a wall at the company’s headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany June 9, 2015.

 

Deutsche Bank is calling for a reform of SWIFT, the global financial messaging system which has faced criticism since February’s $81 million heist at Bangladesh Bank.

  • Germany’s flagship lender – which the International Monetary Fund has branded as the world’s systemically most risky bank for its numerous links to other lenders – is one of the biggest users of SWIFT. It is one of the first large banks to publicly urge changes.
  • SWIFT is only as strong as its weakest member, Deutsche Bank’s Chief Information Security Officer Hinrich Voelcker said on Wednesday, adding the bank was in discussions with SWIFT about the consequences of the Bangladesh heist.
  • “If trust in this system breaks down we all have a problem,” he said, without saying which specific reforms he believes are needed.
  • SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative, dominated by large Western banks, including lenders such as Citi , JP Morgan and BNP Paribas , which built the network decades ago.
  • It now connects more than 10,000 different financial firms and industry experts have said all of its users should have to meet a minimum security standard to continue accessing it. Continue reading

Lagging Saudi Arabia Economy Strands 10,000 Indian Workers who Haven’t Been Paid in Months

The lagging economy in Saudi Arabia, combined with the drop in global oil prices, have resulted in approximately 10,000 Indian workers being stranded with no money and no food according to the New York Times. The Indian government is struggling to help the more than 10,000 people who have lost their jobs and, after not being paid for several months, have no way to get home and no money to survive. Continue reading

Japan reinforces maritime security ties with Sri Lanka to counter China

COLOMBO — Amid China’s growing assertiveness, Japan has been increasing its focus on Sri Lanka by playing a proactive role in helping develop the island’s maritime capabilities. In June, the Japanese Government granted 1.8 billion Japanese Yen to Sri Lanka to implement the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement project. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: Global Banking System Infiltrated by Chinese State Hackers

Economic warfare via economic espionage is exactly what this is, without a doubt. As the article states, these are shots being fired at America and the Western financial system. The goal, a means to an end, is to create a lack of confidence in the system and eventually provide an alternative to the United States-dominated world.

 

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A screenshot, provided to Epoch Times by an insider, shows the security certificate of a Mexico-owned bank money transfer network in New Jersey being exfiltrated. Hackers can use the certificate to send communications through the company’s networks, which its recipients would automatically validate.

 

 

Hackers employed by the Chinese state are making a profit selling access to breached banks to organized crime groups

A group of cybercriminals has breached and mapped the global banking system, and in a series of attacks has so far stolen $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh. Experts believe the attacks were done using fraudulent messages on a money transfer network connected to the banking system.

Investigations into the ongoing attacks are still underway, and related attacks on other banks are still being uncovered. Some experts are pinning the attack on hackers from North Korea, since the tools they used share similarities to the November 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

According to an insider with direct knowledge of the recent attacks, however, the culprit behind the digital bank robberies is much larger. The insider requested to remain anonymous due to security concerns, and was able to provide evidence to support his claims. Continue reading

Exclusive: NY Fed first rejected cyber-heist transfers, then moved $81 million

DHAKA/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hours before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York approved four fraudulent requests to send $81 million from a Bangladesh Bank account to cyber thieves, the Fed branch blocked those same requests because they lacked information required to transfer money, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

On the day of the theft in February, the New York Fed initially rejected 35 requests to transfer funds to various overseas accounts, a New York Fed official and a senior Bangladesh Bank official told Reuters. The Fed’s decision to later fulfill a handful of resubmitted requests raises questions about whether it missed red flags.

The New York arm of the U.S. central bank initially denied the transfer requests because they lacked proper formatting for the SWIFT messaging system, the network banks use for international financial transfers, the two officials said. Continue reading

Cyber Fraud At SWIFT – $81 Million Stolen From Central Bank

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SWIFT (Wikipedia)

 

Swift, the vital global financial network that western financial services companies, institutions and banks use for all payments and transfer billions of dollars every day, warned its customers yesterday evening that it was aware of cyber fraud and a number of recent “cyber incidents” where attackers had sent fraudulent messages over its system and $81 million was apparently stolen from a central bank.

As reported by Reuters, the disclosure came as law enforcement agencies investigate the February cyber theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Swift has acknowledged that the scheme involved altering Swift software on Bangladesh Bank’s computers to hide evidence of fraudulent transfers. Continue reading

SWIFT Hacks No Surprise To Bank Alliance

SWIFT, the global financial network that banks use to transfer billions of dollars every day, warned its customers on Monday that it was aware of “a number of recent cyber incidents” where attackers had sent fraudulent messages over its system.

The disclosure came as law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh and elsewhere investigated the February cyber theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. SWIFT has acknowledged that the scheme involved altering SWIFT software on Bangladesh Bank’s computers to hide evidence of fraudulent transfers.

Continue reading

China launches charm offensive for first overseas naval base

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has launched an unusual charm offensive to explain its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, seeking to assuage global concerns about military expansionism by portraying the move as Beijing’s contribution to regional security and development.

China has repeatedly said it does not seek a U.S.-style “hegemony” by extending its military reach, including through bases abroad.

Now that it appears it may be doing precisely that, the government has been quietly briefing on its rationale for the Djibouti base and using state media to address fears of China’s aims. Continue reading

Mystery Of New York Fed Robbery Has Central Banks Asking Who’s Next

Bangladesh has learned a valuable lesson over the past two months: Do. Not. Trust. The. New. York. Fed.

On a quiet Friday morning in early February, a series of instructions using authenticated SWIFT codes was sent to 33 Liberty allegedly from the Bangladesh central bank requesting the transfer of nearly $1 billion from the country’s FX reserves. Continue reading