Is U.S. Geopolitical Strategy Experiencing a Monumental Shift?

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The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

– From Graham Allison’s article: The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

For the past two years, my geopolitical assumption has been that the Trump administration would more or less continue along with the reckless, shortsighted, and disastrous neocon/neoliberal interventionist foreign policy of the past two decades focused on undeclared regime change and proxy wars across the world, especially the Middle East. Given his strange obsession with Iran, I figured he’d start a conflict there and that this conflict would end up a bigger disaster than Iraq. Continue reading

The Road to War: China vs the US

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In 2016 Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, declared that there was no doubt, in his mind, that the US would go to war with China in the South China Sea in the next five to 10 years.

A US-Chinese military conflict would be on top of a vow by Trump in his inaugural presidential address, to not only take on radical Islamic terrorism but to “eradicate it from the face of the Earth.” This would be done by building up America’s already supreme military. “Our military dominance must be unquestioned,” the billionaire businessman, who now controlled the most powerful political office in the world, declared in his first address to the nation.

A year and a half after that speech, the United States is not at war with China, but its economic saber-rattling is arguably the beginning of a confrontation between the world’s largest and second-largest economies. Trump’s tariff threats against not only China but Europe, Canada, Mexico and its other trade partners, are also symbolic of a shift in US foreign policy towards a more isolationist stance – one that may not strictly be due to Trump’s belligerent personality. This article will get into the antecedents of this economic and military showdown and point the way to some possible future scenarios, including a war in space. Continue reading

China hacked a Navy contractor and secured a trove of highly sensitive data on submarine warfare

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China’s sole operating aircraft carrier leaves Dalian in northeast China for sea trials last month. (Li Gang/Xinhua/AP)

 

Chinese government hackers have compromised the computers of a Navy contractor, stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare — including secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020, according to American officials.

The breaches occurred in January and February, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The hackers targeted a contractor who works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, a military organization headquartered in Newport, R.I., that conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weaponry.

The officials did not identify the contractor. Continue reading

Pentagon: China Threatened to Bankrupt Defense Contractor

Not only is espionage in the form of technology theft a serious issue, but the Chinese have also been manufacturing microchips Americans use [i.e. Huewei smartphones — founded by a PLA engineer on behest of the CCP (See also HERE)]… and it’s not limited to the average American consumer, but the U.S. military as well.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama walks past Chinese President Xi Jinping / AP

 

Incident involving jet fighter logistics highlights aggressive Chinese cyber espionage

A U.S. defense contractor was threatened with bankruptcy by Chinese hackers seeking jet fighter logistics secrets, according to the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.

A report earlier this month by the Joint Staff’s J-2 intelligence directorate revealed that the American contractor, a company involved in classified defense work, was threatened by Chinese hackers, according to Pentagon officials familiar with the report.

The Chinese demanded access to the company’s intellectual property, and said unless the company secrets were provided, China would steal the data, reverse engineer it, and then sell it internationally in a bid to force the company into bankruptcy. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: Chinese Hackers Sold Delta Airline Vulnerabilities On Black Market

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In this screenshot, cybercriminals advertise vulnerabilities in the computer systems of major airlines on an online black market on Jan. 3, 2016. (Screenshot courtesy of Ed Alexander)

 

 

One of several airlines cyberexpert says hacked by Chinese military group

Computer systems of Delta Airlines have suffered a “glitch” that is causing flight delays on the airline globally. While the cause of the delays is still unclear, a group of cyber criminals was recently selling vulnerabilities to major airlines on the black market.

Continue reading

China likely hacked US banking regulator – congressional report

WASHINGTON: The Chinese government likely hacked computers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 2010, 2011 and 2013, according a congressional report on Wednesday that cited an internal investigation by the banking regulator. Continue reading

Airlines Can’t Wing It Anymore Against Hackers

‘We have to get the budget out there to stay ahead of this because otherwise it’s gonna have a major impact’

The Israeli military made (air)waves last week when it announced that it was installing cyber defenses on its F-35 jets. While this may seem like a futuristic concept, it’s actually long overdue from an online security standpoint.

“Bad actors were already doing bad things on the internet before the military caught up with technology,” Richard Blech, founder and CEO of the cybersecurity firm Secure Channels, told the Observer. Continue reading

Why Russian hackers, not a lone wolf, were likely behind the DNC breach

A lone hacker named Guccifer 2.0 has tried to take credit.

Proving who pulled off a cyber attack is never easy and sometimes impossible. That’s the reality investigators face as they try to figure out who breached the network of the Democratic National Committee, which revealed last week that hackers had made off with confidential documents including research on Republican presidential opponent Donald Trump.

Russia was fingered as the likely suspect, until a hacker calling himself Guccifer 2.0 stepped up and claimed that he acted alone. But despite what appear to be DNC documents posted by Guccifer online, some security experts remain convinced that a group of skilled Russian hackers was behind the attack – likely acting on behalf of the Russian government. Here’s why they think that:

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

FBI Warns Nation-State Cyber Attacks Are Continuing

This will continue until America is either crippled beyond repair, or until America decides to abandon its “patch and pray” reactive measures that do almost nothing against future threats, and become proactive.

 

Government and private networks hit by sophisticated cyber espionage

Foreign government hackers are continuing to target U.S. government and private sector computer networks in sophisticated cyber attacks, the FBI warned in an alert sent this week.

“Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) cyber actors continue to target sensitive information stored on U.S. commercial and government networks through cyber espionage,” the FBI said in the May 11 notice.

The term “APT actor” is a euphemism for state-sponsored or highly sophisticated cyber attackers, usually involving connections to foreign militaries or intelligence services. Continue reading

Chinese media laud hacker for US spying

This is what Chinese state-sponsored hackers receive from the state-controlled media on a job well done:

 

Spying on the US is a service to China, state-run media said Wednesday, singing the praises of a man who confessed to hacking American defence contractors on Beijing’s behalf.

Chinese national Su Bin, 50, pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets from the companies, including plans for transport planes and fighter jets. Continue reading

China Hacked F-22, F-35 Stealth Jet Secrets

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Su Bin

Chinese national pleads guilty in California to hacking Boeing C-17 data

A Chinese businessman pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy to hack computer networks of U.S. defense contractors and obtain sensitive data on military aircraft that was passed on to China.

Su Bin, also known as Stephen Su and Stephen Subin, reached a plea deal in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday, following a 2014 criminal complaint and later indictment for illegal computer hacking and theft and transfer of export-controlled data. Continue reading

China behind massive cyber-attack on Australian govt, says ABC report

A major cyber-attack against Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology that may have compromised potentially sensitive national security information is being blamed on China, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on Wednesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology owns one of Australia’s largest supercomputers and the attack, which the ABC said occurred in recent days, may have allowed those responsible access to the Department of Defense through a linked network. Continue reading

On China’s fringes, cyber spies raise their game

Almost a year after students ended pro-democracy street protests in Hong Kong, they face an online battle against what Western security experts say are China-sponsored hackers using techniques rarely seen elsewhere.

Hackers have expanded their attacks to parking malware on popular file-sharing services including Dropbox and Google Drive (GOOGL.O) to trap victims into downloading infected files and compromising sensitive information. They also use more sophisticated tactics, honing in on specific targets through so-called ‘white lists’ that only infect certain visitors to compromised websites.

Security experts say such techniques are only used by sophisticated hackers from China and Russia, usually for surveillance and information extraction. Continue reading

Chinese, Others Hack Interior Data 19 Times

Foreign intelligence agents and other hackers attacked Interior Department networks 19 times in recent years, before walking away from keyboards with unknown amounts of stolen data, according to agency inspectors.

The incidents are unrelated to a previously disclosed assault on Interior networks connected to Office of Personnel Management systems, the agency says. That high-profile campaign seized from the U.S. government 21.5 million confidential records on national security personnel and their family members. Continue reading