Treasury Hits Russian FSB for Underwater Reconnaissance of Internet Cables

An undersea fiber optic cable

An undersea fiber optic cable / Getty Images

 

Moscow plans to attack undersea cables in future conflict

The Treasury Department on Monday announced the imposition of economic sanctions against Russian entities engaged in targeting undersea internet cables and cyber spying inside critical U.S. infrastructures.

The department announced sanctions on five companies and three Russians linked to the Federal Security Service, the main Kremlin intelligence service, known as the FSB, that has been linked to Russian election meddling in 2016.

For the first time, Treasury revealed one of the sanctioned companies, Divetechnoservices, has worked with the FSB since 2007 to spy on underwater cables used to connect the internet around the world.

Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables which carry the bulk of the world’s telecommunications data,” the department said in announcing the sanctions. Continue reading

U.S. Military Voices Worries Over South Korean Use of Chinese Telecom Gear

Chris Bush, a spokesman for the U.S. Forces Korea said the command is concerned that a deal between China’s Huawei Technologies, Inc. and the South Korean company LG could undermine operational security.

“Telecommunications equipment is inherently vulnerable to a multitude of threats, from interception and monitoring to malicious software and applications, regardless of service provider,” Bush told the Washington Free Beacon when asked about security concerns related to the Huawei-LG deal.

A former senior Obama administration official said he is very concerned that the use of Huawei equipment in a nationwide telecommunications system on the peninsula ultimately will be used for espionage during both peacetime and sabotage in a conflict.

“Huawei is an arm of the Chinese government,” the former official said of the controversial equipment manufacturer that has been blocked several times from purchasing U.S. companies. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the evidence against Huawei. Continue reading

China Cyber Espionage Grows

Secret military cyber unit masked activities after exposure

The recent exposure of a secret Chinese military cyber warfare unit has not led to a decrease in cyber espionage against U.S. government and private networks, according a draft congressional China commission report.

Instead, the Chinese military group temporarily limited its large-scale cyber espionage campaign and took steps to mask its activities, according to a forthcoming report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

The report concludes that the Chinese government is engaged in a concerted campaign of cyber attacks led by a Shanghai-based unit. Continue reading