Pentagon Reports: Chinese Engaged in Global Power Play

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(Photo Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Chad McNeeley/U.S. Navy)

 

Defense Department warns One Belt One Road favors military and civilian projects that are a direct challenge to U.S. strategic interests.

A pair of reports this week from the Pentagon have sounded alarm bells for Washington, D.C., over China’s use of its ever-growing military, trade, and infrastructure networks, which they assert are being used to pursue a goal of global domination and direct confrontation with American interests around the world. Continue reading

Russian special forces land in S. Syria. US Raptors “deter” Syrian, Iranian, Russian combat aircraft

 

Unfolding Russian, US and Israeli military steps are raising the big power stakes in Syria on the eve of a Trump-Putin summit, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. Russian special forces have arrived and been attached to the Syrian military command in the southern Al-Safa region east of the Druze town of Sweida – officially as “advisers” to the Syrian offensive against ISIS, and markers of Islamist targets for Russian air strikes. Russia pulled those units out in June after helping Bashar Assad’s army capture rebel-held territory on Israel’s Golan and Jordan’s borders. Now, the Russians are attached to the Syrian Army’s elite 42nd Brigade-Ghiath Forces of the 4th Division. Continue reading

U.S. Weapons Systems Vulnerable to Cyberhacks, Report Warns

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Investigators ‘routinely found mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities’

Major U.S. weapons systems are increasingly vulnerable to hacking attacks, according to federal investigators who “routinely found mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities” in multiple critical systems operated by the Department of Defense.

The Defense Department has been caught flatfooted when it comes to protecting critical systems that oversee and run an increasing number of U.S. defense systems, according to a new Government Oversight Report that warns defense officials have little understanding of how to protect these systems from hacking attacks by foreign governments and other rogue actors. Continue reading

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

Recognition of this urgent and grave matter is finally receiving recognition by the mainstream media. Chinese microchips have been planted within every facet of U.S. life, from the military to household PC components, as well as everyday appliances such as irons and microwaves.

Further information previously archived on Global Geopolitics can be found within the following previous posts:

The Secret Ways of Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei (2013)

Security backdoor found in China-made US military chip (2012)

 

Click for a larger animated version. (Illustrator: Scott Gelber for Bloomberg Businessweek)

 

The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.

In 2015, Amazon.com Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming video service, known today as Amazon Prime Video. Based in Portland, Ore., Elemental made software for compressing massive video files and formatting them for different devices. Its technology had helped stream the Olympic Games online, communicate with the International Space Station, and funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency. Elemental’s national security contracts weren’t the main reason for the proposed acquisition, but they fit nicely with Amazon’s government businesses, such as the highly secure cloud that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was building for the CIA. Continue reading

Chinese warship challenges US vessel in South China Sea

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A file photo shows destroyers and frigates of PLA’s South Sea Fleet in a drill in the South China Sea. Photo: PLA Daily

 

US media outlets reported a statement from the US Defense Department describing “increasingly aggressive” maneuvers conducted by a China ship, which engaged in a literal game of chicken with a US warship.

“A [People’s Republic of China] Luyang destroyer approached USS Decatur in an unsafe and unprofessional maneuver in the vicinity of Gaven Reef in the South China Sea,” Captain Charles Brown, a spokesman for US Pacific Fleet, said of the incident, CNN reported. Continue reading

China Adds Advanced Missiles to South China Sea Islands

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Pentagon plans major response to Chinese hegemony

China’s military has stepped up militarizing disputed islands in the South China Sea by deploying advanced missile systems on the Spratly islands, according to the Pentagon.

Defense officials disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that the militarization has raised alarm bells about China’s creeping takeover of the strategic waterway used for some $5 trillion annually in international trade. 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

U.S. military seeks to be more lethal, including in space: Mattis

The U.S. military is seeking to be more lethal in all domains, including space, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday.

In a briefing with reporters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Mattis said U.S. Northern Command will have to change to meet the challenges of the future, to include space-related security challenges.

Continue reading

Major data breach at Marine Forces Reserve impacts thousands

A U.S. Marine assigned to the cyber security technician course, Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School, work on an assignment at Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms, California, March 15, 2017. (Lance Cpl. Jose Villalobosrocha/Marine Corps)

 

The personal information of thousands of Marines, sailors and civilians, including bank account numbers, was compromised in a major data spillage emanating from U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve.

Roughly 21,426 people were impacted when an unencrypted email with an attachment containing personal confidential information was sent to the wrong email distribution list Monday morning.

Continue reading

Report: Drones ‘Buzzing’ U.S. Military Installations

 

According to a new Defense Department study conducted by the drone surveillance startup Dedrone, drones are increasingly flying over military installations in the U.S. without authorization.

The contractor conducted a 56-day drone-detection pilot test demonstration at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, located just four miles away from the White House in Washington, D.C, as part of an Army effort to develop counter-drone security measures. The test revealed 95 instances of “previously undetectable” drone activity above the installation. Continue reading

Amazon Web Services can Now Host the Defense Department’s Most Sensitive Data

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This week, the Defense Department granted the cloud computing giant a provisional authorization to host Impact Level 5 workloads, which are the military and Pentagon’s most sensitive, unclassified information.  Continue reading

How Russia and others use cybercriminals as proxies

Employees watch electronic boards monitoring possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul. (Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap/AP)

 

US adversaries are offering cyber criminals a bargain: Use your talents for spy agencies, in exchange for legal immunity. One such cybercriminal was involved in the 2016 US election interference.

JUNE 28, 2017 It had taken American prosecutors a long time to hand down the indictment, but finally they had their man. In 2013, authorities had tracked down Alexsey Belan, a notorious Russia-linked cyber criminal, and were getting ready to extradite him to the United States.

But Mr. Belan, a Latvian-born hacker wanted by the FBI for launching assaults on US networks using thousands of hacked computers, slipped from the clutches of European law-enforcement agents. Continue reading

China Tests Missile With 10 Warheads

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Multi-warhead weapon tested amid growing tensions with the United States

China flight tested a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads in what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture.

The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out earlier this month using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. The test of the inert warheads was monitored closely by U.S. intelligence agencies, said two officials familiar with reports of the missile test.

The missile was fired from the Taiyuan Space Launch Center in central China and flew to an impact range in the western Chinese desert.

No other details about the test could be learned. Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross suggested in a statement the test was monitored. Continue reading

F-35 Program Delayed Again, Costing At Least $500 Million

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program has been delayed again and will cost at least $500 million more, according to correspondence between the Pentagon and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) revealed Tuesday afternoon that the Defense Department had confirmed the seven-month delay in the F-35’s system development and demonstration phase, or SDD. McCain has long been a harsh critic of the F-35 program for its delays and accompanying cost overruns, and President-elect Donald Trump has more recently took aim at Lockheed Martin’s development of the fifth-generation stealth fighter jets for its “out of control” costs. Continue reading

White House tells the Pentagon to quit talking about ‘competition’ with China

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(Photo Credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

 

The White House has barred Pentagon leaders from a key talking point when it comes to publicly describing the military challenges posed by China.

In February, Defense Secretary Ash Carter cited the “return to great power of competition” in the Asia-Pacific, “where China is rising.”

Similarly, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson characterized China and Russia as rivals in this “great power competition” in his maritime strategy. Continue reading