Chinese Cyberattack Continues

DHS warns about new ‘watering hole’ cyber attack vulnerability as a high-tech firm also reportedly is hit

The Department of Homeland Security warned Internet Explorer users this week about a new software flaw used in remote cyber attacks as Microsoft issued an advisory on the embattled browser’s software hole.

The response followed reports in the Free Beacon revealing that hackers linked to China attacked the Council on Foreign Relations website and used it as a watering hole for a sophisticated cyberespionage attack. Continue reading

Russian Sub Skirts Coast

A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine cruised within 200 miles of the East Coast recently in the latest sign Russia is continuing to flex its naval and aerial power against the United States, defense officials said.

The submarine was identified by its NATO designation as a Russian Seirra-2 class submarine believed to be based with Russia’s Northern Fleet. It was the first time that class of Russian submarine had been detected near a U.S. coast, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of anti-submarine warfare efforts. Continue reading

Chinese Missile Tests Continue

China’s military carried out a fourth flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile last week, firing off a new road-mobile ICBM on Thursday, according to U.S. officials.

U.S. intelligence agencies monitored the flight test of the DF-31A missile from China’s Wuzhai Space and Missile Test Center to an impact range in western China.

It was the fourth time since late July that China flight-tested its growing arsenal of long-range mobile ballistic missiles.

Thursday’s DF-31A test came 10 days after the flight test at Wuzhai of a silo-based CSS-4 Mod 2 long-range missile, and several weeks after flight tests of a new road-mobile DF-41 ICBM, on July 24, and a submarine-launched JL-2 missile on Aug. 16.

China’s secretive military made no mention of any of the tests, although state-controlled Chinese media recently confirmed China is building the DF-41 ICBM.

U.S. intelligence officials believe the DF-41 will eventually be outfitted with between three and ten warheads. It would be the first time China’s strategic missiles were outfitted with multiple, independently-targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs.

China is currently in the middle of a major strategic nuclear forces buildup that includes four new ICBMs – the DF-41, JL-2, DF-31A, and another road-mobile missile called the DF-31 that is assessed to have less range than the DF-31A.

The DF-31A has been deployed since the mid-2000s and has an estimated range of 7,000 miles, enough to give China the capability of hitting Washington or European capitals in a nuclear strike.

Richard Fisher, a specialist on China’s military with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said China has deployed up to four DF-31A missile brigades.

“Assuming that a brigade counts up to 12 mobile launchers and 12 missiles, this may amount to 48 DF-31A missiles, or multiples of 48 if the [People’s Liberation Army] plans reloads for this ICBM,” Fisher said.

The DF-31A and its reload missile are likely stored in the 3,000 miles of tunnels used by the Second Artillery Corps, as China’s nuclear and conventional missile forces are called.

The tunnels, first disclosed several years ago by China and later publicized by a Georgetown University arms control study, are large-scale facilities used to store missiles and warheads, as well as to protect underground nuclear production facilities.

The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, also reported the same day of the DF-31A test that China’s strategic missile forces have fully transitioned from “troops in the mountains” to “troops on the wheel” during the past 10 years.

Full article: Chinese Missile Tests Continue (Washington Free Beacon)

Obama’s Lost in Space

As the Clinton admin has done, so has the Obama admin. Yet the general blind public’s reaction is “shock” or disbelief when hearing how the PLA technology is on par with US military technology now and the threat it causes.

Administration approves controversial export license allowing sensitive space technology transfer to China

The Obama administration recently notified Congress that it has agreed to license exports of sensitive U.S. space technology to China from a U.S. company that was fined in the past for illegally supplying space support that improved Chinese ballistic missiles.

The State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, the unit that licenses exports of sensitive technology, notified House and Senate leaders on Wednesday of plans to go ahead with an export license for a deal between Space Systems/Loral and AsiaSat, a company owned in part by a Chinese state-run investment company linked to past satellite deals in the 1990s.

Additionally, U.S. government reports indicate that China’s People’s Liberation Army, which is currently engaged in a major space warfare program that involves anti-satellite missiles and lasers, used AsiaSat communications satellites in the past.

An intelligence report produced by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center stated that AsiaSat satellites were used by the People’s Liberation Army for military-related communications.

Documents obtained by the Free Beacon reveal that the Obama administration appeared to ignore two U.S. laws prohibiting space cooperation with China. They include sanctions against selling military goods to China imposed after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre by Chinese military forces, and a 1999 law requiring all space exports to China to be treated as military transfers.

The State Department justified its approval of the Loral license as permitted under the 1992 U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act, which the department said exempts Hong Kong from other U.S. laws restricting exports of space technology and defense goods to China. The British colony reverted to Beijing control in 1997.

Because of close ties between Chinese civilian and military space development, there is a “high likelihood that space-related items and technology will be diverted from a civil use and applied to military programs,” under relaxed U.S. export controls, the report said.

As China advances in operational space capabilities, it is actively focusing on how to destroy, disrupt, or deny U.S. access to our own space assets,” the report said.

The report said China is building several new classes of offensive missiles, upgrading older missile systems, and “developing space-based methods to counter ballistic missile defenses of the United States and our allies, including anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons.”

Regarding space technology transfer, the report said: “Inadvertent or deliberate transfer of space-related expertise poses the most significant potential harm to U.S. national interests.”

Richard Fisher, a specialist on Chinese military affairs, said he is opposed to loosening controls on space technology transfer to China.

“We do not have a required level of transparency with China’s overall space program to be relaxing rules sufficient to enable commercial cooperation,” said Fisher, with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

“We are still not able to assure that U.S. technology will somehow assist some future Chinese space weapon,” he said. “China still laughs at our efforts to promote such transparency.”

Full Article: Obama’s Lost in Space (Washington Free Beacon)

U.S. Colleges Infected by Foreign Spies: FBI

“Placing academics at U.S. research institutions under the guise of legitimate research offers access to developing U.S. technologies and cutting-edge research” in such areas as information systems, lasers, aeronautics and underwater robots, the report said.

Enabling China

Over the years, American universities have enabled China “to leapfrog into the cutting edge of military capability on the way to superpower status,” Richard Fisher, senior fellow on Asian Military Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Alexandria, Virginia, said in an e-mail.

Chen Dingchang, the head of a Chinese military-sponsored working group on anti-satellite technology, led a delegation in 1998 to the University of Florida to learn about diamond-coating manufacturing, used in missile seekers and other systems, said Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute in Arlington, Virginia, which studies Chinese aerospace technology. In a 1999 report in a Chinese journal, the authors, including Chen, said the university’s cooperation would assist in overcoming a technical bottleneck in China’s development of anti-satellite warheads.

Full article: U.S. Colleges Infected by Foreign Spies: FBI (Bloomberg Businessweek)