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“The United States is Under Attack” – CyberWar Article May 23, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in cyberespionage, cybersecurity, Uncategorized.
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CT2013The title was a comment made in 2011 by the US House of Representatives.

In cleaning out my house for an impending move I found a copy of The Counter Terorist Magazine for which I had written an article in 2013 titled “CyberWar”.While the article is 3 years old, it still provides some valuable information and valuable lessons on the current state of Cyber War.   The US Congress has has several sessions and working groups to discuss “The Chinese Problem” related to cyber espionage and Cyber War.  You can learn more by reading my article!

Lenovo caught (again) installing SpyWare and Malware on Computers! September 27, 2015

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LenovoI just saw on TheHackerNews Security Blog on a link I picked up on LinkedIn.  If true (no reason to think it is not), this is truly bad business and shameful practices by Lenovo..AGAIN. Keep in mind that two years ago Lenovo (a Chinese company, BTW) was banned (Again..) from providing computers to the US Intelligence and defense services of  over spying issues.  They were first banned in 2006!  Then, in January 2015, Lenovo was caught…ONCE AGAIN..installing SuperFish malware onto refurbished laptops.  SuperFish has a serious vulnerability which makes it vulnerable to Man in The Middle Attacks (MitM).  Now, according to TheHackerNews Lenovo  was caught in August installing a rootkit into their computers.  This rootkit, known as the Lenovo Sevice Engine (LSE) installs into the BIOS on the computer.  According to TheHackerNews:

So what does this really mean for you…the consumer?  If you want to buy a Lenovo I would only ask that you email me as I have a great bridge for sale in Utah and would love to introduce you to some Ukrainian friends who love to give high interest loans.  Honestly, if you are going to buy a Lenovo after reading this, you probably deserve what you get.  I can tell you that I would never own a Lenovo again (had one in the 1990’s).  Fool me once…shame on you…fool me twice shame on me…fool me a third time?  Seriously?

超限战 – “Warfare without Bounds”; China’s Hacking of the US June 11, 2015

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Unconditional_warfare

“Pleased to meet you…hope you guessed my name…But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game.”
– The Rolling Stones; Sympathy for the Devil

With the recent US Government’s acknowledgement of China’s hacking of numerous government websites and networks, many are likely wondering why China would have an interest in stealing employee data?  To answer this question, we need to look back at the 1991 Gulf War. You can read my 2013 Article (WorldCyberwar) in the Counter Terrorist Magazine on this subject.

In 1991, a coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq in defense of Kuwait.  At the time Iraq had the 5th largest standing army in the world.  The US led coalition defeated the Iraqi army in resounding fashion in only 96 hours.  For those in the United States the victory was impressive but the average American civilian did not have an appreciation for how this victory was accomplished.

The Gulf War was the first real use of what is known as C4I.  In short, C4I is an acronym for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence. The Gulf War was the first use of a new technology known as Global Positioning Systems (GPS).  The Battle of Medina Ridge was a decisive tank battle in Iraq fought on February 26, 1991 and the first to use GPS.  In this 40 minute battle, the US 1st Armored Division fought the 2nd Brigade of the Iraqi Republican Guard and won decisively. While the US lost 4 tanks and had 2 people killed, the Iraqis suffered a loss of 186 tanks, 127 Infantry Fighting Vehicles and 839 soldiers captured.  The Chinese watched the Gulf War closely and came away with an understanding that a conventional ‘linear’ war against the United States was unwinnable.

After the Gulf War the Chinese People’s Liberation Army tasked two PLA colonels (Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui) with redefining the concept of warfare.  From this effort came a new model of Warfare that is published in the book “Unrestricted Warfare” or “Warfare without Bounds”.  Unrestricted Warfare is just what it sound like.  The idea that ‘pseudo-wars’ can be fought against an enemy.  Information warfare, PR efforts and other tactics are used to undermine and enemy without engaging in kinetic, linear battle.  Below is a quote from the book:

“If we acknowledge that the new principles of war are no longer “using armed force to compel the enemy to submit to one’s will,” but rather are “using all means including armed force and non-armed force, military and non-military, lethal and non-lethal means to compel the enemy to accept one’s interests.”

“As we see it, a single man-made stock-market crash, a single computer virus invasion, or a single rumor or scandal that results in a fluctuation in the enemy country’s exchange rates or exposes the leaders of an enemy country on the Internet, all can be included in the ranks of new-concept weapons.”

It further stated: “… a single rumor or scandal that results in fluctuation in the enemy country’s exchange rates…can be included in the ranks of new concept weapons.”

On April 15, 2011, the US Congressional Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations conducted a hearing on Chinese cyber-espionage. The hearing revealed the US government’s awareness of Chinese cyberattacks. In describing the situation in his opening remarks, subcommittee chairperman Dana Rohrbacher* astutely stated:

“[The]United States is under attack.”

“The Communist Chinese Government has defined us as the enemy. It is buying, building and stealing whatever it takes to contain and destroy us. Again, the Chinese Government has defined us as the enemy.”

Given the Chinese perspective on Unlimited Warfare, it becomes much more clear that what we are seeing with the compromises are examples of ‘pseudo wars’ being fought by the Chinese.  It will be interesting to see how or if the US responds.

*thank you to the reader who corrected my referencing Mr. Rohrbacher as a female.  My apologies to Chairman Rohrbacher!

“Pleased to meet you…hope you guessed my name…” – Sophisticated CyberAttack hits US Dept of Energy February 4, 2013

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CT2013UPDATE: A new report released shows that Chinese military is involved in CyberAttacks.   Read the full story here and download the report.

Foxnews released an article today that outlines a sophisticated cyberattack targetting the US Dept of Energy.  Surprisingly, the suspect is China.  According to the story, the attack compromised the information of several hundred employees with the expected outcome to be to compromise more information .  According to the article:

“It’s a continuing story of negligence,” former Energy Department security official Ed McCallum told the Free Beacon, explaining that the department continues to have security problems despite controlling some of the most “sophisticated military and intelligence technology the country owns.” 

He said China, as well as Iran, have been after Energy Department secrets. Several groups and agencies have warned about stepped-up cyber activities out of China. 

“China continues to develop its capabilities in the cyber arena,” the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission said in a November 2012 report to Congress. “U.S. industry and a range of government and military targets face repeated exploitation attempts by Chinese hackers as do international organizations and nongovernmental groups including Chinese dissident groups, activists, religious organizations, rights groups, and media institutions.” 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/04/sophisticated-cyber-attack-hits-energy-department-china-possible-suspect/#ixzz2Jwn0Yycu

Chris Mark’s Article in “The Counter Terrorist Magazine” January 28, 2013

Posted by Chris Mark in cyberespionage, cybersecurity.
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CT2013I received my copy of February/March 2013 International edition of The Counter Terrorist Magazine and imagine my surprise when I am the cover article!  I have written for a number of publications but I have to say my favorite is The Counter Terrorist.  It is a great periodical for anyone interested in World affairs, Terrorism, and Counter Terrorism.  My article is titled “World Cyber War”.  In the article I talk about the differences in the perspectives of war between the East and the West, as well as provide examples of how cyber operations have already been used to further national interests.  China is highlighted for their interpretations of war and warfare in “Unlimited War”, as well as Russia, and a few others.  Overall, I think it is one of my better articles.  To read The Counter Terrorist, you must subscribe either online or in print.  Check out…The Counter Terrorist Magazine.

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