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“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.

“The War God’s Face Has Become Indistinct” – Unrestricted Warfare December 11, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in cybersecurity, Risk & Risk Management, terrorism.
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300px-DHS_S_WRWhile doing some research for a project recently some of my military friends pointed me to a document I had never read called Unrestricted Warfare.  In reading the document, I was shocked at what it contained.  In 1999, two Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) Colonels were tasked to write a document titled: Unrestricted Warfare that outlines China’s approach to war with the West.   In short, the document articulates a new definition of warfare that includes using all economic, political, and PR means to fight ‘sub wars’ and ‘pseudo wars’.  While we sit in the US laboring under our definition of warfare, our adversaries are redefining the battlespace.  Here are some quotes from the document:

“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.”[i]

“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.”[i]

It I worth your time to read the document to understand the new idea of war and warfare.


[i] House of Representatives. (Kindle Locations 325-327). Kindle Edition.


[i] Wiangsui Qiao Liang and Wang. Unrestricted warfare. Beijing: PLA Literature and Arts Publishing House; 1999.

“Cyber Espionage is Alive and Well”; Motorola Employee Sentenced in theft of IP August 30, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in cyberespionage, cybersecurity.
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According to a story in CIO, a former Motorola employee was sentenced to 4 years in prison for theft of trade secrets. For more information on the cyber espionage threat, you can read my  article: “The Rise of CyberEspionage” published in The Counter Terrorist Magazine.

Below is an excerpt of the CIO article.

“Hanjuan Jin, 41, a nine-year Motorola software engineer, conducted a “purposeful raid to steal technology,” U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo said while imposing the sentence, according to a statement by the department.

The Judge did not however find her guilty of three counts of economic espionage for the benefit of China and its military, although he found by a preponderance of the evidence, that Jin “was willing to betray her naturalized country,” according to the department. Jin had earlier been convicted by the court of three counts of theft of trade secrets.

Judge Castillo’s order was not immediately available on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division where Jin was on trial.

Jin, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in China, was stopped from traveling on a one-way ticket to China on Feb. 28, 2007 at O’Hare International Airport by U.S. customs officials who are said to have seized from her possession more than 1,000 electronic and paper documents from Motorola.”

Companies need to be vigilant and understand that the same techniques used to steal national secrets are being employed in US businesses.  While not exclusive to China, they certainly represent the greatest threat today.

“Gauss What!?” – Another CyberWeapon Discovered August 14, 2012

Posted by Chris Mark in cyberespionage, Risk & Risk Management, terrorism.
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According to Kaspersky labs, yet another cyberweapon was discovered last week.  On August 9, 2012 Kaspersky labs released a press release stating that they had identified another cyber-weapon dubbed Gauss.  According to the press release:

“…‘Gauss’, a new cyber-threat targeting users in the Middle East. Gauss is a complex, nation-state sponsored cyber-espionage toolkit designed to steal sensitive data, with a specific focus on browser passwords, online banking account credentials, cookies, and specific configurations of infected machines. The online banking Trojan functionality found in Gauss is a unique characteristic that was not found in any previously known cyber-weapons.” (more…)

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