A leading computer security firm has used logs produced by a single server to trace the hacking of more than 70 corporations and government organizations over many months, and experts familiar with the analysis say the snooping probably originated in China.
Among the targets were the Hong Kong and New York offices of the Associated Press, where unsuspecting reporters working on China issues clicked on infected links in e-mail, the experts said.
Other targets included the networks of the International Olympic Committee, the United Nations secretariat, a U.S. Energy Department lab, and a dozen U.S. defense firms, according to a report released Wednesday by McAfee, a security firm that monitors network intrusions around the world.
McAfee said hundreds of other servers have been used by the same adversary, which the company did not identify.
But James A. Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said “the most likely candidate is China.” The target list’s emphasis on Taiwan and on Olympic organizations in the run-up to the Beijing Games in 2008 “points to China” as the perpetrator, he said. “This isn’t the first we’ve seen. This has been going on from China since at least 1998.”
Lets not get too excited. This could have been a useful political tool to bargain with the PRC all the way through the 2000s if successive western governments hadn’t decided to look the other way. The question is: Can they afford to not pay attention now?
Guess what, everybody? Arabs and Israelis have found a new way to hate each other. Since the turn of the year, a hacking war has been taking place in the Middle East. The conflict was primarily ignited by two guys: one called “0xOmar,” who’s battling for Saudi Arabia and claims to be from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, and another called (confusingly) “OxOmer,” aka Omer Cohen, an IDF soldier and proud Israeli. Between them, these two men have been leading newly-formed legions of keyboard warriors in a rush and a push to spill the other side’s credit card details all over the web and generally make their lives as tedious and annoying as possible.
In the old nuclear age, you could sit under a big screen under a mountain in Colorado and you could see where the missiles were coming from. If there’s a cyber attack from China or Russia or Romania or Mexico, it may well run through a server in another country. And it may take months before you know where it really came from.
New York Times’ chief Washington correspondent David Sanger on cyberattacks.
In June last year, a computer virus called Stuxnet was discovered lurking in the data banks of power plants, traffic control systems and factories around the world.
Pandora’s box has been opened; on the new battlefield the aggressors are anonymous, the shots are fired without starting wars and the foot soldiers can pull their triggers without leaving their desks.
Last week the United States government announced they would retaliate to a cyber-attack with conventional force. The threat is real, and the age in which a computer bug could cost lives has begun. (June 8, 2011)
So this is probably the scariest thing ever. Maybe not this, specifically. But use your imagination and think of what else could come of this. Cyber warfare scares me so much because it’s like battling with nothing; nothing that can destroy with the touch of a button. I can’t even fathom this anymore. This is amazing and terrifying.
Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the Cyber War Headquarters, was found dead in a wooded area near the town of Karaj, north-west of the capital, Tehran. Five Iranian nuclear scientists and the head of the country’s ballistic missile programme have been killed since 2007. The regime has accused Israel’s external intelligence agency, the Mossad, of carrying out these assassinations.
Ahmadi was last seen leaving his home for work on Saturday. He was later found with two bullets in the heart, according to Alborz, a website linked to the Revolutionary Guard Corps. “I could see two bullet wounds on his body and the extent of his injuries indicated that he had been assassinated from a close range with a pistol,” an eyewitness told the website.
The commander of the local police said that two people on a motorbike had been involved in the assassination.
[…] Subsequently, a statement from the Imam Hassan Mojtaba division of the Revolutionary Guard Corps said that Ahmadi’s death was being investigated. It warned against speculating “prematurely about the identity of those responsible for the killing”.
Western officials said the information was still being assessed, but previous deaths have been serious blows to Iran’s security forces. Tighter security measures around leading commanders and nuclear scientists have instilled a culture of fear in some of the most sensitive parts of the security establishment.
The last victim of a known assassination was Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemist who worked in the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, who died when an explosive device blew up on his car in January last year.
In the next two weeks, I will be making a motion graphics piece that will be a PSA on cyber war. The question is what is the definition of cyber warfare? I will be explaining the grey area that is being debated in the new Cyber Defense Sector of the US Government. When is the line crossed during a cyber attack and becomes an act of war? The US Government has not taken the proper precautions in cyber defense. The US is leaning more towards only taking action once a catastrophic event similar to 9/11 or Pearl Harbor occur. The US feels like the only way to a strong defense is a strong offense. This video explains what cyber war is, and how the US is going about securing national security. The is some research for my PSA coming up. The government needs to speed up their process on securing public safety throughout cyberspace. Plans for securing vital infrastructure is key, because that is the worst case senario for America.