September 05, 2007

China Connection


From FOX News: Pentagon Source Says China Hacked Defense Department Computers.

The Chinese government hacked a noncritical Defense Department computer system in June, a Pentagon source told FOX News on Tuesday.

Pentagon investigators could not definitively link the cyber attack to the Chinese military, the source said, but the technology was sophisticated enough that it indicated to Pentagon officials as well as those in charge of computer security that it came from within the Chinese government.

The source's information directly contradicts Chinese claims earlier Tuesday, in which officials called the allegations "groundless." The Chinese government, officials said, opposes cyber crime.

"It's a safe assumption that the technology was resident in the state," the source told FOX. It was a "complicated attack."

"These hacking attacks go on everyday but this was a more complicated attack with more sophisticated technology that broke through the current firewalls," the Pentagon source said. "It's a constant game of cat and mouse. This was a wake-up call for us."

The source added that the area hacked was not a very important one. It was a section of the office of the Defense secretary that deals with policy and administrative matters comprised of all unclassified e-mail accounts. The source added that the area is not significant to any operational security. ...

It was the second time in two weeks that China was accused of hacking into a foreign government's computers. On the eve of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Beijing last week, the weekly Der Spiegel said computers at the Chancellery and three ministries had been infected with so-called Trojans, or spy programs. ...

The Pentagon warned earlier this year that China's army is emphasizing hacking as an offensive weapon. It cited Chinese military exercises in 2005 that included hacking "primarily in first strikes against enemy networks."

From AP: Bush to praise and challenge Hu Jintao.

President Bush plans to deliver a mixed message of encouragement and concern when he meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao, the leader of one of the world's fastest-growing economies and one of its most formidable military powers. ...

China has denied reports that its military hacked into a computer system in the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates in June. Bush largely sidestepped the question, but said, "We understand that we're vulnerable in some systems." The Financial Times, citing unidentified officials, said China was behind the attack that forced the Pentagon to temporarily take down the network. China has called the allegations "groundless."

Posted by Forkum at September 5, 2007 04:21 PM