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Massive Hack – When Will We Learn?

Posted on Monday, December 21, 2020
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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hackA massive computer hack – reportedly affecting countless US agencies, businesses, and citizens – just occurred.  Did it come from Russia or China?  Source codes are deceptive. Russia is an avid hacker, and China’s hacks are devastating.  The point, however, is not who – but how? At a certain point, you stop bailing and seal the hole.  Time is now to batten down digital hatches.

If we are capable of initiating hacks, we should be capable of defending them.  If we are capable of cyber-force, we should be capable of cyber-counterforce.  On the public record, we know Cybercommand has been busy, on everything from hack tracking to mocking memes since it became a unified combat command in 2018.

But still, we are hacked.  China has been a particularly virulent hacker – as they are increasingly virulent in other areas, maritime and space militarization to bioweapons and penetrating US universities, foundations and businesses, sending “honey pots” for Democrat mayors and congressmen to coopting the WTO, WHO and bio-engineering bat viruses that suddenly go global. See, e.g., https://intpolicydigest.org/2020/02/24/china-s-influence-in-multilateral-organizations-and-covid-19/; https://thehill.com/opinion/international/520328-countering-chinese-influence-in-multinational-organizations; https://www.foxnews.com/politics/how-china-has-built-its-extensive-honey-trap-spy-network; and https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pompeo-chinese-threat-us-colleges-beijing.

On the numbers, if Russia, Iran, and North Korea are prolific hackers, China takes the prize.  In China’s 2015 attack on Anthem and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), that Communist nation stole 78.8 million medical records from Americans and 21.5 million (highly sensitive) personnel records on current and former US personnel, including SF-86 clearance documents – perfect for blackmail.

China’s appetite for stealing US data – military, intelligence, civilian agencies, private sector, educational, political, economic, space, science, technology, medical, nuclear – seems insatiable.  The pace of hacks – and their adverse impact – have only grown since 2015.

In 2017, Chinese hackers breached US credit-reporting company Equifax, stealing Social Security data from 145 million Americans – more than half the adult population.  China was charged by Trump in February 2020.  See, e.g.,  https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/chinese-hackers-charged-in-equifax-breach-021020.

Beginning in 2006, China began perfecting the art of hacking small US companies, colleges, foundations, and individuals, as a means for disguising what become larger hacks, penetrating those affiliated, digitally integrated, or simply unsuspecting.  See, e.g., https://www.huffpost.com/entry/chinese-hacking-small-businesses_n_3868981.

China’s military is pioneering aggressive cyberespionage tools, including backdoors like the Aria-body tool, which takes control of victim networks.  As one expert notes, China is adroit at “locating and collecting specific documents … but also extracting data from removable drives, taking screenshots and keylogging … harvesting stolen data for espionage,” evading detection and compromising sensitive servers.” Net-net, China’s cyberattacks are sophisticated, growing, and debilitating.  See, e.g. https://research.checkpoint.com/2020/naikon-apt-cyber-espionage-reloaded/; https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/world/asia/china-hacking-military-aria.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage; and  https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/hacking/us-reportedly-uncovered-secret-base-of-chinas-hacking-operations/news-story/30c37affa60834d2b1398b7fa0dc8470.

Trump indicted China again, in September 2020, for breaking into 100 US agencies and businesses – this after China was identified as hacking US universities, research hospitals, and foundations for data ranging from weapons programs to vaccine research on COVID-19.  As then Deputy AG Jeff Rosen noted: “The Chinese Government has made a deliberate choice to allow its citizens to commit computer intrusions and attacks… because these actors will also help the P.R.C.”  See, e.g. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/16/us/politics/china-hackers.html.

The past decade has been rife with theft, manipulation, contamination, destruction, and digital blackmail – some private, much state-sponsored, substantial weight Chinese.  If this does not scare us into affirmative action, particularly as it compromises classified information, programs, and weapons, one is hard-pressed to imagine what would scare us – short of a nuclear strike.  See, e.g., https://www.zdnet.com/article/a-decade-of-hacking-the-most-notable-cyber-security-events-of-the-2010s/.

Return to “go” – the most recent, possibly largest attack ever, that just occurred.  We are learning new impacts daily, as if a giant rock just fell into our small pond.  Ripples radiate outward, concentric circles of theft, infection, manipulation, and more destruction of data.  When will we learn?

Some attribute the attack to Russian source codes, others suspect China.  Game theory keeps you guessing.  They know … that you know … that they know … that you know … that they know … and so they act to make you wonder – who did what, when, with what motivation?  Just like Russian nesting dolls – only, as history teaches, nesting dolls actually originated in China.  Interesting, eh? See, https://blogs.transparent.com/polish/so-whats-the-story-behind-nesting-dolls/.

This returns us to one central point.  Just as we can wonder whether a particular adversary will launch a long-range missile toward us, the real question is – can we defend against such missiles, launched from anywhere?  That should be the goal – knock it down, regardless of origin.

In cyberespionage, questions and answers are similar.  Wise guys argue Russia or China?  Truth is, does not matter; they are both adversaries.  The question is how to get ahead, stay ahead, prevent the NEXT hack.  At a certain point, you stop bailing, and seal the hole.  Storms come and go.  What we need now is to batten down the digital hatches.

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Denzel Huber
9 months ago

naturally like your web site however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth on the other hand I will surely come again again.

Brodie Huerta
9 months ago

naturally like your web site however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth on the other hand I will surely come again again.

Isabel Gregory
9 months ago

I do not even understand how I ended up here, but I assumed this publish used to be great

PaulE
PaulE
3 years ago

Just look at the legacy systems that make up the federal government’s customer-facing technology platforms and are the targets of virtually all these hacks. All from the same prime vendor and not exactly state of the art, when it comes to the threats posed by well organized and well funded 21st century foreign government sponsored attacks. The antiquated RFP purchasing process used by all federal government agencies and departments all but assures that what the government will purchase and install will neither be state of the art, in terms of technology, nor the most current and robust in terms of protecting against cyber security threats.

Think of it this way. You end up buying a computer system based on technology that is 5 to 10 years out of date on the day it is installed and running software that was designed to handle the threats from that same time period. So with foreign hackers being furnished with the best state of the art technology and all the knowledge of the security flaws of the older technology you’re using, how hard is it to exploit those gaps? As long as government bean counters and career bureaucrats ultimately control and over-ride the technology recommendations put forth by private sector IT experts fluent in current state of the art cyber threats, this sort of foreign government hacking is inevitable.

In this case, the Chinese likely paid the Russians to do this little hack in order to take attention away from both the Swalwell story and the obvious ties Biden has to China. The MSM is back to chanting “Russia, Russia, Russia” and both Chinese spy stories are being swept under the rug. It’s called misdirection to divert the public’s attention away from the real ongoing threat.

Michael l Javick
Michael l Javick
3 years ago

The Demorats are just itching to start a war with Russia. That is why the traitorous controlled media condemns Russia at every turn and stays quiet about China’s silent but deadly infiltration of all Western countries governments,companies, colleges and media !

Gingerwinger
Gingerwinger
3 years ago

Well soon we will be part of China in every way when the new president takes over. That is part of their agenda.

Mark Effenberger
Mark Effenberger
3 years ago

First of all you have to accept what all leading cyber experts say. Any program/system created by a human, can be hacked by another human. Cyber security is an oxymoron. Computers are good for video games and shopping, not national security.

Biden: MAO More Than Ever!
Biden: MAO More Than Ever!
3 years ago

The answer seems so simple. For the actual costs, both financial and intellectual, required to fight off these hackers, it seems to me government could develop a new, alternate internal communications system that has absolutely no connection whatsoever to the internet. This would come as close to assuring security as it is possible to do. And while they are at it, why not develop another, commercial communications network for use by essential utilities, such as electrical generating and transmitting companies, gas and oil producers, pipelines, water supply systems and the like. This is basically what I do, although on a micro scale. I own two computers, one of which is online and conducts NO personal business, or at least as far as is possible. The other computer contains all of my personal information and is used to prepare my income taxes and the like. When that computer needs to be updated, I back up all of my files to a thumb drive and clear the computer memory before connecting to perform the updates. It’s a bit of a fuss but is secure as I can make it. The government, and industry, needs to start taking a long look at cyber security, and how they are mismanaging it. Fat chance of that happening with Crazy Joe coming on board in January.

Mickie Enders
Mickie Enders
3 years ago

Yes! The bottom line: it does not matter who! FIX the problem!

John Bonds
John Bonds
3 years ago

The allies won WW2 because of the USA. Not because of our military strength, but because of our ability to produce weapons, which we also supplied to our allies. Due to China’s ability to steal and copy all of the worlds manufacturing secrets and an abundance of cheap labor, they have become the industrial leaders of the world. They now produce more automobiles than the rest of the world combined and most everything else. All of that could be easily converted to weapons production, just like we did in WW2. China’s military is already twice the size of ours. The only other nations with military strength comparable to the USA’s is Russia, N. Korea and India. In the event of a war I doubt they would be our allies. Our only chance of winning would be the use of nuclear weapons….and then we would all loose. We are in deep trouble, but most of the people in the USA are oblivious to the approaching disaster.

Mark Brickey
Mark Brickey
3 years ago

THE biggest issue facing us is we now have a POTUS (well, elect at least) who doesn’t give a damn. China, Russia, etc. pour money into the Biden cartel amongst others and they play along with impunity. I know that it would take tremendous effort & be extremely hard, but maybe we should consider shutting down out entire system, take a week or a month & clear out any & all foreigners that are at all concerning for ANYTHING, confirm loyalty from any American citizens employed – natural or not – then build from the ground up. When a system is broken, sometimes it’s easier to start over instead of beating a dead horse.
Of course, the multitude of issues with this are shear numbers of people involved, “powerful” people, our “friends” and money since it would need to come from the House…

Art A
Art A
3 years ago

Who cares what entity hacked the system? We spend 10’s of billions of dollars for protection and the mouse not the elephant sneaks in and not detected and was eating the cheese for several months until a private firm raises the alarm. Do you think that we are not hacking other countries?? It is a brave new world captain Jack and we better deal with it! Stop wringing hands and crying or finding someone to blame. FIX IT! NOW! WE APPARENTLY ARE NOT ABLE TO HANDLE OUR OWN TECHNOLOGY. IN THE NFL THE BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE. WISE UP!

Robert Theriot
Robert Theriot
3 years ago

I would really like for whomever is dorking with my account would get the hell away and leave me alone.

JCline
JCline
3 years ago

Recent Events showing PRC Spies in Long Service with high elected officials are Evidence to the fact that there has been way too much Chinese Collusion with Democrats, Yet the Democrats just spent 4 Years trying to Pin a Phony Russian collusion accusation on President Trump.
It would also appear that our election was interfered with by the PRC from the very start of the 2020 campaign season ,
What we are seeing are Acts of Domestic Treason, Followed up by an Act of War !

Robert Theriot
Robert Theriot
3 years ago

P.S. I subscribed to this service in order to receive actual news that I hope is accurate and not full of personal views and opinions. I have other sources for those items. I do not appreciate having my reading interrupted to the point where I cannot control my screen.

RalfR
RalfR
3 years ago

We need to remember a few things. First, our recent election will cause a shift in world power and friendly and unfriendly nations have begun jockeying for position and influence. China is on a timetable with a target date of 2027 for complete domination of the United States. In a book written several years ago by a couple members of the PLA, called “Unrestricted Warfare” they discussed how China could deal with a technologically and militarily superior nation, like the United States. China has embraced an “anything goes” approach to defeating us and the rapid advances in their technology and influence bears witness to their efforts. They have acquired a view that it is China’s destiny to rule the world. Russia is in a more precarious spot as their oil and gas revenues have decreased and rumors persist about Putin’s health they have pulled back a bit. But they will not give up if they can find a way to apply pressure when it is advantageous to them, or if an opportunity presents itself. Iran seeks relief from the heavy sanctions they are under as they want to have their own nuclear arsenal and they are not likely to easily forget grudges. A similar case can be made for N. Korea. What this tells us is that we are surrounded by enemies who only know how to deal with force and a stiff spine. If we are not capable of standing up to their pressure, with equal or greater strength, we will probably do a repeat of the Obama years, with all of the negative effects.

Nick
Nick
3 years ago

Pompeo says Russia did it.

Please don’t call him a left-wing stooge or whatever. Our team does NOT WANT HIM.

HCOREY
HCOREY
3 years ago

Wonder if HClinton’s home computer allowed enemies of US to hack into US government agencies? Congress people like Swawell and Feinstein may have been entry points for enemy hackers of US. Pelosi won’t even take her appointee Swawell off House Intelligence. Swawell cavorted with Chinese spy Fan Banks & had access to Swawell’s computer. Feinstein’s driver had access to her conversations and probably her phone for 20 years. Mitch McConnell’s sister-in-law works for Bank of China. McConnell’s father-in-law is CEO of largest transportation company in China. Loose lips sink ships.

RJ from Arizona
RJ from Arizona
3 years ago

This is a disgrace. Is this beaurocy so bloated and inept that nothing gets done?

Lorey
Lorey
3 years ago

Maybe because our guys r more interested on spying on us. Intead of the enemy. Thats why we keep getting hacked all the time. Wouldn’t surprise me if the dems leaders r working with our enemies look at the bidens

GKP
GKP
3 years ago

Nothing to worry about my conservative friends// We have Dementia Joe Biden//Nancy Pelosi/Eric Swawell/the liberal media//scuz ball governors and mayors in liberal states/AOC/ and cronies in cabinet posts from Obama nightmare/I feel better already and the as a real safe feeling we have Kamala Harris the military guru//

Josephine pooley
Josephine pooley
3 years ago

Such scary stuff! God help us!

Phil Hammersley
Phil Hammersley
3 years ago

Isn’t it interesting that the guy who said this election was the “most secure” ever was the same guy who was supposed to catch this Russian?/Chinese? hack?

Cris
Cris
3 years ago

Are you saying that the Chinese may have conducted a massive computer hack and unleashed a biological weapon on the United States?
The thought police will not be happy with AMAC

pete kennedy
pete kennedy
3 years ago

If you destroy the middle class you will control the country. There will be a two tier system. The elite – tier one – tier two will be those
that must depend on the government for their survival.

Nina Rae
Nina Rae
3 years ago

Isn’t this just Fantastic? Almost Everyone is connected to a computer in one way or another. For years we’ve been told they’re secure, now suddenly they’re NOT secure and basically the whole world has been hacked! Covid wasn’t enough…now electronics have gone south too…time to retire to my land in the mountains & sever contact with this insane world! Too much Stress!!

JOSEPH MORGAN SR
JOSEPH MORGAN SR
3 years ago

IF THE CROOK BIDEN TAKES OVER WE CAN KISS OUR ASSES GOODBYE.
IF YOU NOTICED THAT THE LOGO USED BY BIREN HAS THE CHINESE SYMBOLISM
IS THE THREE RED BARS WHICH STANDS FOR THE 3 STAGES OF COMMUNISM IN
CHINA TO KEEP THEIR PEOPLE IN THEIR SLAVE CONDITION. AMERICA “BEWARE”!

aluminum head
aluminum head
3 years ago

Trump needs to invoke his secret Exec. Action first, declare martial law 2nd, and 3rd America needs to start a preemptive full nuclear assault on those scum. In the meantime, do NOT buy any of their crap ( same for Korea / KIA / Hyundai, etc ). None of those scum are our friends. Nuke china now. As Patton once said, “We will have to fight them sooner or later.” Like major surgery – get it over with.

Garye
Garye
3 years ago

Boycott China totally!!
Communist criminals who own the liberal democrat anti American liats!

aluminum head
aluminum head
3 years ago

If Bye-then does in fact seize the WH on Jan. 20 then you can stick a fork in America cause it will be DONE. “IF” Trump would have won by a landslide, this time, then NO amount of ballot box stuffing ( Chicago style voting ) would have prevented all this commie crap. In ’72, Nixon won all of 49 states. It should have been taking place now. The problem is that we have sent our kids and grand-kids to ‘colleges’ taught by communist “professors.” This is what the communist party wants – young minds to ALTER. Short of a civil war there is nothing will save us IF china Joe takes the WH, in fact. Bye – bye America as we had known it.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
3 years ago

Solutions: Need New Blood, Less bureaucracy ( govt & corporate), tighter security, Raise profile of Cybersecurity Officer in Companies,
Boost IS IT, Change vendors, Rethink legacy vendors, Think Outside the Box, Adapt, adopt

J R
J R
3 years ago

In Hilary Clinton’s infamos words “WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE AT THIS POINT?”

Sandra "Sam" Haddock
Sandra "Sam" Haddock
3 years ago

I have been hacked, my credit cards compromised; I have a great credit rating, and it seems I stayed in a Miami upper-level hotel for a week before flying to Ireland and taking a tour there, around England and France before taking a Med. cruise! It wasn’t surprising to my Credit Union, I had bought a new car with a credit card with % interest for one year, then I paid the card off! They did open a fraud investigation and the charges were removed. I’ve also had my social media stolen and my RNC connections diverted which was harder to correct than fraud on my credit

Wayne Sluiter
Wayne Sluiter
3 years ago

China and Russia both own Joe Biden

Brenda Blunt
Brenda Blunt
3 years ago

Too bad we can’t put some spyware on their systems. There should be a way to have something happen to the hacker once they breach a system.

Moonpup
Moonpup
3 years ago

My recommendation is for the US to quit using FBI trained “hackers” and hire a group of 16 t0 18 year old kids who are good at this stuff. The “trained” guys only know what they’ve been taught to do, the kids have already found workarounds that the FBI thinks can’t be done. Besides, if the kids get caught there’s the plausible deniability that it was “just a bunch of kids” who will be punished to the full extent of the law…or ignored, whichever is best.

Emma Charlene Williams
Emma Charlene Williams
3 years ago

I think we have departments within our government who don’t know what the heck is going on, are being paid off, or are just ignorant. All three are unacceptable. One thing this pandemic has taught me is not to trust any elected or appointed official. Again, they are either liars or incompetent. I am sick and tired or hearing about the pandemic and the nonsense liberal mayors and governors are doing to the people they’re were elected to protect; Fauci constantly reversing virtually everything he says should be done; Russia, Russia, Russia; and now China and the fact you can be a traitor and still run for the office of president no less. America is falling and falling fast. This is not the country I grew up in. By the way, I’m 72 and have been voting since 1972. Most politicians are nothing but liars, grafters, and crooks. They only get elected to enrich themselves. I think we should have term limit, 8 years like the president; age limits, no one over 60; benefits, perks, and salary caps much lower than what most reps and senators are getting now; ID’s for voting; and prosecution for anyone who breaks the law from a peon all the way up to president. This is terribly upsetting. Nothing ever gets fixed. I wish Texas (my home state) would secede. I’d go home in a New York second. We cannot continue as we are today with Antifa running amok; public officials ignoring subpoenas; cities defunding police, letting criminals go free, no bail, etc.; cancel culture intimidating lawyers and others for doing their jobs; a Supreme Court who is afraid of the left; etc. I think it is going to fall to the public to take back America. Congress can’t recognize their butts from a hole in the ground.

Ron F
Ron F
3 years ago

Hmmm. What could destroy China’s economy in a very short period of time? Countries of the western world: STOP BUYING CHINESE!!!

Countryboywest
Countryboywest
3 years ago

USA will reap what they have allowed to be sowed (Gal. 6:7) As Smokey the Bear famous quote said, “ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES; Only the USA citizens can prevent this take over by calling & pulling these his rouge Democratic and RINO politicians-leaders out on the carpet and teach um a lesson.

John A. Fallon
John A. Fallon
3 years ago

Hi-tech has been around how long? It constantly changes and “improves?” Yet they still can’t or won’t make them “safe”
They build them to be vulnerable to hackers, they are owned by our ENEMIES, thanks to greedy corrupt socialist/dems,
Time to sieze control of hi-tech corp. And throw the owners in prison for treason, I prefer the old school way, FIRING SQUAD!!

Brunie Bridges
Brunie Bridges
3 years ago

Nothing is safe anymore as proved by the massive hacks, the China made Covid virus, and the now say what you want election fraud.
Either Americans recognize we need to rise as the US Constitution says as one to renounce the Constitution and take back this corrupted government and replace it with good solid Christian church people or we will be the ones in hide out shelters. No one even acknowledges WW2, Korea, or Vietnam hardly anymore.
Someone needs to wake up in DC!
The Little people are who make the big people big.
Jesus is the Reason we are here at all. Get your acts together.

Brunie Bridges

Therese Brezin
Therese Brezin
3 years ago

Speaking of hacking…. Why are the likes and dislikes already “marked” as though I already “liked” the posts? I only had just opened this post and ALREADY I had “marked” that I liked or disliked comments that I hadn’t even read?!!? Was I hacked, or you?

Bill Beckham
Bill Beckham
3 years ago

Whenever a criminal action takes place, the first question to ask is ‘who has the most to gain’? I would not be at all surprised if the Chinese were involved with the election. They hate Trump as much as the Democratic party. I am sure they would stop at nothing to get someone else elected. Just a thought because it is so logical.

Victoria Johnson
Victoria Johnson
3 years ago

Unfortunately “the best and brightest” in our country are ideologically opposed to our country. They have no interest whatsoever in working for the benefit of a country they despise. In fact, they feel it is morally superior to actively work against anything that might support our Constitutional values or benefit the American people. And, they can get immensely wealthy by working for the people who agree with them to boot.
In China, “the best and brightest” are REQUIRED to work for the state. They are rewarded for doing so and refusing is NOT an option.
This is a war. We are fighting a battalion with a skeleton crew. Until, or unless, our “best and brightest” see a value in using their expertise for the benefit of America, we are only going to continue to fall farther and farther behind. Apple actively collaborates with China to keep the supply chain of their products from being messed with. It’s not just the money. They are idelogically in sync with their philosophy.

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