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China Says It Is the Target of US Hack Attacks 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-worry-it's-just-1s-and-0s dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Officials at the Chinese Defense Ministry say hackers from the U.S. have been attacking Chinese military websites. 'The sites were subject to about 144,000 hacking attacks each month last year, two thirds of which came from the U.S., according to China's defense ministry. The issue of cyber hacking has strained relations between the two countries.' This follows recent hacks from people in China on high-profile U.S. sites, as well as a report accusing the Chinese government of supporting a hacking group. '[Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng] called on U.S. officials to "explain and clarify" what he said were recent U.S. media reports that Washington would carry out "pre-emptive" cyber attacks and expand its online warfare capabilities. Such efforts are "not conducive to the joint efforts of the international community to enhance network security," he said.'"
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China Says It Is the Target of US Hack Attacks

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  • About time. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:40AM (#43034057)

    About time. And preemptive my ass. China has been making state-orchestrated cyber attacks for years now. There's a war in cyberspace, did they just think the U.S. wouldn't show up?

  • On the contrary... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:41AM (#43034075)

    ...this kind of stuff will absolutely enhance network security. It's geopolitical stability that's in danger in the long term. But if we didn't destroy ourselves with nukes during the cold war, I think we'll come out of this one okay too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:42AM (#43034085)

    Sorry, can't find it in me to feel at all sorry for them.

  • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:47AM (#43034145)

    So it's wrong when they do it but not when the US does it, is that what you're saying?

  • World is changing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:50AM (#43034171)

    This is a pretty good option for small nations who want to get back at larger ones.

    Step 1: buy server time with bitcoin from someone in China
    Step 2: hack some highly visible US companies with basic java exploits.
    Step 3: stand back and watch them hack each other for the next 10 years with professional grade stuff.

  • Re:Big surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:01AM (#43034319)
    I'm sure it's a great consolation to be killed by your own government rather than someone else's.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:05AM (#43034379)
    Did they manage to recover any of it?
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:05AM (#43034383)

    hackers from the U.S. have been attacking Chinese military websites.

    Wake me up when the U.S. military is hacking Chinese civilian/banking computers or trying to SSH into everything.

  • Big Difference (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:14AM (#43034489)

    Even if this were true (and all signs point that it's just a knee-jerk reaction by China), what the Chinese are reporting is attacks against their military infrastructure from US IPs. This is way different than what the NYT and Mandiant claim the Chinese are doing which is leveraging the capabilities of it's cyber army (god I hate that term) against private corporations for the betterment of it's government controlled businesses.

    That's a huge difference. Yes the US is probably targeting the Chinese army but it sure as heck isn't specifically targeting Huawei and giving the information over to Cisco.

    Seriously China, grow up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:33AM (#43034743)

    The point of this announcement is to distract from the criticism they are receiving for launching hack attacks by painting a picture of everyone does it. So whether its true or not they would make this claim. I would believe they are receiving hack attacks from the US, but 2/3rds of them having a US origin sounds suspicious.

  • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:38AM (#43034789)

    Self defense? He started it! No, he started it! No I didn't! Yes you did! It's the stuff of children.

    In Britain, we used to have a "War Office". in 1947 they changed that to "The Ministry of Defence". They still do the same thing. It's words. Propaganda.

    If you honestly think when China does hacking it's attack, and when the USA does it it's defense, you've fallen for the propaganda.

    Do you know what real defense to hacking looks like? It looks like like patching up vulnerabilities. It looks like using better encryption. It looks like not connecting things to the internet that don't need to be connected to it.

  • Re:About time. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @11:50AM (#43034975) Journal

    So, it's impossible for you to believe the US drew first blood? You know, like in Central/South America, Africa, and the Middle East? Well, okay, the last two are more of a European adventure, but there are very few cases where the US can cry 'self defense'.

  • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kilfarsnar (561956) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @12:00PM (#43035123)

    No, in real life outside of liberal art college where everything is abstract, the truth is subjective, and we're all one happy global community of free thinkers (damn I have to go wash my mouth out now).

    No matter how much people think we are capable of rising above war, selfishness, ambition, pride, arrogance, etc the fact is that we all have those elements. They are embedded in our DNA. I happen to believe it was because of the fall, but regardless of how it happened I think anyone who is honest with themselves knows that what I'm saying is true. If you think you've risen above it, it's only because you've turned a blind eye to your true nature. Knowing that, and that the Chinese people are every bit as bent on world domination as we are, I'm going to go ahead and side with the guys whose soil I happen to be standing on.

    I believe it was Henry Ford who said that whether you think you can or cannot do something, you're right. I think your description may describe the world and humanity as they currently exist. But it forecloses the ability to improve. By resigning ourselves to a future of tribalism, and the chauvinism and hypocrisy that it brings, we miss the opportunity to realize that the boundaries of the tribe are arbitrary. We decide who is in the tribe an who is out. We could expand the tribe to include all of humanity. Or we can reduce it to our own neighborhood. It's up to us, not embedded in our DNA. We reap what we sow, and we get the world we choose.

  • Re:What if.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anubis IV (1279820) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @12:09PM (#43035227)

    Anybody ever thought that maybe it's a 3rd party group doing the work? spoofing IPs? etc.. Sheesh.

    Or maybe they hacked our Internets and burned down our firewall? Seriously, IP spoofing is not as useful as the movies make it out to be.

    Spoofing IPs is easy, but it's only effective in a few situations, such as when you're sending a message with no expectation of a reply (e.g. spam e-mail, DDoS attack, etc.). If you're trying to break into someone's system, you need to be able to get a response back, and that means providing an IP address you can be reached at to your target. Now, you may try to anonymize your IP address somehow, such as through the use of proxies, VPNs, and other such technologies that can allow you to hide behind or within someone else's system, or you may spoof an IP address of a zombie computer you control and can use to route return packets to you, but at some point, an IP address you control needs to be provided to someone else, otherwise you have no way of getting back a response, and that address can be traced.

  • coughBULLSHITcough (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jon3k (691256) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @12:14PM (#43035297)
    The Mandiant report links the attacks to the Chinese government. To a specific group in a specific location during business hours Beijing local time. The Chinese see attacks from US IP address and blame US.
  • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @12:28PM (#43035571) Homepage Journal

    FUCK CHINA !!!! A bunch of needle dick nerds that steal American ideas.

    "Steal" implies that once they take the idea, the person who had it originally does not anymore. That's just silly hyperbole.

    No, China "borrows" American ideas, then figures out how to mass produce them cheaper than we can. It's called capitalism, it is the basis of both the Chinese and American economies. Hell, if anything, we should be proud - American capitalism won out over Russian communism, isn't that what the Joe McCarthy's of this nation always wanted?

    We should do all we can to destroy them.

    Yea, because scorched earth policies always work out for the best, especially when nuclear-armed states are involved.

  • by Infiniti2000 (1720222) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @12:51PM (#43035863)
    For the record, it would be difficult for outsiders to discern the difference between true Chinese civilian and Chinese government-owned companies.
  • Re:About time. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @12:54PM (#43035901)

    No, in real life outside of liberal art college where everything is abstract, the truth is subjective, and we're all one happy global community of free thinkers (damn I have to go wash my mouth out now).

    No matter how much people think we are capable of rising above war, selfishness, ambition, pride, arrogance, etc the fact is that we all have those elements. They are embedded in our DNA. I happen to believe it was because of the fall, but regardless of how it happened I think anyone who is honest with themselves knows that what I'm saying is true. If you think you've risen above it, it's only because you've turned a blind eye to your true nature. Knowing that, and that the Chinese people are every bit as bent on world domination as we are, I'm going to go ahead and side with the guys whose soil I happen to be standing on.

    If you believe in The Fall, then you are likely Christian. Christianity does not subscribe to the "eye-for-an-eye" approach to problem resolution.

    The USA is not - despite what some wish to think - a Christian nation, but the founding principles were based in large part on Christianity, which is why things like pre-emptive warfare, torture, and other extreme or retaliatory measures were always considered "un-American" up until 2001. We strove to be better than that and to provide a better example for others. To rise above our baser natures.

    Christianity notwithstanding, there is a pretty clear case to be made that endless retaliation Old Testament-style may feel good, but it simply propagates the damage down through generations forever. We have some pretty clear-cut examples in recent history on what happens in countries where they say "Enough is Enough" and stop trying to "balance the scales" versus countries that continue on the same old cycles expecting that one day things will be better.

    Having said that, however, there's no virtue in being a doormat, either. If the Chinese attack us, we should take defensive - and if necessary - offensive steps. I only desire that whatever is open and above-board where the world can see and judge. Don't pretend to false virtues, because once established as a liar, it's hard to be believed when you say anything later, even when it's true. Don't do things that you know you'll regret being discovered.

  • Re:About time. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shoten (260439) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:16PM (#43036161)

    So it's wrong when they do it but not when the US does it, is that what you're saying?

    There's a difference between taking action against a military target and taking action against a civilian entity. When Country A has its military attack civilian and military entities of Country B, but Country B's military only attacks Country B's military, this means two things: 1, Country B is following widely-accepted norms around military action (and Country A is not), and 2, Country B is unlikely to be the primary (initial) aggressor. Counterforce actions have almost always been the realm of a defending nation, while countervalue actions have belonged to aggressive nations.

  • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fafaforza (248976) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:16PM (#43036171)

    Defense also looks like trying to get your own data to see what the other side found out from their hacks of you. Satellite photos of the other side arming? Decrypting their communication? Would those not count as steps towards your own defense? Or would you just close your eyes and plug your ears, build the biggest wall you can, and call that defense?

    Besides, China's hacking has been very much in the news lately. How do you know this isn't just China's PR push? How do you know China isn't simply counting a hacked home box sitting on a cable connection as a governmental hack? Don't you think the US would be a bit better about hiding their source?

  • by sabt-pestnu (967671) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:38PM (#43036509)

    > Such efforts are "not conducive to the joint efforts of the international community to enhance network security," he said.

    Perhaps statements like "we're just defending ourselves" are not productive towards network security. But cyber-attacking China? China cyber-attacking the US? You must be kidding.

    Even bacteria "know" that being attacked causes the greatest advances in defenses. What greater motivator can there be than an active and verifiable threat?

  • Re:About time. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @02:23PM (#43037109)

    Defense also looks like trying to get your own data to see what the other side found out from their hacks of you.

    It might involve hiring outside hackers to probe your own defenses and report any breaches they find. But hacking into some foreign government computers to see what they have in case anything of what they have is yours - that's attack, not defense.

    Or would you just close your eyes and plug your ears, build the biggest wall you can, and call that defense?

    Don't confuse two different issues.
    1) What I, you, they or anyone else WOULD do or SHOULD do.
    2) The nature of the action. (In this case attack or defense).

    Just because you may think your side should do something does not make it defense.

    Besides, China's hacking has been very much in the news lately. How do you know this isn't just China's PR push?

    How do you know China's hacking being in the news isn't just the USA's PR push?

    What's the biggest example of cyber hacking by a government in recent years? Stuxnet. A worm designed to sabotage Iran's uranium enrichment centrifuges. Who's responsible? The USA and/or Israel. And it's attack. It's not defence, even if you happen to be on the side of the USA and Israel.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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