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jerryking : infiltration   8

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies - Bloomberg
October 4, 2018, 5:00 AM EDTILLUSTRATOR: SCOTT GELBER FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
By and October 4, 2018, 5:00 AM EDT

In 2015, Amazon.com Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming video service, known today as Amazon Prime Video. Based in Portland, Ore., Elemental made software for compressing massive video files and formatting them for different devices. Its technology had helped stream the Olympic Games online, communicate with the International Space Station, and funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency. Elemental’s national security contracts weren’t the main reason for the proposed acquisition, but they fit nicely with Amazon’s government businesses, such as the highly secure cloud that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was building for the CIA......investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China.

This attack was something graver than the software-based incidents the world has grown accustomed to seeing. Hardware hacks are more difficult to pull off and potentially more devastating, promising the kind of long-term, stealth access that spy agencies are willing to invest millions of dollars and many years to get.......Over the decades, the security of the supply chain became an article of faith despite repeated warnings by Western officials. A belief formed that China was unlikely to jeopardize its position as workshop to the world by letting its spies meddle in its factories. That left the decision about where to build commercial systems resting largely on where capacity was greatest and cheapest. “You end up with a classic Satan’s bargain,” one former U.S. official says. “You can have less supply than you want and guarantee it’s secure, or you can have the supply you need, but there will be risk. Every organization has accepted the second proposition.”
China  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  hacks  semiconductors  security_&_intelligence  supply_chains  infiltration 
january 2019 by jerryking
CSIS director warns of state-sponsored espionage threat to 5G networks - The Globe and Mail
ROBERT FIFE OTTAWA BUREAU CHIEF
STEVEN CHASE
COLIN FREEZE
OTTAWA AND TORONTO
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 4, 2018

Canada’s top spy used his first public speech to warn of increasing state-sponsored espionage through technology such as next-generation 5G mobile networks.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service director David Vigneault’s comments come as three of the country’s Five Eyes intelligence-sharing allies have barred wireless carriers from installing equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the 5G infrastructure they are building to provide an even-more-connected network for smartphone users.

The United States, Australia and New Zealand have taken steps to block the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks. Neither Canada nor Britain has done so.

On Monday, the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, publicly raised security concerns about Huawei telecommunications being involved in his country’s communications infrastructure.......hostile states are targeting large companies and universities to obtain new technologies.....“Many of these advanced technologies are dual-use in nature in that they could advance a country’s economic, security and military interests,”......there are five potential growth areas in Canada that are being specifically threatened, including 5G mobile technology where Huawei has been making inroads...“CSIS has seen a trend of state-sponsored espionage in fields that are crucial to Canada’s ability to build and sustain a prosperous, knowledge-based economy,”...“I’m talking about areas such as AI [artificial intelligence], quantum technology, 5G, biopharma and clean tech. In other words, the foundation of Canada’s future growth.”.....Canadian universities are largely unaware how they are vulnerable to economic espionage and the threat of infiltration by unnamed state actors who would use their expertise to gain an edge in military technologies. Huawei has developed research and development partnerships with many of Canada’s leading academic institutions.....MI6′s Alex Younger said Britain has to make a decision about Huawei after the United States, Australia and New Zealand acted against Huawei..... 5G technology – which offers faster download speeds – poses a greater national security threat than conventional mobile technology......A ban would come as a blow to Canada’s biggest telecom companies, including BCE Inc. and Telus, which have given Huawei an important role in their planned 5G networks.....Scott Jones, the new head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, which is part of the Communications Security Establishment, rejected the idea of blocking Huawei, telling MPs that the country’s safeguards are adequate to mitigate against any risk.
5G  artificial_intelligence  China  CSIS  CSE  cyber_security  dual-use  espionage  Five_Eyes  Huawei  MI6  mobile  quantum_computing  spymasters  wireless  Colleges_&_Universities  infiltration 
december 2018 by jerryking
Why is America so bad at information wars?
JULY 18, 2018 | Financial Times | Gillian Tett.

In his new book Messing With the Enemy, Clint Watts, a former FBI agent, describes this exchange as the first “international-terrorist-versus-counter-terrorist Twitter battle”......One way to make sense of today’s extraordinary cyber battles with the Russians is to look at how jihadi groups developed such campaigns years earlier — not least because this oft-ignored parallel shows how the US government has done a poor job fighting its enemies in cyberspace. “America sucks at information warfare,” Watts laments. “Absolutely sucks.”.....US officials attempted to fight back against Isis’s social media campaigns. Watts reveals that in 2013 while at the FBI — and later as a security consultant — he engaged in a long Twitter duel with American-born terrorist Omar Hammami. Other US intelligence groups tried to develop psychological-operations campaigns to fight the extremists. Some of the experimental techniques used to profile social media users were later deployed in the ad-tech industry by companies such as Cambridge Analytica.

However, the US military was simply too bureaucratic, slow moving and rule-laden to match its enemies. And the country that seemed to learn the most from the social media extremists was Russia: Watts describes how he inadvertently witnessed Russian-backed groups populating American social media from the autumn of 2015 onwards, copying some of the tactics of the Islamists....Watts’s proposed remedy is just as startling: he believes that US government agencies are now so ill-equipped to fight in these type of social media wars that it is time for non-government groups to take the lead instead.....many leading figures in Silicon Valley furtively express similar views. Indeed, some appear to be quietly funding civilian “volunteers” to do exactly what Watts suggests: namely, hunt for ways to counter Russian attacks by infiltrating enemy cyber groups.

Who knows whether this type of grass-roots action will work, or how widespread it might be — everything is deeply murky in the arena of cyberspace and information wars.
Gillian_Tett  information_warfare  U.S.  security_&_intelligence  Twitter  al-Shabab  books  cyber_warfare  Russians  hackers  Russia  disinformation  persuasion  trolls  politics  delegitimization  destabilization  deception  infiltration 
july 2018 by jerryking
China’s Cheating Husbands Fuel an Industry of ‘Mistress Dispellers’ - The New York Times
By EMILY FENG and CHARLOTTE YANG JULY 29, 2016

Typically hired by a scorned wife, they coach women on how to save their marriages, while inducing the mistress to disappear. For a fee that can start in the tens of thousands of dollars, they will subtly infiltrate the mistress’s life, winning her friendship and trust in an attempt to break up the affair. The services have emerged as China’s economy has opened up in recent decades, and as extramarital affairs grew more common.....Mistress dispelling typically begins with research on the targeted woman, said Shu Xin, Weiqing’s director. An investigation team — often including a psychotherapist and, to keep on the safe side, a lawyer — analyzes her family, friends, education and job before sending in an employee whom Weiqing calls a counselor.

“Once we figure out what type of mistress she is — in it for money, love or sex — we draw up a plan,” Mr. Shu said.

The counselor might move into the mistress’s apartment building or start working out at her gym, getting to know her, becoming her confidante and eventually turning her feelings against her partner. Sometimes, the counselor finds her a new lover, a job opening in another city or otherwise persuades her to leave the married man. Weiqing and other agencies said their counselors were prohibited from becoming intimately involved with the mistresses or from using or threatening violence.
China  relationships  marriage  marital_strife  marital_breakdowns  infidelity  pre-emption  humint  spycraft  countermeasures  infiltration 
august 2016 by jerryking
Intelligence Start-Up Goes Behind Enemy Lines to Get Ahead of Hackers - The New York Times
By NICOLE PERLROTH SEPT. 13, 2015

iSight Partners, a company that provides intelligence about threats to computer security in much the same way military scouts provide intelligence about enemy troops....For the last eight years, iSight has been quietly assembling what may be the largest private team of experts in a nascent business called threat intelligence. Of the company’s 311 employees, 243 are so-called cyberintelligence professionals, a statistic that executives there say would rank iSight, if it were a government-run cyberintelligence agency, among the 10 largest in the world, though that statistic is impossible to verify given the secretive nature of these operations.

ISight analysts spend their days digging around the underground web, piecing together hackers’ intentions, targets and techniques to provide their clients with information like warnings of imminent attacks and the latest tools and techniques being used to break into computer networks.

The company’s focus is what John P. Watters, iSight’s chief executive, calls “left of boom,” which is military jargon for the moment before an explosive device detonates.... iSight's services fill a critical gap in the battle to get ahead of threats. Most security companies, like FireEye, Symantec, Palo Alto Networks and Intel’s security unit, focus on blocking or detecting intrusions as they occur or responding to attacks after the fact.

ISight goes straight to the enemy. Its analysts — many of them fluent in Russian, Mandarin, Portuguese or 21 other languages — infiltrate the underground, where they watch criminals putting their schemes together and selling their tools.

The analysts’ reports help clients — including 280 government agencies, as well as banks and credit-card, health care, retail and oil and gas companies — prioritize the most imminent and possibly destructive threats.

Security experts say the need for such intelligence has never been greater....the last thing an executive in charge of network security needs is more alerts, he said: “They don’t have time. They need human, actionable threat intelligence.”
cyber_security  security_&_intelligence  dark_web  hackers  intelligence_analysts  iSight  Symantec  threats  humint  spycraft  pre-emption  actionable_information  noise  threat_intelligence  left_of_the_boom  infiltration 
september 2015 by jerryking
Ghosts in the machines
September 17, 2001 | Canadian Business | Paul Kaihla

If mainframes led the first computer revefufion and PCs the second, embedded systems represent third Great Leap Forward. Despite the hoopla about all the wondrous things a person will be able to do with a PDA or smart phone, that kind of flashy product constitutes only about one-tenth of the overall embedded-systems market. The future of pervasive computing actually ties in the many seemingly humble embedded devices that have already infiltrated peoples daily iives. Embedded systems constitute an almost invisible layer of computing that permeates the very fabric of daily life. Embedded systems will ultimately displace the desktop for virtuaiiy everything except for very specific applications. While the proliferation of embedded silicon may indeed spell relief for slumping chip-makers, the real beam wiii be in software — for two reasons. First, it is often the major cost in any embedded system. The second reason is the Web.
Industrial_Internet  pervasive_computing  ambient_computing  infiltration 
july 2012 by jerryking
U.S. Infiltrating Criminal Groups Across Mexico - NYTimes.com
October 24, 2011
U.S. Agencies Infiltrating Drug Cartels Across Mexico
By GINGER THOMPSON

the United States has opened new law enforcement and intelligence outposts across Mexico in recent years, Washington’s networks of informants have grown there as well...Typically, the officials said, Mexico is kept in the dark about the US’ contacts with its most secret informants — including Mexican law enforcement officers, elected officials and cartel operatives — partly because of concerns about corruption among the Mexican police, and partly because of laws prohibiting American security forces from operating on Mexican soil.
criminality  Mexico  organized_crime  cartels  drugs  DEA  security_&_intelligence  Department_of_Justice  infiltration  informants 
october 2011 by jerryking

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