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Category Archives: China

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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast – Interview with Alex Joel

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Data Breach, International, Privacy Regulation, Security Programs & Policies

Our guest for Episode 16 of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast is Alex Joel, and he gets plenty of tough questions: Is it a violation of the new Obama administration policy directive for the intelligence community to look for evidence that Vladimir Putin is gay?  How did DNI Clapper manage to make his fateful misrepresentation to… Continue Reading

Tightening the Screws on Chinese Investment

Posted in China, International, Security Programs & Policies

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, reviews foreign investments for national security risks. It is now beyond doubt that Chinese investment is getting much closer scrutiny from CFIUS. A total of ten transactions failed to survive review in 2012, according to a just-released Treasury report. That may not sound like… Continue Reading

Hackback Backers’ Comeback?

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Data Breach, International, Security Programs & Policies

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission has issued its annual report. It reminds us that, while press and privacy campaigners have been hyperventilating over US intelligence programs, there are, you know, actual authoritarian governments at work in the United States — breaking into the networks of activists whom they dislike, newspapers whose sources they… Continue Reading

Using Attribution to Deter Cyberespionage

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

Foreign Policy has published my article on how attribution can be used to deter foreign governments’cyberespionage. Excerpts below: The Obama-Xi summit in Sunnylands ended without any Chinese concessions on cyber-espionage. This came as no surprise; cyber spying has been an indispensable accelerant for China’s military and economic rise. And though Beijing may someday agree that… Continue Reading

Support for Retribution and Active Defense Increases

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

Chinese hacking continues to build anger in American business and government circles. As a result, private companies may be encouraged to do more than passively defend their networks as evidenced by the recent report of a commission headed by two Obama appointees, former US Ambassador to China (and minor GOP Presidential candidate) Jon Huntsman and… Continue Reading

Hacking Hollywood

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, Data Breach, International, Security Programs & Policies

That might sound like breaking news from 1983, but this time we’re not talking movie plots, we’re talking business. Specifically how Chinese cyberespionage could affect Hollywood’s bottom line. The Hollywood Reporter asked me to talk about that impact in a guest column, out this week. Here’s some of what I said: Hollywood might be blinded… Continue Reading

Found: The PLA’s University of Hacking

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

Bloomberg Businessweek has a remarkable story about the identification of another Chinese hacker. It’s a long, tangled, and fascinating tale of good sleuthing by several researchers, but the trail ends with Zhang Changhe, a digital entrepreneur and teacher — at a People’s Liberation Army school that is suspected of training PLA hackers. In the denouement,… Continue Reading

Up the Ladder We Go

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

Once again, Ellen Nakashima of The Washington Post has broken a cybersecurity story: A new intelligence assessment has concluded that the United States is the target of a massive, sustained cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening the country’s economic competitiveness, according to individuals familiar with the report. The National Intelligence Estimate identifies China as the country… Continue Reading

Finding Cyberspies

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

For a while now I believe that attribution of hacker attacks has been rapidly improving. Well now we have confirmation from a Ken Dilanian scoop in the LA Times. Dilanian reports that “the U.S. intelligence community is nearing completion of its first detailed review of cyber-spying against American targets from abroad, including an attempt to calculate U.S. financial losses from… Continue Reading

Why Do the Feds Care About Officials’ Private Emails?

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

For those who have wondered why the feds cared about what former CIA Director David Petraeus was doing on his private email account, recent reports on hacks into the personal computers of former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen provide at least a clue. Mullen’s personal computers, which he used while working… Continue Reading

More on Cybersecurity and Attribution: Si Chuan University and Tencent

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

Previously, I told the story of how Trend Micro identified “Luckycat,” a Chinese hacker who had attacked the Dalai Lama, aerospace firms, and other targets. Based on what we know so far, the likely hacker is Gu Kaiyuan, formerly a student at Si Chuan University’s Information Security Institute and currently employed by the large Chinese instant… Continue Reading

China Could Have “Pervasive Access” to 80% of Global Communications Through Huawei and ZTE

Posted in China, International, Security Programs & Policies

This is the claim of former Pentagon analyst F. Michael Maloof that stories and podcasts are repeating but provide much new supporting evidence. Maloof’s own report is interesting and extensive, and it does indeed make the claim I’ve headlined: The Chinese government has “pervasive access” to some 80 percent of the world’s communications, giving it the ability to… Continue Reading

More Trouble for ZTE

Posted in China, International, Privacy Regulation

ZTE, the huge Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer, has found themselves in a kind of perfect storm. A storm largely of their own making. First, ZTE and its larger Chinese rival, Huawei, have been the subjects of great national security concern for years.  As I discussed last month the US intelligence community is worried that, if allowed to install equipment… Continue Reading

China-US “Proxy” Cyberwar Negotiations?

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International

Over the past three years think tanks in China and in the US have been conducting what could be called “proxy” negotiations on cyberwar and cyberespionage. The China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations and the US Center for Strategic and International Studies are establishment institutions, with just enough independence from their governments to make the talks… Continue Reading

Chinese Telecom Firms Investigated by House Intelligence Committee

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

The House Intelligence Committee is conducting a remarkably detailed and bipartisan investigation (subscription required) of ties between two Chinese telecom equipment giants, Huawei and ZTE, and the Chinese government. Widespread security fears have been targeted at these companies over concerns that their equipment would enable Chinese interception of US telephone calls, expanding American cybervulnerabilities from computer networks… Continue Reading

Can Chinese Hackers Self-Police?

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International

Chinese hackers call for “self-discipline” and an end to commercially motivated cybercrime. The Wall St. Journal (subscription required) suggests it’s because former hackers have grown up and become security professionals. But does it occur to anyone that the Chinese government might be worried about the rising tide of complaints about Chinese hacking, particularly cyber espionage against the… Continue Reading

Cyberhacking is the New Spying

Posted in China, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar, International, Security Programs & Policies

General Keith Alexander, the head of US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, testified to Congress yesterday that China continues to hack into “defense industrial base companies” and steal military technology (see Don Reisinger‘s latest blog post). And he confirmed what was widely believed already—that China was responsible for the hacks on RSA last… Continue Reading