Archive for the ‘Cyber Security’ Category

NEUTERING AMERICA’S MILITARY STATUS

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

 

While the U.S. is fixated on the pandemic and the Antifa and anarchist destructive riots, Russian Collusion,and  impeachment, the Chinese have been steadily building up their ability to wage a cyber war with the U.S.  Is it any wonder that President Trump is creating a U.S. Space Force to protect us against debilitating cyber attacks.  .   Nancy
WASHINGTON EXAMINER
How China is positioning to neuter America’s military status as top dog
New book details that in war games with China, the U.S. loses every time
By Jamie McIntyre Jamie McIntyre is the Washington Examiner’s senior writer on defense and national security. His morning newsletter, “Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense,” is free and available by email subscription at dailyondefense.com.     May 28, 2020

A recently published book begins with the sobering premise that if the United States were to go to war with China today, the biggest, best-trained, best-equipped military force in the history of the world, one fielded by a country that spends more on defense than the next 10 countries combined, would lose.

And most national security experts agree.

The book, which sparked debate inside and outside the Pentagon, is The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare, by Christian Brose, a former staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee and senior policy adviser to the late Sen. John McCain.

In his introductory chapter, Brose lays out how China follows a strategy aimed at denying the U.S. the ability to project power in the way it traditionally has, essentially checkmating America’s greatest strength.

And he describes in chilling detail how the U.S. military as currently configured is uniquely unsuited to go toe-to-toe with China in a conventional force-on-force war.

“Many of the US ships, submarines, fighter jets, bomber aircraft, additional munitions, and other systems that are needed to fight would not be near the war when it started but would be thousands of miles away in the United States. They would come under immediate attack once they began their multiweek mobilization across the planet,” he writes.

“Cyberattacks would grind down the logistical movement of US forces into combat. The defenseless cargo ships and aircraft that would ferry much of that force across the Pacific would be attacked every step of the way. Satellites on which U.S. forces depend for intelligence, communications, and global positioning would be blinded by lasers, shut down by high-energy jammers, or shot out of orbit altogether by antisatellite missiles,” leaving many U.S. forces “deaf, dumb, and blind.”

 

China’s massive arsenals of advanced precision strike weapons, such as cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons, would hit U.S. planes in the region before they could take off, and U.S. aircraft carriers would have to steam away from China to stay out of range of China’s carrier-killer missiles.

In short, all signs point to an ignominious defeat.

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UNITED STATES MUST RESTORE ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM CHINA

Monday, June 1st, 2020

 

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

United States must restore its independence from China

Cold War games entwine medicine, rare earth minerals and more

by Jeb Babbin  Jed Babbin, a deputy undersecretary of Defense in the George H.W. Bush administration, is the author of “In the Words of Our Enemies.”    May 17, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Though no one in our government speaks in these terms, we are decades into a Second Cold War, this time with China. Unlike the Soviet Union, China is so deeply involved in our economy and brazen in its aggression that our ability to deal with the threats it poses is uncertain.

There are a dozen reasons for the U.S.-China rivalry — all of which are based on the ideological difference between America, a free nation, and Communist China, a totalitarian state. It was inevitable that, as China rose and the Soviet Union fell, the imbalance in global power would result in a second cold war between the United States and China.

The natural evolution of the new Cold War has produced an adversarial relationship from China’s pursuit of domination over U.S. allies such as Japan, its persistently aggressive cyberwar against us and its aggression in the South

In 1990, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping issued his “24-character strategy,” which centered around concepts such as “secure our positions,” “hide our capacities and bide our time” and “never claim leadership.” China’s current leader, Xi Jinping, hasn’t descended into the shrillness of Nikita Khrushchev’s “we will bury you,” but has given up the pretense of restraint in claiming China’s position as a global power.

One of the hallmarks of the first Cold War was the ideological struggle against Soviet communism. Another was the ever-present fear of nuclear war. Both of those factors are central to the new Cold War but seem to be ignored by American leaders.

Since January, U.S. scientists have been racing to develop a vaccine and treatments for the COVID-19 virus. Chinese cyber thieves have been working just as hard trying to steal every bit of information our scientists possess and every finding they make. China’s cyberattacks are reportedly also seeking to interfere in and sabotage our scientists’ work.

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TRUMP TAKES EMP THREAT MAINSTREAM

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

 

Finally, our government is going to start the process of protecting our national electric grid from an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)  strike. Multiple high altitude nuclear explosions over the United States could wipe out our electrical grid system and destroy the electrical components of our computers, medical devices, ATM’s, cell phones  and our cars and trucks.  Life as we now  know it would come to a standstill.  Our government has known since the 1950’s how devastating this type of an attack would be and have done nothing to protect this country.  Thank you, President Trump, for being the first president to take action to protect us.  Nancy
 

Congress echoes Trump EMP concerns, Iran weapon feared

President Trump has made preparing for an electromagnetic pulse attack cool.

Long met with eye-rolling, the growing threat of an EMP attack on the nation’s electric grid and military bases by Iran or other foes has suddenly gone mainstream following Trump’s March executive order to assess the risks of a man-made or natural EMP hit.

The latest evidence was in the just-passed 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which adopted Trump’s action and ordered the National Guard to draw up a plan to thwart disaster from an EMP.

And several states are moving even faster. Wyoming just produced its blueprint to respond to an EMP assault that could knock out electricity, water services, hospitals, ATMs, cellular phones, and even vehicles for months.

“These are big and very important results,” said Peter Pry, a longtime champion of EMP preparation and adviser to the White House and military. “Things are taking off. This is a significant change, in a positive way,” he told us.

For proponents of developing protections from EMP, the fight has been a decadeslong slog. Trump has taken the threat seriously, though it’s unclear if his national security team shares his concerns, especially after EMP preparation proponent John Bolton was ousted as the national security adviser.

Also, some insiders fear that a strong lobbying campaign from the electric utility industry, which does not want to spend money to upgrade its infrastructure, is working to dull the president’s executive order.

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CHINA AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

 

Another very unsettling article about the future of Artificial Intelligence and how China will probably be able to use our own data information against us.
We are about to enter a whole new world !  Nancy
 

Artificial Intelligence and the Adversary

What will Beijing do with the data it stole about American military service members and others?

By Samantha Ravich    Ms. Ravich is chairman of the Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and serves as a co-chairman of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board’s Artificial Intelligence Working Group.
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The potential benefits of artificial intelligence are proclaimed loudly, for all to hear. The dangers, however, are discussed quietly among national-security experts. The time has come to bring the general population into the discussion.

The benefits are enticing. With AI, the future promises longer life expectancy, increased productivity, and better preservation of precious resources. You will be able to take a picture of a mole on your leg and send it electronically to a dermatologist, who will use deep neural networks to determine whether it is skin cancer. Data-driven sensors and drones will determine the perfect amount of pesticide and water to promote agricultural diversity and counter monocropping. The AI revolution in transportation will herald autonomous planes, trains and automobiles. Music will be created to improve not only mood but heart rate and brain activity.

But we should know by now that advanced technology can also be used for ill. The whispered worst-case scenarios stem from malign actors gaining control of the massive data sets that will train machines to compute faster, better and perhaps with more-penetrating insight.

A fierce contest between the U.S. and China is under way over who will dominate this new frontier. The Chinese Communist Party has proclaimed that it will become the world’s leader in AI by 2030. Already China is hard at work, building out 5G networks world-wide and launching a new cryptocurrency as part of a strategy of “eco-political terraforming,” or building a world that will enable it to control massive amounts of information and use it for political and economic advantage. Beijing already hoards vast quantities of data about its own 1.4 billion people, none of whom have privacy rights under the Communist regime.

Nevertheless, Beijing isn’t satisfied. It has turned its sights on the U.S. and has already exfiltrated some of the most sensitive information on the American people and military. These include repeated breaches since 2013 of medical systems and databases, and the decadelong targeting of the U.S. Navy’s ship-maintenance records and the names and personal details of 100,000 of its personnel.

In time, through artificial intelligence, China will be able to use Americans’ data against us. Personalized medical records could become personalized bioweapons, for instance. In 2017 Zhang Shibo, a retired Chinese general, wrote that biotech could provide China an offensive capability through the creation of “specific ethnic genetic attacks.” As for the stolen Navy data, understanding how the U.S. maintains its fleets will help China point out vulnerabilities in U.S. weapons systems and ship design to be exploited during a confrontation.

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND OUR FUTURE

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

 

WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Embracing AI: How thinking weapons will simplify — and vastly complicate — future warfare

  Jamie McIntyre is the Washington Examiner’s senior writer on defense and national security. His morning newsletter, “Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense,” is free and available by email subscription at dailyondefense.com. | November 14, 2019

For the Pentagon, it was an ominous glimpse into the future.

The date was July 11, 2014, and Ukrainian forces assembled about five miles from the Russian border in southeastern Ukraine were preparing for a final push to the border.

As Defense Secretary Mark Esper recounted to a forum sponsored by the National Security Commission on artificial intelligence this month, the Ukrainian troops, flushed with recent battlefield success against Russian-backed separatists, were feeling confident.

Suddenly, they heard the hum of Russian drones overhead, followed quickly by cyberattacks that jammed their communications, blinding their command and control systems.

Then a devastating fusillade of Russian artillery fire rained down on them, and in a matter of minutes, dozens of Ukrainian soldiers were killed, hundreds more wounded, and most of their armored vehicles destroyed.

The Ukrainian offensive was stopped dead in its tracks.

“The world was quickly awakened to a new era of warfare advanced by the Russians,” Esper said. “It’s clear the threats of tomorrow are no longer the ones we have faced and defeated in the past.”

Fast forward five years to today when rapid advances in artificial intelligence technology, or AI, foreshadow a grave new world of thinking machines and killer robots that will change the nature of modern warfare as profoundly as smart bombs and GPS did during the 1991 Persian Gulf War nearly three decades ago.

“Whichever nation harnesses AI first will have a decisive advantage on the battlefield for many, many years,” said Esper, who has made accelerating AI research and development a top Pentagon priority. “We have to get there first.”

Simply defined, artificial intelligence is the ability of computer systems to solve problems and perform tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence.

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GOOGLE AMASSES PERSONAL MEDICAL RECORDS

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

 

This should be a concern to all of us.  If you think what you are telling your doctor is personal and private, think again !!!  Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Google Amasses Personal Medical Records

Company teams up with one of the U.S.’s largest health systems in ‘Project Nightingale’

BY ROB COPELAND   November 12, 2019

Google is engaged with one of the U.S.’s largest health-care systems on a project to collect and crunch the detailed personal- health information of millions of people across 21 states.

The initiative, code-named “Project Nightingale,” appears to be the biggest effort yet by a Silicon Valley giant to gain a toehold in the health-care industry through the handling of patients’ medical data. Amazon. com Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are also aggressively pushing into health care, though they haven’t yet struck deals of this scope.

Google began Project Nightingale in secret last year with St. Louis-based Ascension, a Catholic chain of 2,600 hospitals, doctors’ offices and other facilities, with the data sharing accelerating since summer, according to internal documents.

The data involved in the initiative encompasses lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, including patient names and dates of birth.

Neither patients nor doctors have been notified. At least 150 Google employees already have access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients, according to a person familiar with the matter and

the documents.

In a news release issued after The Wall Street Journal reported on Project Nightingale on Monday, the companies said the initiative is compliant with federal health law and includes robust protections for patient data.

Some Ascension employees have raised questions about the way the data is being collected and shared, both from a technological and ethical perspective, according to the people familiar with the project. But privacy experts said it appeared to be permissible under federal law. That law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, generally allows hospitals to share data with business partners without telling patients, as long as the information is used “only to help the covered entity carry out its health care functions.”

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AMAZON’S CEO OWNS A TERROR-LINKED PAPER

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

 

AMAZON’S CEO OWNS A TERROR-LINKED PAPER
The Washington Post’s ties to Islamic terrorists are a national security risk.
August 16, 2019   Daniel Greenfield  Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism

Millions of Americans brought Alexa into their homes only to learn, belatedly, that not only software, but human beings, were listening in on them. Amazon employees and contractors from Costa Rica to India were caught reviewing thousands of recordings, of casual requests, private conversations and intimate moments, and sharing clips that they thought were funny in chat sessions with each other.

The Amazon product is always listening and maintains recordings of your conversations indefinitely.

But now there’s something bigger at stake than privacy violations. Amazon expects a $10 billion cloud contract for the military. The $10 billion contract was a sweetheart deal for a politically influential company that seemed unstoppable until President Trump suddenly slammed the brakes on JEDI.

The deal had always been dubious and many critics had questioned how or why a single company could expect to have a monopoly on the JEDI cloud for the United States military. Amazon’s cloud business is huge, but the Capital One breach of 100 million credit card applications by a former Amazon employee highlighted the company’s security and workforce issues. Capital One kept its data in the cloud through AWS or Amazon Web Services and the hacker was a former AWS employee with specialized knowledge.

In the Obama era, Amazon had received a $600 million cloud contract that covers all 17 intelligence agencies. The secret deal was met with protests especially since Amazon’s wasn’t even the lowest bid.

Just as with JEDI, all the national security eggs were being put into one very fragile basket.

Amazon’s federal cloud contracts took off in the Obama era. Many of the biggest contracts are classified making it difficult to measure how much taxpayer money is being sucked into the Bezos business. But Amazon is winning contracts in the usual Washington D.C. way, by spending millions a year on lobbying.

The dot com titan began lobbying the Pentagon in 2016. That was the year Amazon’s lobbying expenditures hit a whopping $11 million, up from $1.62 million during the Bush administration. Amazon’s PAC, which the company strongly encourages employees to donate to, accounted for $515,200 in donations to members of Congress.

Amazon was the fourth biggest contributor to Senator Mark Warner. And when President Trump put Amazon’s JEDI deal on hold, Warner was among the first to protest the move. In his letter, Warner urged the Secretary of Defense to “resist political pressures” that might scuttle $10 billion for Amazon.

Senator Warner, who was applying political pressure to the Secretary of Defense, to protect a contract that would benefit his contributors, appeared to be unaware of the irony of his message.

But Amazon’s lobbying millions were only the tip of the iceberg of its dubious political influence.

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U.S. LAUNCHED CYBERATTACKS ON IRAN

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

 

We may be entering a whole era of cyber warfare.  Experts say that is how  future wars with be fought.    Nancy
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

U.S. Launched Cyberattacks on Iran

The cyberstrikes on Thursday targeted computer systems used to control missile and rocket launches

June 23, 2019

Updated June 23, 2019 1:52 pm ET

The U.S. covertly launched offensive cyber operations against an Iranian intelligence group’s computer systems on Thursday, the same day President Trump pulled back on using more traditional methods of military force, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The cyberstrikes, which were approved by Mr. Trump, targeted computer systems used to control missile and rocket launches that were chosen months ago for potential disruption, the officials said. The strikes were carried out by U.S. Cyber Command and in coordination with U.S. Central Command.

The officials declined to provide specific details about the cyberattacks, but one said they didn’t involve loss of life and were deemed “very” effective. They came during the peak of tensions this week between the U.S. and Iran over a series of incidents across the Middle East, including Tehran’s shooting down of an American reconnaissance drone.

The attacks also came as U.S. fears have grown that Iran may seek to lash out with cyberattacks of its own, as multiple cybersecurity firms said they had already seen signs Tehran is targeting relevant computer networks for intrusion and appeared particularly focused on the U.S. government and the American energy sector, including oil and gas providers.

While little was known about Thursday’s digital attacks, they were the latest indication that the U.S. has ramped up its willingness to use disruptive or destructive cyber weapons under President Trump after years of caution and drawn-out interagency deliberations that often led to inaction in previous administrations.

The National Security Council didn’t respond to requests for comment. “As a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence or planning,” a Pentagon spokesman said. Details of the cyber operations were first reported late Friday by Yahoo News.

Asked Sunday about reports of the cyberattacks, Vice President Mike Pence declined to address the matter. “We never comment on covert operations,” Mr. Pence said during an interview with CBS.

Current and former U.S. officials have warned that cyberattacks against Iran could increase the likelihood that Iran may respond in kind, and have noted Iran is particularly unpredictable in its own use of cyberattacks.

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NAVY, INDUSTRY PARTNERS ARE ‘UNDER CYBER SIEGE’ BY CHINESE HACKERS

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Navy, Industry Partners Are ‘Under Cyber Siege’ by Chinese Hackers, Review Asserts

Hacking threatens U.S.’s standing as world’s leading military power, study says

Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services last week.
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services last week. PHOTO: RON SACHS/ZUMA PRESS

March 12, 2019 2:32 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The Navy and its industry partners are “under cyber siege” by Chinese hackers and others who have stolen tranches of national security secrets in recent years, exploiting critical weaknesses that threaten the U.S.’s standing as the world’s top military power, an internal Navy review has concluded.

The assessment, delivered to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer last week and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, depicts a branch of the armed forces under relentless cyberattack by foreign adversaries and struggling in its response to the scale and sophistication of the problem.

Drawing from extensive research and interviews with senior officials across the Trump administration, the tone of the review is urgent and at times dire, offering a rare, unfiltered look at the military’s cybersecurity liabilities.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE NAVY REVIEW

The Navy report’s authors conducted 31 site visits and interviewed 85 current senior military officers and civilians across both the Navy and wider Defense Department, as well as senior officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and White House National Security Council, among others. Here are their main conclusions:

  • The Navy and its industry partners are facing relentless cyber attacks that seek to steal sensitive national security data by a wide range of foes, with China and Russia the most adept and strategic.
  • The U.S. is at risk of losing global military and economic advantages due to cyberthefts of secrets and intellectual property.
  • Despite efforts to address the problem, the defense industrial base has suffered “a flood of breaches of significant data” and “continues to hemorrhage critical data.”
  • The Navy and Defense Department have only a limited understanding of the totality of losses they and their partners are suffering.
  • The Navy is focused on “preparing to win some future kinetic battle, while it is losing the current global, counter-force, counter-value, cyber war,” the review’s authors conclude.

The 57-page document is especially scathing in its assessment of how the Navy has addressed cybersecurity challenges facing its contractors and subcontractors, faulting naval officials for not anticipating that adversaries would attack the defense industrial base and for not adequately informing those partners of the cyber threat. It also acknowledges a lack of full understanding about the extent of the damage.

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CYBERATTACKS – STRIKE BACK AGAINST EACH ONE

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

 

Experts say our future  wars will not be fought with tanks. ships  and planes but will be cyber warfare.  We had better be ready.  Nancy
 
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Strike Back Against Every Cyberattack

The U.S. can keep foreign hacks at bay by showing its ability and will to retaliate.

Jan. 27, 2019

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: 

Washington should commit to use its weapons against all aggressors. One example of America’s potential is Stuxnet, a U.S.- and Israeli-made virus that in 2007 infected Iran’s uranium-enrichment centrifuges, causing them to spin out of control. Stuxnet was certainly an offensive cyberweapon, but not a retaliatory one.

The U.S. really needs a second-strike cyberweapons program. In December 2015 the Russians launched cyberattacks on Ukraine, shutting down three power plants (which ran on Windows PCs). The U.S. should have immediately flickered all the lights in Moscow, to show them we can. Meddle in our elections? Fill Russia’s VK social network with endless Beto O’Rourke dental videos—it’s only fair. When the Chinese stole plans for the F-35 stealth fighter fromLockheed , we should have made every traffic light in Shanghai blink red, announcing “Stop, Don’t Hack Us Again.” North Korea’s Sonyhack? Scramble state-run TV signals in Pyongyang. They’ll get the message.

 

Another week, another data breach. The latest is 773 million online accounts for sale, many with passwords included, known as Collection #1. More are likely to come—go ahead and check your status at HaveIBeenPwned.com. All this the same month Marriott admitted that five million unencrypted passport numbers were snatched from its system, probably by the Chinese. Oh, and the Russians might have hacked the Democratic National Committee again after the 2018 midterms. How do we stop this?

The foreign hacks are the most disturbing. Last month members of a Chinese espionage ring known as Advanced Persistent Threat Group 10 (a k a “Godkiller” and “Stone Panda”) were charged by the Justice Department with hacking NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and even IBM . Earlier last year the Chinese were caught stealing submarine data from a U.S. Navy contractor. And horror of horrors, in 2017 an Iranian national hacked HBO and threatened to release unaired episodes and plot summaries from “Game of Thrones.”

The U.S. has done close to nothing in response. Sure, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers last summer. I’m sure they’re quaking in their boots. Maybe those “Game of Thrones” episodes could have taught our leaders something about retaliation and revenge.

So what is America’s policy? That’s unclear. But a good start would be to heed the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told the press last week that his state has a permanent policy of hurting “everyone who is trying to hurt us.” The U.S. needs a similar stance to halt cyberattacks.

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