SecurityProNews Directory: A Directory For All Things Security

Chinese Hackers Attack U.S. Military

For sometime now a Chinese hacker ring, which many believe to be run by the Chinese government, has been wreaking havoc on the U.S. security infrastructure. This group, “Titan Rain,” cracked in to mulitple military computers and stole several significant key programs. The question is what does this say about our own national cyber security infrastructure?

Chinese Hackers Attack U.S. Military
US Military Undergoing Cyber Attacks

What did they take? For those who believe in having a strong military, it wasn’t good. It looks like major software was taken. ZDNet quoted Alan Paller of the SANS Institute saying, “From the Redstone Arsenal, home to the Army Aviation and Missile Command, the attackers grabbed specs for the aviation mission-planning system for Army helicopters, as well as Falconview 3.2, the flight-planning software used by the Army and Air Force.”

A year ago, on an otherwise quiet November 1st, a group of hackers cracked into United States military computers in a variety of locations. ZDNet recounted the night as described by Paller:

· At 10:23 p.m. PST, the Titan Rain hackers exploited vulnerabilities at the U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

· At 1:19 a.m., they exploited the same hole in computers at the Defense Information Systems Agency in Arlington, Va.

· At 3:25 a.m., they hit the Naval Ocean Systems Center, a Defense Department installation in San Diego, Calif.

· At 4:46 a.m., they struck the U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense installation in Huntsville, Ala.

His speech to the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry last week raised many eyebrows as Paller went into detail about their findings and said Titan Rain probably has about 20 hackers in it and that it’s supported by the Chinese government.

This is another example of how important quality cyber defenses are to our nation’s stability. When one takes assessment of the situation, it seems very intimidating. Consider these events happened over a year ago. Important military software was taken. Currently, a virus is floating around the Internet and in less than a week, literally millions were infected. The virus is being circulated in emails with FBI and CIA tags.

The UK has had similar problems in recent months attacks according to their National Infrastructure Security Co-Ordination Centre (NISCC). Patterns are starting to be noticed and the attacks appear to be continuing. This isn’t about stealing one’s credit card number either. While it’s ugly and could make someone’s life miserable, foreign governments raiding defense computers seems a bit serious.

This has become a serious issue of national security, one the government, at least on the outside, doesn’t seem to be taking seriously. Ted Stevens of the blog “Fraud, Phishing and Financial Misdeeds” had this to say in his blog:

Unless the private citizen and our governments take these massive attacks seriously, we could stand to lose more than our identities and bank accounts. National security and financial systems could eventually be at stake! Diplomacy and being politically correct need to be thrown out the window and replaced by swift action that includes severe consequences for individuals and governments found guilty of engaging in this activity.

This stuff isn’t out of some spy novel. Assuming the Chinese are committing these acts, these are serious acts that require a diplomatic response of some import. While Titan Rain was counter hacked, this never should’ve happened to begin with.

John Stith
About John Stith
John is a staff writer for SecurityProNews covering cyber security.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>