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The People’s Liberation Army is actively arming and developing its soldiers with advanced information warfare capabilities which would represent a “genuine risk” to US military operations in the event of a conflict, a new report has alleged. Contractor Northrop Grumman’s detailed 136-page report (PDF) for the US government on …

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Anonymous Coward

So...

..The Military never buy kit off Microsoft, Cisco, Intel etc? DARPA never put out bids to tender that are exclusive to only Military contractors.

In summary, the Chinese do exactly the same as most other militaries thoughout the world.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

Yes, but if Grumman doesn't whip up some hysteria about it, they may fail to provoke the US Government into issuing some juicy contracts.

Meanwhile, the UK is safe because we have learned to prefix the word 'Cyber' to everything, so we can now have crack teams of cyber-plod, cyber-squaddies and cyber-crats, busily beavering away on a cyber-Maginot Line.

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Rob
Bronze badge
Go

Re: So...

You missed out mentioning the Cyber-Gravy-Train, which is a big beast, fully laden as it has taken over from other Gravy Trains that have been cancelled by the new Government.

It's anyone's guess why the Government privatised the rail network when they seem to have an uncanny knack for running trains.

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Mushroom

Da Zybber Mizzile GAP !!!!!

Quick, appropriate at least 100 000 000 000 dollars for the god folks at Northrop. Otherwise the Doom Of Western Civilization At The Hands Of The Overmighty Chinese Programmer-Devils is imminent !!!!

Americans would never make AT&T/Bell Labs and IBM develop military technology, would they ????

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FAIL

Who would have thought it?

Well America, you fed and raised a big red dragon, you've moved your manufacturing overseas, some of you have become very wealthy from it too. Now the dragon looks like it will get even bigger and more dangerous than you. Face it, its going to make you its bitch, and it will bite!

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Mushroom

Any bets?

Any bets that in the future, cyber warfare will fall into a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) style doctrine? "Wreck our infrastructure and we will do the same to you" sort of thing. Unlike nukes, there is more of a willingness to use this particular weapon. I think Israel already has as seen when they took down Syrian air defence radars before bombing their secret nuke production plant.

All countries use commercial organisations to deliver military products, usually modified from the commercial equivalents. The Chinese are well known for being very good at just using normal commercial products for military purposes. This report is indeed nothing new.

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Stop

Re: Any bets?

My bet is that it will be much more of a complement of other techniques. If you shut down something big, the other side will get aware of this and start going into extremely defensive measures (disconnecting networks, re-installing lots of machines and so on).

Better have a sneaky way into their data heaps and decisionmaking systems. Then use that intel to "increase your probability of successful operations".

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Gold badge
Facepalm

Two thoughts

1) Well, duh! Of course they are exploring ways of attacking us. It's their job.

2) I sincerely hope our military is doing the same. That's *their* job.

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Gold badge
WTF?

You mean to say....

....that some of the Chinese military R&D budget is being spent on tech stuff and that quite a bit of this R&D is outsourced to local tech firms and research institutions?

Do Northrop Grumman maintain a permanent Department of Stating the Bleedin' Obvious, or is this a one-off exercise? More to the point, how much do the US government pay for thick documents stating the bleedin' obvious? I know a thing or two that I'm pretty sure every other bugger has already worked out and I wouldn't mind getting in on that.

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Anonymous Coward

Pot, kettle, black. USA doing the same...

... In other news: bear shits in woods, drug dealer is murdered in drive-by shooting, Pope tucks his shirt in with a wooden spoon ...

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Yawn

Yep, heard it all before, like when BT bought Huawei digital PSTN kit, newer mind the cosequences just look at the price.

There's loads of these reports floating around from just about every security vendor going, and yes they are designed to get government to spend money. I think it's called marketing your products isn't it? Do you really expect the industry to wait for government to come to them?

It's well known that one type of Firewall had to be withdrawn because the code had been tampered with by a certain allied government.

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Anonymous Coward

I heard that Chinese generals have even written about cyberwar/info-war

孫子兵法 was eventually translated into English in 1905, having been written approximately 2417 years before.

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"The UK coalition takes this sort of thing particularly seriously"

TalkTalk's Huawei supplied Homesafe spyware which was trialled in secret? And is still monitoring UK telecommunications without consent.

Not so long ago Reg was also reporting the linked between Phorm & Huawei. The cosy relationship between Phorm and the Home Office is well document.

Then there's John Suffolk who left his role as Chief Information Officer of the UK Government to join Huawei.

I don't think they take it seriously at all.

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Megaphone

I think they should be happy

..as they can buy commercial Huawei and ZTE kit and look into their preferred techniques for securing systems. I bet they re-use these techniques in the "secret" stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I think they should be happy

E.g. all the buffer overflows in their ASN.1 parser in the commercial kit probably also work in the mil stuff. And I am sure there are tons of possible weaknesses.

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Stop

Fair game, but remember we are not on their 'side'

You are all missing the point. Yes this is stating the obvious, yes the chinese are perfectly entitled to use their brains and follow this blindingly obvious strategy. But that does not mean it's ok for the west to support their ICT industry - unlike the USA, France, uk etc, China is a nuclear powered dictatorship with a stated territorial claim on a neighbouring democracy. Very happy for china to make my toys and assemble my consumer electronics, the more economic ties we have the less likely a conflict (and while our parents have admittedly sold our jobs down the river, morally I care not that hardworking poor Chinese students get the jobs of lazy rich western chav's/rednecks). However supporting early advancement of their ICT industries before they shift to a more stable political system is just dumb. We wouldn't have let a 'great value for money' Soviet firm build our phone networks in the 60's and the equivilent non-action of the uk and eu governments in allowing Huawei & zte into our networks is foolish in my political view. Don't blame the carriers/corporates for taking a free lunch, just the politicians.

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Stop

Fair game, but remember we are not on the same 'side'

You are all missing the point. Yes this is stating the obvious, yes the chinese are perfectly entitled to use their brains and follow this blindingly obvious strategy. But that does not mean it's ok for the west to support their ICT industry - unlike the USA, France, uk etc, China is a nuclear powered dictatorship with a stated territorial claim on a neighbouring democracy. Very happy for china to make my toys and assemble my consumer electronics, the more economic ties we have the less likely a conflict (and while our parents have admittedly sold our jobs down the river, morally I care not that hardworking poor Chinese students get the jobs of lazy rich western chav's/rednecks). However supporting early advancement of their ICT industries before they shift to a more stable political system is just dumb. We wouldn't have let a 'great value for money' Soviet firm build our phone networks in the 60's and the equivilent non-action of the uk and eu governments in allowing Huawei & zte into our networks is foolish in my political view. Don't blame the carriers/corporates for taking a free lunch, just the politicians.

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Big Brother

I love objective, compiled-to-order «reports» !

Northrop Grumman, that well-know «designer, systems integrator and manufacturer of military aircraft, defense electronics, precision weapons, commercial and military aerostructures» has written a «report» for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (aka the «China Is Our Enemy Commission») which - quelle surprise ! - concludes that China is testing its capabilities to take out vital US cyberspace functions. Good to see that the commission has employed an unbiased, objective, and disinterested source to produce that report - after all, Northrop Grumman in no way stands to gain if the US government suddenly finds it necessary to award lucrative contracts to fight the Chinese menace to firms like, say, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. Why am I reminded of Major General Smedly Darlington Butler and his more than eighty-year-old observation that «war is a racket» ? Were Mr Butler alive today, the only thing he would have to do is widen the definition of «war»to encompass «cyberwar»....

Henri

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I love objective, compiled-to-order «reports» !

Ummm, who should have conducted the research if not an information security and defence company? I love all the unfounded comments being made by folks who obviously haven't read the report.

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"unlike the USA, France, uk etc, China is a nuclear powered dictatorship ..."

Authoritarian maybe but not a dictatorship.

"... with a stated territorial claim on a neighbouring democracy."

Are you saying only "democracies" are allowed to have territorial claims on their neighbours - or anywhere for that matter?

The same democracies like the USA who since WWII have started and have been involved in more wars than the rest of the world put together. They have destablised, overthrown and invaded more countries than the rest of the world put together. Their spending on "defence" is close to half of the global total.

The same democracies like the UK and France who violated the UN resolution 1973 on the "no fly" zone over Libya to pursue their agenda of overthrowing the Libyan government. The same France who helped draft the 1973 resolution and voted for it and subsequently went on to violate it by supplying arms to the rebels and bandits. The same UK who helped draft the 1973 resolution and voted for it and subsequently went on to violate it by supplying "boots on the ground" in the form of "military advisors".

"Were Mr Butler alive today, the only thing he would have to do is widen the definition of «war»to encompass «cyberwar»"

No need since the US recently declared that any "cyber" attack on "critical" infrastructure would be seen as a declaration of war.

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