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Cartel
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1 edit

Canada and the US Government hacked by China

Chinese hackers break in to White House military office network in charge of the president’s nuclear football

Hackers linked to China’s government broke into one of the U.S. government’s most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.

One official said the cyber breach was one of Beijing’s most brazen cyber attacks against the United States and highlights a failure of the Obama administration to press China on its persistent cyber attacks.

»freebeacon.com/white-house-hack-attack/

Canada confirmed that there were two attempts by hackers to target Canadian firms.

Reports suggested the attacks came from China, but the Canadian government has declined to comment on such suggestions.

The attacks come at a sensitive time as Canada's Conservative government decides on whether to approve the $15.1 billion takeover bid of Canadian oil producer Nexen by China's CNOOC.

Dell, who tracks hackers around the world, says the first attack, on an unnamed Canadian energy company, came from a Chinese service provider in Beijing. The second attack was at a domestic manufacturer of software, Telvent Canada.

»www.afterdawn.com/news/article.c···_attacks


Cartel
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»nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/09···=dlvr.it

Attackers breached Telvent's network, the company has informed its customers in a letter. Telvent is the maker of an industrial control system that remotely controls smart grid networks used in portions of the electric grid.

Telvent told its customers that on Sept. 10, it learned that hackers had breached its internal firewall and security systems, implanted malicious software, and stolen project files.


norwegian
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reply to Cartel

What I don't understand is how breaches like this are listed publicly, yet it can come from anywhere behind a proxy, bounced off all sorts of servers and they know it is tied to the Chinese? I'd be thinking more Ukraine or a similar turf before the Chinese.

Just a personal view though.
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Blackbird
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said by norwegian:

What I don't understand is how breaches like this are listed publicly, yet it can come from anywhere behind a proxy, bounced off all sorts of servers and they know it is tied to the Chinese? I'd be thinking more Ukraine or a similar turf before the Chinese.

Just a personal view though.

From the Free Beacon article:
quote:
...Despite the administration national security official’s assertion, one defense official said there is fairly solid intelligence linking the penetration of the WHMO network to China, and there are concerns that the attackers were able to breach the classified network. ...
While no details are given, it is stated that there were some "intelligence links" to China. What this constitutes is not defined, but for a DoD official to state it usually implies either independent intel (not purely from within the incident itself) or trace details within the incident that aren't being publicly released - or both. Typically, this signals that it's more than conjecture. Here on the 'outside', one is left to believe what they will...
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chrisretusn
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reply to Cartel

Hackers linked to China’s government broke into one of the U.S. government’s most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.

I don't buy it.
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Name Game
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A law enforcement official who works with members of the White House Military Office confirmed the Chinese attack to FoxNews.com on Monday, but it remains unclear what information, if any, was taken or left behind.

"This [White House Communications Agency] guy opened an email he wasn't supposed to open," the source said.

That email contained a spear phishing attack from a computer server in China, the law enforcement source told FoxNews.com. The attack was first reported by the conservative blog Free Beacon. Spear phishing involves the use of messages disguised to appear as valid; in fact, they contain targeted, malicious attempts to access sensitive or confidential information.

By opening the email, which likely contained a link to a malicious site or some form of attachment, the agency member allowed the Chinese hacker to access a system, explained Anup Ghosh, founder and CEO of security company Invincea.

"The attack originated in the form of a spear phish, which involves a spoofed inbound email with either a link to a malicious website or a weaponized document attachment such as a .pdf, Microsoft Excel file or Word document," he told FoxNews.com.

Free Beacon claimed that the U.S. government’s most sensitive networks were breached in the incident, which took place early last month.

“One official said the cyberbreach was one of Beijing’s most brazen cyberattacks against the United States,” the report said.

The law enforcement source told FoxNews.com he was notified of the successful phishing incident but did not know what information was actually accessed. A White House official downplayed that report, saying that the system involved was not a sensitive nuclear system, and no evidence indicated that information was actually taken.

»www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/10/01/···omputer/
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AVD
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spear phish?


StuartMW
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reply to chrisretusn
said by chrisretusn:

I don't buy it.

Well China owns a large part of the US plus it wouldn't surprise me to find that much of the gear in the WH was manufactured in China.

I'm not so quick to dismiss the story.
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Name Game
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reply to AVD

List of phishing techniques
Phishing
Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Spear Phishing
Phishing attempts directed at specific individuals or companies have been termed spearphishing.[33] Attackers may gather personal information about their target to increase their probability of success.
Clone Phishing
A type of phishing attack whereby a legitimate, and previously delivered, email containing an attachment or link has had its content and recipient address(es) taken and used to create an almost identical or cloned email. The attachment or Link within the email is replaced with a malicious version and then sent from an email address spoofed to appear to come from the original sender. It may claim to be a re-send of the original or an updated version to the original.
This technique could be used to pivot (indirectly) from a previously infected machine and gain a foothold on another machine, by exploiting the social trust associated with the inferred connection due to both parties receiving the original email.
Whaling
Several recent phishing attacks have been directed specifically at senior executives and other high profile targets within businesses, and the term whaling has been coined for these kinds of attacks.[34]

Anti-phishing

There are several different techniques to combat phishing, including legislation and technology created specifically to protect against phishing. Most new internet browsers come with anti-phishing software.[1]
[edit]Social responses
One strategy for combating phishing is to train people to recognize phishing attempts, and to deal with them. Education can be effective, especially where training provides direct feedback.[59] One newer phishing tactic, which uses phishing e-mails targeted at a specific company, known as spear phishing, has been harnessed to train individuals at various locations, including United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. In a June 2004 experiment with spear phishing, 80% of 500 West Point cadets who were sent a fake e-mail from a non-existent Col. Robert Melville at West Point, were tricked into clicking on a link that would supposedly take them to a page where they would enter personal information. (The page informed them that they had been lured.)[60]

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing
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chrisretusn
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reply to StuartMW
I am not dismissing the story. I don't buy the part in the quote to whit:

Hackers linked to Chinas government broke into one of the U.S. governments most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.
This at best is a huge exaggeration. I very much doubt that a "most" sensitive computer network used for nuclear commands was breached. Perhaps a secretaries computer in a related office might have been breached. I say this because such systems are normally "air-gapped" or isolated from other lower classed systems. I also do not place much credence on "according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident." To me it nothing but sensationalism, to get you to read more, especially since that is the article lead in first paragraph.
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Dude111
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reply to norwegian

 

In many people's opinions ALL THIS IS BEING STAGED to get them thier needed excuse to LOCK DOWN THE INTERNET -- STOP THE FREE FLOW OF INFO (Then they can do whatever they want to ppl and no one will have anyway of finding out things)



NOT GOOD!!!!!


MeDuZa

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White House hit with primitive cyber-attack

quote:
Staffers under US President Barack Obama have already confirmed that the Oval Office is readying the release of a cybersecurity executive order to be forced down the digital throats of every American any day now, and the beating of war drums sounding off the start of an assault on Internet freedoms is only getting louder. Now the White House says that they have thwarted an attempt to attack a computer system serving 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but the facts of the hack revealed so far suggest the latest news is nothing more than the same fear-mongering rhetoric used to unsuccessfully rally for a cyber-bill in Congress.
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StuartMW
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Why am I not surprised?


KodiacZiller
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reply to chrisretusn

Re: Canada and the US Government hacked by China

said by chrisretusn:

I am not dismissing the story. I don't buy the part in the quote to whit:

Hackers linked to Chinas government broke into one of the U.S. governments most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.
This at best is a huge exaggeration. I very much doubt that a "most" sensitive computer network used for nuclear commands was breached.

I concur. It is extremely doubtful such a system is setup as being accessible from the public Internet. As you said it sounds like some ignorant secretary running Doze opened a malicious .PDF from a spear phishing email.
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jaykaykay
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reply to MeDuZa

Re:  

Alas, more designed fabrications targeting the lemmings, the American public.


norwegian
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reply to MeDuZa
This maybe a little off topic:

The problem there, even though I initially thought it was all crap, is that locking down the Internet by govt request, data retention and other methods does not even begin to offer a band-aid solution.

We need training, better protocols etc not govt's taking it over - how does that enforce security measures; I'd think it would do the exact opposite.
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jadinolf
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reply to StuartMW
said by StuartMW:

Why am I not surprised?

For sure.
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Dude111
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reply to norwegian
It doesnt buddy. IT STOPS THE FREE FLOW OF INFO ALLOWING THE GOVT TO GO THRU WITH THIER EVIL PLANS W/O WORRYING ABOUT PPL DISCUSSING WHATS GOING ON BEHIND THIER BACKS!!!!!

They dont like all these TRUTH SITES thats expose what they are doing!!!!!!! (davidicke.com/forum,etc)


StuartMW
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Well it's not like the (US) gummint is bothering to hide what it's up to.
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chrisretusn
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Re: Canada and the US Government hacked by China

So now it's the White House's turn. Having taken a swing at just about every other piece of the U.S. government's network infrastructure, attackers, reportedly based in China, recently targeted a machine on an unclassified network inside the White House Military Office and were able to compromise it through a spear-phishing attack. The attack has drawn a lot of attention, as stories that include the words "White House" and "attack" do, but the notion that this attack may be the one that finally forces the U.S. to address the threat from foreign attacks is misguided.
»threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/white···g-100112
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bbchris2nd
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reply to Cartel
Machine that was hacked was made by China.


Name Game
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spooky !


KodiacZiller
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reply to Dude111

Re:  

said by Dude111:

It doesnt buddy. IT STOPS THE FREE FLOW OF INFO ALLOWING THE GOVT TO GO THRU WITH THIER EVIL PLANS W/O WORRYING ABOUT PPL DISCUSSING WHATS GOING ON BEHIND THIER BACKS!!!!!

They dont like all these TRUTH SITES thats expose what they are doing!!!!!!! (davidicke.com/forum,etc)

I think the reptilians are behind this hack.
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AVD
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reply to KodiacZiller

Re: Canada and the US Government hacked by China

said by KodiacZiller:

said by chrisretusn:

I am not dismissing the story. I don't buy the part in the quote to whit:

Hackers linked to Chinas government broke into one of the U.S. governments most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.
This at best is a huge exaggeration. I very much doubt that a "most" sensitive computer network used for nuclear commands was breached.

I concur. It is extremely doubtful such a system is setup as being accessible from the public Internet. As you said it sounds like some ignorant secretary running Doze opened a malicious .PDF from a spear phishing email.

social engineering can close any gap.
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KodiacZiller
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said by AVD:

said by KodiacZiller:

said by chrisretusn:

I am not dismissing the story. I don't buy the part in the quote to whit:

Hackers linked to Chinas government broke into one of the U.S. governments most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.
This at best is a huge exaggeration. I very much doubt that a "most" sensitive computer network used for nuclear commands was breached.

I concur. It is extremely doubtful such a system is setup as being accessible from the public Internet. As you said it sounds like some ignorant secretary running Doze opened a malicious .PDF from a spear phishing email.

social engineering can close any gap.

If the sensitive systems are not on the Internet, then social engineering via e-mail wont work.
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Frodo

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reply to Cartel

Re: Canada and the US Government hacked by China

Article on sophos.com
"How a single spam from China ended up as an attack on the White House"
»nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/10···e-house/

"Fox dedicated over 660 words to the Chinese hacking story, but after careful reading it seems pretty clear that the incident, and the story, can be simplified quite significantly.
Here it is in 40 words, for a compression ratio of over 94%:
* A malicious spam from a computer in China reached a single unclassified computer in the White House Communications Agency.
* The computer may or may not have become infected as a result.
* Protection against malware and hackers is a good idea. "
Expand your moderator at work


norwegian
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reply to Frodo

Re: Canada and the US Government hacked by China

So the spam filters were not up to date?

Or is this called "data mining" now days? Please run this xyz.exe? /sarcasm tone off.


StuartMW
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said by norwegian:

So the spam filters were not up to date?

Well spam filters are bypassed all the time. Spammers are constantly inventing ways of making their junk look legitimate. It's a constant battle just like it is for malware.

I've received some really good looking (well done) spam recently to an anonymous email account. It contains the usual links to malicious websites. There's always someone dumb enough to click on them.
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