Chinese Hackers Gain Access to Pentagon Files
This is not the first time we've heard of the Chinese and their "expertise" in this area. The world is aware of their superior education system and what their students are able to produce as a result of this education.
ZHOUSHAN, China (CNN) -- They operate from a bare apartment on a Chinese island. They are intelligent 20-somethings who seem harmless. But they are hard-core hackers who claim to have gained access to the world's most sensitive sites, including the Pentagon.
Wanted: computer virus writers. Must be fluent in Mandarin. Or Russian. Or Portuguese.
Who places these ads?
Well first of all, given the various languages required, these hackers are used to launch specific attacks at targeted countries by Chinese malicious code designers. They are involved with such activities as:
Hackers want to craft compelling and grammatically correct Web pages and spam e-mails — which are crucial in fooling people to download viruses or reveal personal information like credit card numbers, according to the report.
By localizing their attacks, hackers can better target software and sites popular in specific countries — such as peer-to-peer network applications in Japan, online gaming sites in China, and banks in Brazil. They can also limit their attacks to countries where law enforcement is more likely to be lax.
While Chen of course does not want to reveal his true identity, he did reveal that there are only two others in his group. Experts tend to call such groups, "civilian cyber-militia" as they follow their mandates to launch attacks on (not only) government web sites but private ones too, all over the world.
If you've ever received a suspicious email, telling you to confirm your PayPal or bank account details - and you do exactly that - chances are you could be relieved of a LOT of your money.
These emails should be discarded immediately and NOT even opened, as various code can actually be triggered by opening it. Be careful and view your email with a careful and alert eye.
If an email looks suspicious, expand the header and examine it carefully - also make sure that the URL you're supposed to click through to is genuine.
David Marcus, Security Research and Communications Manager with McAfee had these comments:
"It speaks to the underlying professionalism and understanding of business that we've seen in the past few years, and that we haven't seen in the past," [...] "They're approaching malware as a business and are looking to build their businesses globally." [...] "It doesn't take a huge investment in time to craft this stuff perfectly,"
Hackers wanting to employ virus writers who are able to design effective spam and web sites in local languages;
Hackers wanting to trade malicious programs in different languages.
The trio who claim to have hacked into the Pentagon, consist of a former computer operator in the People's Liberation Army; a marketing graduate and Chen himself is a self-taught programmer.
It doesn't take much to cause mayhem in the world. Chen had these gems of wisdom to teach us:
"First, you must know about the Web site you want to attack. You must
know what program it is written with," says Xiao Chen. "There is a
saying, 'Know about both yourself and the enemy, and you will be invincible.'"
Thank you Mr. Xiao Chen.
While CNN refuses to divulge their web site - Chen advised that they have been operating for more than three years and have 10,000 registered users. He also divulged that hackers are able to use tools, articles, news and flash tutorials on hacking from the web site.
Private computer experts in the United States from iDefense Security Intelligence, which provides cybersecurity advice to governments and Fortune 500 companies, say the group's site "appears to be an important site in the broader Chinese hacking community."
Arranging a meeting with the hackers took weeks of on-again, off-again e-mail exchanges. When they finally agreed, CNN was told to meet them on the island of Zhoushan, just south of Shanghai and a major port for
The apartment has cement floors and almost no
furniture. What they do have are three of the latest computers. They are cautious when it comes to naming the Web sites they have hacked.
With regard to the Pentagon, Chen claims it wasn't actually he that did the hacking but two of his other "colleagues" - not part of the aforementioned in this report.
He went on to tell how they hacked into the Pentagon and downloaded information - though he wouldn't describe what kind of information. He also said that he was paid by the Chinese government.
Of course, Beijing has denied everything - what are they supposed to say? "Uh yes, we paid hackers to infiltrate your Pentagon and now we have some of your top-secret documents?" Unlikely!
To set the record straight, Chen said that the attack was a freelance operation and nothing to do with Beijing - however he also says that they did pay for it "after the fact."
James Mulvenon from the CIA Research and Analysis division had this to say about them:[q]"These hacker groups in my opinion are not agents of the Chinese state - they are sort of useful idiots for the Beijing regime."
Here are other recent stories - all about hackers:
* Official International Hackers Going After U.S. Networks by Jeanne Meserve - CNN
* China Denies Hacking into Pentagon by Barbara Starr, Brian Todd and Ed Payne - CNN
The Chinese government called allegations that its military hacked the
Pentagon's computer network over the summer "groundless", the state-run
Xinhua news agency reported late Tuesday.
About 146,000 people using a jobs Web site sponsored by the U.S.
government have had their personal information stolen by hackers who
broke into computers at Monster Worldwide Inc., a government spokesman
said on Thursday.
After uncovering its communications core's secrets, today hackers have reached a big milestone towards freeing the iPhone from the AT&T network:
they extracted the full content of the radio memory. In other words:
now they have the plans for the fucking Death Star —"the main key to
achieve true unlock." Want to help the iPhone Dev Team but you are no
There are hundreds more and I'm sure you can locate them with Google.
Source & Image:
CNN - Chinese Hackers: No Site is Safe by John Vause
Time - Hackers Recruit for Local Language Skill by Jordan Robertson/AP