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A U.S. Congressional panel says that requests for U.S. government and corporate sites were funneled out of the U.S. and through China telecom for a brief period last year.  (Source: Mobile Phone Co.)
Redirections allowed China to gain access to U.S. citizens' web activity illegitimately

According to an upcoming report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. Congressional advisory group, a major Chinese telecom succeeded in effectively hijacking U.S. internet traffic last year.

Normally web traffic is routed via the fastest route -- typically through domestic connections.  This principle of the internet has in the past helped to secure domestic traffic.  However, the greater global internet is all connected, so in theory traffic could be routed abroad through international connections to foreign routers, returning through yet more international connections to domestic servers.

Obviously this kind of routing is a tremendous security risk.  And it's reportedly exactly what happened last year.

U.S. citizens trying to access government sites, such as the U.S. Senate, the office of the secretary of defense, NASA, and the Commerce Department last year had their traffic routed through China Telecom, the third largest telecommunications company in China and a company whose major owner is the government of China.

Traffic request for several major commercial companies were also briefly rerouted, according to the report.

The rerouting may have been an example of China testing U.S. web security and gauging the nation's ability to protect its users' data requests.  If that was the case, the U.S. government failed miserably to protect its citizens' data.

The report describes, "Evidence related to this incident does not clearly indicate whether it was perpetrated intentionally and, if so, to what ends. However, computer security researchers have noted that the capability could enable severe malicious activities."

China Telecom did not deny the incident occurred, but did deny that it intentionally "hijacked" U.S. citizens' traffic.  A company statement reads, "The spokesman of China Telecom Corporation Limited denied any hijack of internet traffic."

Aside from the suspicious misdirection, the security report found many other troubling clues to a Chinese hand in cyberattacks and cybercrime committed against U.S. citizens and corporations.

Among its finding, it found that 28 percent of phishing scams -- false emails designed to lure users into accidentally giving up their passwords or personal information -- originated from China.  And it adds, "Anecdotal reports about the success of these activities continue to surface, some with compelling links to the Chinese government."

The report also details the theft of the incredibly valuable source code that runs Google's search engine last year -- a theft which originated in China.  The incident and the ensuing lack of cooperation from the Chinese government subsequently caused Google to briefly defy the Chinese government's censorship, before finally relenting and recensoring its search.  Some suspect that the attack was perpetrated by China's leading search engine, Baidu, and suspect that the Chinese search giant may incorporate algorithms from the code to improve its own search.

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People need to wake up
By MrTeal on 11/17/2010 11:13:58 AM , Rating: 5
China has been sabre-rattling and probing the defenses of the US for years now. People simply don't understand how much the world and every day life if connected through the internet, and the potential for damage. If the Chinese were overflying US airspace or conducting navy exercises 200 miles off the US coast, there would be a huge public outcry. When they actively prepare for large-scale cyber warfare, people and the government do essentially nothing. It's ridiculous, and the US has a lot more to fear from Chinese hackers than they do from a Chinese fleet showing up at Hawaii.

RE: People need to wake up
By AntiM on 11/17/2010 11:30:20 AM , Rating: 4
There's not much we can do until we pay back the 1 trillion dollars we owe them.

RE: People need to wake up
By theapparition on 11/17/2010 12:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
Don't need to pay back a country that's been turned into glass.

RE: People need to wake up
By HrilL on 11/17/10, Rating: -1
RE: People need to wake up
By FITCamaro on 11/17/2010 1:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
Then they start calling in all our loans.

RE: People need to wake up
By Ammohunt on 11/17/2010 2:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
The average Chinese standard of living has raised dramatically over the past couple decades they are starting toconsume their own goods. They are more likely to eclipse the United States as the largest consumer group then they are to go back to their previous economic configuration.

RE: People need to wake up
By BadAcid on 11/17/2010 2:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
"Standard of living" economically, maybe.
Still sucks to have little in the way of freedom, regional equality, gender equality, etc.

RE: People need to wake up
By Ammohunt on 11/17/2010 5:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
Thats a seperate topic the context was economics; byproducts of economic empowerment can address the rest of what you listed.

RE: People need to wake up
By jono256 on 11/17/2010 12:18:16 PM , Rating: 2
They've got the bomb too.

RE: People need to wake up
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/17/2010 12:20:58 PM , Rating: 5
yeah, but they'll have to send it over on a bicycle.

RE: People need to wake up
By mudgiestylie on 11/17/2010 1:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno those SLBMs sure do pack a wallop (higher yield than what we use), and can hit anywhere in the US with JL2. And haven' you seen wargames? No good havin all these newfangled rockets when they can take over the computers that launch them. I'm sure we can do the same to them though.

RE: People need to wake up
By Reclaimer77 on 11/17/2010 6:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
RE: People need to wake up
By ekv on 11/18/2010 3:07:30 AM , Rating: 2
Their version of MIRV heh?

RE: People need to wake up
By FITCamaro on 11/17/2010 1:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
You need to multiply that number several times there.

RE: People need to wake up
By Digimonkey on 11/17/2010 1:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
Last I heard it's a little under a trillion.

RE: People need to wake up
By cruisin3style on 11/17/2010 2:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
The official number is 884 billion

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