China Brazenly Brags About Internet Attacks on U.S. in Leaked Video
August 23, 2011 10:03 AM
Despite "smoking gun" U.S. is unlikely to act as it has a long history of tolerating China's abuse
It seemed like just another Chinese propaganda video, designed to promote the fighting spirit of soldiers in China's People's Liberation Army and rouse anti-American sentiments. The Chinese narrator boldly proclaimed, "America is the first country to propose the concept of a cyberwar, and the first country to implement it in a real war."
I. Proof of Chinese Government Cyber-Attacks
But, as first
, the Chinese government unwittingly dropped a bomb shell when it used a clip of what it must have thought was stock footage.
Between 12:57 and 13:05 in the video, the B-roll clip rolled, revealing what is most westerners' first glimpse at a live Chinese cyber-attack on the U.S. Videographic proof that recent cyber-attacks were indeed the work of the Chinese government had never been found -- until now.
At the start of the clip the reflection of a PLA officer in uniform can be seen. We're not sure what the text up top or below says, but if you speak Chinese please let us know...
The officer quickly leaves that screen, using a keyboard shortcut....
...and fires up an application whose creator is identified in GUI text as the Electrical Engineering University of China's People's Liberation Army. The GUI panel contains the text "Choose Attack Target" and offers the user a choice of what reportedly are multiple Falun Gong websites (a forbidden Chinese spirtual movement) (feel free to chime in if you can read this...).
The text selected reads "Minghui.org" -- a major Falun Gong homepage -- and the IP address selected is a
address, an IP block that belongs to the University of Alabama. The particular IP in question, according to
The Epoch Times
has not been used since 2010, with IP staff recalling it may have been used to host the homepage of a Falun Gong practitioner, who hosted meetings on campus.
The "attack" button is pressed in the lower left-hand corner, and the video fades out, as presumably a distributed denial of service attack (possibly botnet assisted) is carried out.
So there it is -- straight from the horse's mouth, as they say, proof that China is indeed attacking entities in the U.S. online.
The video is available
, beware the rewind capability seems to be messed up, so just skip to around 10 minutes if you want to see the good part.
II. U.S. is Too Afraid to Stand up For Itself
We're guessing President Barack Obama's (D) response to this video will fall somewhere between "silence" and "sweeping it under the rug". After all, while the U.S.
talked tough of physical retaliation for cyberattacks
, it continues to let China bully it online.
China controls a great deal of U.S. debt and
rare earth metals
-- a critical component to high-performance electronic devices. The U.S. also
deeply depends on China for its manufacturing needs
, having done away with its own capacity to produce most products decades ago.
Likewise there's a sort of grim complacency in the corporate world. Google, Inc. (
) claims to have
its source code stolen
by Chinese hackers, but has been
forced into silence
by the Chinese government. The message is clear -- put up with abuse, or get out of the world's biggest market.
Similarly, antivirus firm McAfee last month aired a report on the
world's largest series of cyber-attacks
dubbed "ShadyRAT", which it said were perpetrated by a nation state. However, when faced with the overwhelming public assumption that the attacker was China, McAfee equivocated refusing to confirm that the attacks came from China.
What reason would McAfee have for keeping the identity of the attacker in history's most financially damaging cyberattack a secret? Well, its parent company, Intel Corp. (
) has invested much in research and development
and production facilities
in China -- facilities it doesn't want to lose by alienating the local government.
The few people and organizations who do speak out are largely ignored.
Recent attacks on American advocacy site
who launched a campaign to free imprisoned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, led to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admonishing China. But at the end of the day no decisive action was taken by the executive branch or Congress.
In short, China is reportedly
gaining advanced intelligence on the U.S. military
and its technological secrets; is
infiltrating U.S. utilities
; and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate secrets, but the U.S. has thus far kept its mouth shut.
For that reason we don't hold much hope that this "smoking gun" will change much of anything in the way U.S. business and the U.S. government bow down to their Chinese abusers.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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