Titan Rain – China attempting to crack US computers?



According to an article at the Washington Post, it appears that there are a large number of attacks against Defense related non-classified computers coming from (at least in the last hop) computers residing in China. It’s unclear whether these attacks are REALLY originating from China or if crackers are using Chinese machines as a convenient haven before making the attack on Defense related US machines.


From the article…

Web sites in China are being used heavily to target computer networks in the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies, successfully breaching hundreds of unclassified networks, according to several U.S. officials.

Classified systems have not been compromised, the officials added. But U.S. authorities remain concerned because, as one official said, even seemingly innocuous information, when pulled together from various sources, can yield useful intelligence to an adversary.

The incidents have a 2-3 year history and have been codenamed Titan Rain. It’s said the FBI is investigating. The choice of systems is troubling.

“It’s not just the Defense Department but a wide variety of networks that have been hit,” including the departments of State, Energy and Homeland Security as well as defense contractors, the official said. “This is an ongoing, organized attempt to siphon off information from our unclassified systems.”

These days ANY information can be used as a tool to gain further access. It’s hard to say if this would be originating from China or other groups. One thing that makes investigation more difficult is the lack of agreements between China and the United States regarding cooperation in Computer Security investigations.

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