After 5 Chinese ships hemmed in a US warship, USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea, plowed through A Tibet-belongs-to China annex anniversary without the number killed last year by the military and rolled over the Dalai Lama's freedom rhetoric, more joint military exercises with Russia, obligatory perennial warnings to Taiwan & an interfering USA that they will backup a One China policy at the point of really big guns and missiles, now with the cyber warfare the Canadians caught from deep inside the land of one time zone happening to 1295 computers in over 100 countries, pulling the camouflage over a hypersensitive world's eyes is tough to brazen out. Canada's report from The Information Warfare Monitor, "Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network" does not attribute the malware directly to the Chinese state. The US military already had suspicous hacker activity attributed to the Chinese at the Pentagon almost eighteen months ago. Those magisterial moments during the 2008 Olympics are over. It leaves China unencumbered by world community threats to showcase its military might on center stage. Only the US military preemptively released their annual assessment on the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Dalai Lama's office raised suspicions about being hacked.
Computers -- including machines at NATO, governments and embassies -- are infected with software that lets attackers gain complete control of them, according to the reports. One was issued by the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies in conjunction with the Ottawa, Canada-based think tank The SecDev Group; the second came from the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.
Researchers have dubbed the network GhostNet. The network can not only search a computer but see and hear the people using it, according to the Canadian report.
"GhostNet is capable of taking full control of infected computers, including searching and downloading specific files, and covertly operating attached devices, including microphones and web cameras," the report says. (Internet map - portion)Tuesday, President Obama leaves Washington DC for the G-20 Summit hosted in a protest-ready and poorer London after already having words with China's Ambassador to the US over US Naval ships in international waters. The Chinese ambassador made sure the press knew there were concerns about the US currency amidst a global crisis. Warfare, cyber and otherwise, is definitely practiced economically. China is spreading the wealth around and making more inroads and cyber tracks in the Western Hemisphere. France & China have a frosty relationship after President Sarkozy took a meeting with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Meanwhile, Thailand is pretty pissed about their computers while Austrailia is defending its ties at home with China. This summit will be like a giant Hollywood party where people were married to each other, divorced and married former friends while everybody is ensuring all is truly cordial because the cameras are on.
President Hu Jintao will warmly greet President Obama. The pictures will be pretty and the words carefully chosen to convey maximum strength on both sides as they speak as if at a tennis match. China will hear about the lack of government safety control in their manufacturing and food production environments, the US will get slammed over the health of the Dollar, return serve on the artificial price pegging of the Yuan with a volley back on the stupidity of Iraq, followed by the human rights issues in Burma and Darfur with pointed questions about China's designs on Latin America, followed by talks about climate change with the US saying new rules. And that's just Secretary Hillary Clinton's part in the meeting. President Obama will hear much mutterings on the scale and scope of the US military industrial complex's sales of armaments and delivery systems. China claims they are nowhere near able to keep up on that military scale. Um, yeah... just the end user better hope they have some quality control in the stuff they get from a booming China.
Mixing modernity with the mastery of the ancient eastern tradition makes for compelling reading about China's geopolitical growth spurts. Ralph D. Sawyer chronicles the inside political gamesmanships Chinese generals do on each other and other nonconventional means of projecting military might. China is not adverse to using every tool at their command and this China expert shows us how many means and methods they have already used in The Tao of Deception: Unorthodox Warfare in Historic and Modern China.