(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for April 21st, 2009

Counterintelligence Non Chalance

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Counterintelligence expert not worried about Chinese hacking

Published 20 April 2009

Joel Brenner, national counterintelligence executive, says is less worried about Chinese hacking of U.S. banking system and somewhat more worried about such hacking of U.S. critical infrastructure;

The U.S. intelligence community has uncovered evidence of Chinese penetration of U.S. banking networks, but Joel Brenner, national counterintelligence executive, said he is not worried “that the Chinese government wants to bring down our banking system.” Why not? The answer is simple, he said in a transcript of a 3 April speech released last week. The Chinese will not hack the U.S. banking system, Brenner said, because “they have too much money invested here.”

NextGov‘s Bob Brewin writes that, in his speech, which he gave at the Applied Research Laboratories at the University of Texas in Austin, Brenner also acknowledged news reports that China has poked around in the networks that control the U.S. electric power grid, as well as air traffic control systems’ water supply. He said he worries about penetration of those systems, but doubts that today China would take any action. If there was a “dust-up over Taiwan, the answer might be different,” Brenner said.

He said Chinese probes of U.S. federal and commercial networks are so relentless and obvious “they don’t seem to care about getting caught.”

Brenner said he was more concerned about “attacks we don’t see” and delivered a backhanded compliment to Russia, which he said is “very good” at sneakier cyber probes than China.

Agreed with a caveat:

As soon as it is in their best interest to do so, they will likely use that leverage. Simply, the fact that they have the ABILITY to do these things in the first place should WORRY Joel just a bit don’t you think?

Yeah, so as counterintel goes, perhaps it isn’t completely his bag, but, it should be somewhat more an urgency in his mind than “somewhat” worried about these scenarios. I would also hasten to add that Russia too also it at play here and as Joel points out, they are sneakier and more subtle.

Worry about both my friends…