A large and complex hacker group connected to China's military has been linked to hacks involving more than 100 companies in the U.S. and the theft of several hundreds of terabytes of data, according to a comprehensive report released Tuesday that unabashedly blames China for some of the largest hacks detected in recent years.
The group, known as the Comment Crew and APT1, operates out of a 12-story office tower in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai, and is said to be part of Unit 61398, a unit of the People's Liberation Army that has a staff of hundreds and perhaps thousands of hackers who have systematically stolen valuable data from U.S. firms since at least 2006 using the resources of state-owned enterprises, such as China Telecom, to conduct the attacks, according to Mandiant, the computer security firm that released the detailed 76-page report.
"The sheer scale and duration of sustained attacks against such a wide set of industries from a singularly identified group based in China leaves little doubt about the organization behind APT1," Mandiant writes in its report. "We believe the totality of the evidence we provide in this document bolsters the claim that APT1 is Unit 61398."
According to Mandiant, senior leaders of the Communist Party of China are directly responsible for tasking China's military with committing systematic cyberespionage and data theft against organizations around the world, and Unit 61398 aggressively recruits new talent from the science and engineering departments of universities in China to conduct the activities.
A chart showing the hierarchical structure of China's hacking apparatus. Courtesy of Mandiant
Victims have included the security firm RSA, Coca-Cola and the maker of equipment used in critical infrastructure systems. Multiple industries have been targeted, including the aerospace and high-tech electronics industries as well as transportation, financial services, satellite and telecommunications, chemical, energy, media and advertising and food and agriculture.
But there are concerns that instead of just stealing data, the group may be targeting critical infrastructure systems with the aim of planting malware to conduct sabotage.
One of the most recent hacks attributed to the group involved Telvent Canada, a maker of control software used in the smart grid. According to the company, which is owned by Schneider Electric, the attackers installed malicious software on its network and also accessed project files for its OASyS SCADA system, which is heavily used in oil and gas pipeline systems in North America, as well as in some water system networks.
The breach raised concerns that the hackers could embed malware in project files to infect the machines of program developers or other key people involved in a SCADA project. One of the ways that Stuxnet spread — the worm that was designed to target Iran's uranium enrichment program and was reportedly designed by the U.S. and Israel — was to infect project files in an industrial control system made by Siemens, with the aim of passing the malware to the computers of developers.
Though Mandiant doesn't name victims in its report, The New York Times attributes a hack of Coca-Cola in 2009 to the group. The attack occurred while the beverage giant was attempting to acquire the China Huiyuan Juice Group for $2.4 billion.
"As Coca-Cola executives were negotiating what would have been the largest foreign purchase of a Chinese company, Comment Crew was busy rummaging through their computers in an apparent effort to learn more about Coca-Cola's negotiation strategy," the paper reports.
The hackers are responsible for engaging in prolonged breaches of victim networks that last months and in some cases years, during which they have stolen technology blueprints, proprietary manufacturing processes, test results, business plans, pricing documents, partnership agreements, and emails and contact lists.
The average hack has lasted 356 days, but in one case a victim was compromised for four years and 10 months. One victim lost 6.5 terabytes over a 10-month period.
The hackers used tried-and-true techniques that involve sending aggressive spear phishing emails to victims and using custom digital weapons to gain a foothold on systems and establish communication with a command-and-control server before they begin exporting data.
"They employ good English — with acceptable slang — in their socially engineered emails," Mandiant writes. "They have evolved their digital weapons for more than seven years, resulting in continual upgrades as part of their own software release cycle. Their ability to adapt to their environment and spread across systems makes them effective in enterprise environments with trust relationships."
Read More: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013...
Max Keiser Report: When Truth is Found to be Lies Max Keiser talks to former energy regulator, Chris Cook, about how we move from dollar diplomacy to gas diplomacy and a world where energy as the modern water hole where you don't have to kill each other and a gas backed currency becomes a new global reserve currency in a post-dollar world.
MIRROR - Greetings world.
The Peoples Liberation Front and Anonymous are joining forces yet again to defend whistle-blowers and fight for transparency in government. This time in the most unlikely of places, the Vatican City State. This spring, a book was published which detailed massive corruption and wrong-doing in the highest levels of the Popes' administration. It was entitled "His Holiness" by Gianluigi Nuzzi. The book relied heavily on a massive cache of documents apparently leaked directly from the Pope's apartment and office at the Holy See.
In May of this year, Paolo Gabriele the Pope's butler was arrested for photo-copying the massive trove of documents and delivering them to Nuzzi for use in his book. Today, Mr. Gabriele was convicted by the Vatican courts and sentenced to 18 months in an Italian prison for this alleged disclosure of sensitive and secret material. The fact that Paolo Gabriele was almost certainly aided by someone high up in the Vatican government, most likely a Cardinal -- was never investigated by the Vatican police. Instead, Mr. Gabriele was given a very quick trial in a Vatican City courtroom and summarily sentenced to a year and a half in prison. The computer technician Claudio Sciarpelletti has been convicted of assisting in the disclosure and has been sentenced to two months.
Anonymous and the Peoples Liberation Front will not stand by while whistleblowers who expose corruption in governments or corporations are persecuted and imprisoned. Whether it be Bradley Manning in the USA or Paolo Gabriele in the Vatican City State, risking everything to bring transparency to the world is an act of extreme heroism -- and deserves to be defended at all costs. The Pope is an absolute monarch, and as such has the ability to instantly pardon Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti. We demand that the Pope do so at once.
Until this one simple demand is met, Anonymous and the PLF will wage a relentless campaign. We will also work closely with Anonymous Italy to organize ground protests in St. Peter's Square, especially during outdoor Papal "audiences". The Roman Catholic Church should have nothing to hide, and nothing to fear from transparency. Free Paolo Gabriele now.
We Are Anonymous.
We Are Everywhere.
We Are Legion.
We Do Not Forgive.
We Do Not Forget.
Your Holiness Benedict XVI, it is too late to expect us.
Updates: Gabriele has since been released after being pardoned by the Pope, and the Pope has now resigned.
Judge Napolitano: Will States' Nullification Of Federal Gun Control Laws Hold Up In Court?
2/19/13 - Appearing on Fox's America Live this afternoon, Judge Andrew Napolitano applauded several states' proposals to protect firearms made and kept within their states' borders from any potential federal weapons bans. However, the outspoken libertarian conceded that despite how "ridiculous" federal law has become, the states will likely fail in their effort to shield themselves from the feds.
"If this were 200 years ago, and the Constitution were new, and it meant what it said, this legislation would make sense because at the time, Congress only regulated commercial goods that actually passed from one state to the next," Napolitano explained of the proposed laws and their relation to the so-called "interstate commerce clause."
"But that clause has been so blown out of proportion, by presidents and Congresses and Supreme Courts, that Congress can now legislate anything it wants, even something that moves from one state to the another," the judge lamented. "And even something that isn't commercial in nature simply because, in some theoretical way, its movement or not movement might have some effect on interstate commerce."
Host Megyn Kelly likened that to how during the debate over ObamaCare, the president argued that the law fit under the "commerce clause" — a point which the Supreme Court rejected, instead saying the law was legal under the Constitution's "tax and spend clause." Nevertheless, Obama based his argument on Wickard v. Filburn (1942), which allowed the government to regulate a man growing wheat in his backyard for personal consumption under the commerce clause. That case has set the precedent for many subsequent court rulings.
As such, Kelly asked, "Why would the states try to tee up the challenge of going to the Supreme Court in light of pretty clear precedence that the federal law will prevail?"
"If enough states agree, Congress might back down," Napolitano theorized. "Remember, states can look at the Constitution if enough of them want to."
He also suggested that perhaps this Supreme Court — which has twice within the last five years upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms in states and cities — would refrain from further interfering with that right and "carve out an exception" for congressional regulatory powers.
However, Napolitano conceded the unlikelihood of these states' proposals actually gaining traction: "As much as I love this legislation and wish it would be constitutional, it's directly opposed to 60 years of jurisprudence that lets Congress do anything it wants."
Despite the Supreme Court rejecting Obama's use of the commerce clause for the Affordable Care Act, Napolitano and Kelly said the Wickard ruling would likely be applied here. "This is ridiculous lines of argument, it's rationalizing a way for the Supreme Court around the Constitution's intent, but this is how lawyers and members of congress and judges work," the judge said.
Main Show Only - Astronomy and the Vatican Observatory
Host: George Noory
Guests: Brother Guy Consolmagno
Astronomer and Curator of Meteorites at the Vatican Observatory, Brother Guy Consolmagno gave an update on discoveries in space, and spoke about the intersection of science and religion. The Vatican has observatories at two sites, one in the small Italian town of Lazio (the Pope's summer residence) and the other on a mountaintop in southeastern Arizona. 24 years ago, in his research of "Centaurs"-- half comets/half asteroids, he observed an anomalous cloud of light next to a centaur beyond Neptune-- such clouds usually surround the object's nucleus rather than appear adjacent to it, he explained.
He cited evidence for the migration theory of planets-- suggesting that in the early days of our solar system, Uranus and Neptune moved further out while Jupiter swept closer in from their original positions. In his study of meteorites, he detailed one specimen that curiously had iron that appeared molten right next to rock that looked like it had never been hot.
Regarding, the "Wormwood" mentioned in the Book of Revelation, Consolmagno doesn't interpret the writing as being a prediction of something to come, but rather a folkloric way of giving strength to people who were facing persecution at the time. He also stated that the notion of a "Planet X" periodically coming into the inner solar system doesn't ring true to him.
On the Tuesday, February 19 broadcast of the Alex Jones Show, Alex will confront World Wrestling Entertainment's attempt to demonize Tea Party Americans and himself with their revamp of the Jack Swagger character as a xenophobic, Constitution-loving racist. Alex will also discuss the City of Los Angeles' efforts to extort money from Infowars, accusing us for "illegally posted signs" despite the signs having no affiliation with our company and despite the fact that Infowars primarily operates out of Austin, Texas. Alex also welcomes investigative journalist and author Wayne Madsen to analyze the mysterious murder-suicide of "conspiracy theorist" author Phillip Marshall. We'll also cover other major headlines and take your calls.
Expert on the American prophet Edgar Cayce, Greg Little discussed new discoveries in the search for Atlantis, mounds in ancient America, as well as findings in Egypt. He related the research of British science writer Andrew Collins who found an opening into a cave complex that extends underneath Giza, Egypt. Collins has concluded that the pyramids on the Giza Plateau correlate to the constellation Cygnus, rather than Orion, as other researchers have claimed.
Little shared some of Edgar Cayce's readings on Atlantis, and talked about the organization A.R.E. built around his work. Cayce believed Atlantis was a large empire that stretched from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Mexico. Its inhabitants were able to generate electricity by focusing the sun's rays through crystals, and had flying machines, elevators, submarines, and hi-tech houses. Their civilization, Cayce said, suffered three great cataclysms-- in the years 50,000 BC, 28,000 BC, and 10,000 BC. He also thought they kept an archive of their knowledge, the now hidden Hall of Records.
Little talked about some intriguing underwater structures photographed off Bimini (see article below) that he's been researching. These remnants might have been buildings from a booming maritime port from around 10,000 BC, he said. He also touched on his work finding crashed planes in the Bermuda Triangle, and his long term study of Native American mounds, some of which date back as far as 3800 BC. Where some of these ancient mound builders came from is a complete mystery, he noted.
Aviator John Lear and screenwriter Gene Huff joined George Knapp to
commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Area 51 mystery. The duo
discussed their role, alongside Bob Lazar, in bringing the Area 51 story
to the world. "It sounds a lot more convenient than it was. It was a
lot of synchronicities, a lot of sheer coincidences that made things
turn out the way they did," Huff said about the series of events that
brought them together two decades ago.
They reminisced about their initial visits to the outskirts of Area 51, sharing a number of details surrounding the events. Huff revealed that their first expedition to the area was primarily motivated by Lazar's desire to impress his wife and that "we were excess baggage. I was just happy to be in on it and I'm sure John was too." Lear recounted watching a flying disc on his telescope that night and laughed about the series of events which prevented Huff from having the same view. "As I stepped back, I hooked my foot around the tripod, and moved the telescope. And, of course, Gene's never forgiven me," Lear joked.
Having known Bob Lazar before he became infamous for his involvement in Area 51, the pair speculated on a number of theories that have surrounded his story over the last twenty years. Regarding skeptics' claims that Lazar was unqualified for the job at Area 51, Lear theorized that perhaps stellar credentials weren't necessarily the primary factor behind his employment, rather "it was who they could probably discredit the easiest, if he said anything about it." Huff was skeptical of the idea that Lazar was a disinformation agent working for the government, saying "he would be the worst guy in the world to make up a lie and try and perpetuate a lie. He's too busy being productive doing other things."
John Lear is a retired airline captain and former CIA pilot, as well as the son of the famous inventor of the Lear Jet. He is a former Lockheed L-1011 Captain and is highly regarded in aviation circles. He has flown over 150 aircraft and has earned every certificate granted by the Federal Aviation Administration. John also held 18 world speed records and has worked for 28 different Aircraft Corporations. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, John began coming forward with some startling revelations concerning the subject of aerial phenomena and Unidentified Flying Objects.
Area 51 (also known as Dreamland, or Groom Lake) is a military base, and a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (133 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield. The base's current primary purpose is officially undetermined; however, based on historical evidence, it most likely supports development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems. Despite the obscurity of the facility, the base has become well known, in large part because of various conspiracy theories involving it and its frequent portrayal in popular culture.
Stefan Molyneux is not an Anarchist. "Anarcho"-Capitalism is an oxymoron. True anarchism is anti-hierarchical and socialist - Like Anarchist Communism and Anarcho-Syndicalism - All of the original Anarchist philosophers - Mikhail Bakunin, Emma Goldman, Peter Kropotkin etc. - "Anarcho"-Capitalism is an entirely American phenomenon, a comparatively minor movement and a relatively recent one - One a majority of Anarchists believe is another example of Capitalism hijacking terms of the left.This system messed up society enough. CHANGE is needed completely from the ground up. Free energy is needed to be made available since it is suppressed on purpose. The Puppeteers couldn't hold control over the bottom of the pyramid people. They have everything to lose if things improve. SOLUTION? GET RID OF THE SYSTEM OF OPPRESSION!
Many college students face repaying a mountain of debt upon graduating, and many college graduates end up working jobs that don't require a degree. Even worse, 40 percent of college students drop out without earning a degree, but that does not free them from the debt they have accumulated. Prof. Daniel Lin argues that government subsidies are to blame for the continually rising costs of higher education. Although such subsidies are supposed to help defray college costs, they are making the situation worse. A policy that worsens the problem it is supposed to fix should be eliminated.