• Google to pull out of China following government-sponsored cyberattacks

    In order to operate in China, Google agreed to implement stringent government-dictated censorship as to what Chinese consumers can – and cannot – find when doing Google searches; Google’s compliance with Chinese censorship was harshly criticized by human rights and freedom-of-speech organizations, but Google responded that this was the cost of doing business in China; the Chinese government’s hacking of Gmail accounts in order to monitor political dissidents proved to much for Google, though, and the company is now set to end its operations in China

  • Google’s decision a rare show of defiance in China

    Google’s decision to leave China is a rare show of defiance in a market where the government punishes those who do not play by the rules; in industries from automaking to fast food, companies have been forced to allow communist authorities to influence — and sometimes dictate — their choice of local partners, where to operate, and what products to sell; many high-tech companies operating in China are forced to open their intellectual property and industrial secrets to their Chinese competitors – or to Chinese government officials, who pass on that property to Chinese companies – allowing these Chinese companies to reverse engineer and copy Western companies’ products and solutions; Western companies have struggled to make headway against intense competition from Chinese rivals – rivals who enjoy the fact that the Chinese government writes rules which tilt the playing field in favor of Chinese companies

  • China offers Internet pirates bulletproof havens for illegal file sharing

    Most bulletproof hosts which allow music, video, and software to be illegally shared online are located in China, where criminals are able to take advantage of low costs and legal loopholes to avoid prosecution; despite officials in Beijing talking in tough terms about computer crime — hacking potentially carries a death sentence in China — the authorities rarely cooperate with other countries to take action against hi-tech criminals; as a result, just a handful of firms in China are responsible for hosting thousands of criminal enterprises online; one example: more than 22,000 Web sites which sent pharmaceutical spam were hosted by six bulletproof servers in China

  • Solid Oak sues China, Lenovo for stealing Green Dam code

    The Chinese government wanted to install a Green Dam around the computers used by Chinese – officially for the purpose of preventing the spread of pornography and other unseemly digital contents; the plan was abandoned after it became clear that the true purpose was to control the spread of political contents and help the government better monitor political dissent; U.S. software security firm charges that in the process of creating the dam, the Chinese government and Chinese companies – but also several non-Chinese companies which stood to gain from participating in the scheme — stole its code; it mow demands $2.2 billion in compensation

  • Bio espionage: New threat to U.S. economy

    In January, DHS warned of an increased cyber attack threat by activists/hacktivists and extremist groups; these groups are known to target life sciences and biotech companies; life sciences sector, pharmaceutical sector, and biotech sector are areas where we should expect information security challenges to increase exponentially for the foreseeable future

  • Fake Cisco serial numbers in $1 million Chinese computer parts scheme

    Two Kansas men are accused of buying network gear in China, and then attaching fake Cisco serial numbers to the components, placing them in Cisco boxes, and selling them as Cisco products; security experts have warned that counterfeit networking gear could contain back doors that allow spies to conduct industrial espionage on U.S. companies

  • The brief

    Vetting a chip with a hidden agenda is not easy, and chip makers cannot afford to test every chip; also, today only Intel and a few other companies still design and manufacture all their own chips in their own fabrication plants; other chip designers — including LSI Corp. and, most recently, Sony — have gone “fabless,” outsourcing their manufacturing to off-shore facilities known as foundries

  • Counterfeit chips may hobble advanced weapons

    While most computer security efforts have until now been focused on software, tampering with hardware circuitry may ultimately be an equally dangerous threat; the Pentagon now manufactures in secure facilities run by American companies only about 2 percent of the more than $3.5 billion of integrated circuits bought annually for use in military gear

  • Canadian government finds support for Internet surveillance scheme

    The Canadian federal government wants to broaden its Internet surveillance capabilities; the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the watch-dog over Canada’s spy agencies, supports the idea

  • China bolsters its information warfare capabilities

    One of the chief strategies driving the process of modernization (known in China as “informatization”) in the PLA is the coordinated use of CNO, electronic warfare (EW), and kinetic strikes designed to
    strike an enemy’s networked information systems, creating “blind spots” that PLA forces could exploit at predetermined times or as the tactical situation warranted

  • iPhones, social networking add to IT security woes

    The security staff at private and government organizations have new security problems to contend with: smartphones and social networking

  • U.S. Government recommends weighing laptop before and after visit to China

    The U.S. government urges travelers to follow extremely strict policies for visits to China which extend far beyond standard software protection; the policies encourage them to leave their standard IT equipment at home and to buy separate gear only for use in China

  • New disappearing ink developed

    Nanoparticle inks that fade away in hours could be ideal for secure communications, top-secret maps, and other sensitive documents

  • NSA to build $2 billion data center in Utah

    The NSA major data center — in Fort Meade, Maryland — has maxed out the capacity of the Baltimore area power grid; the super-secret agency is building a second data center in San Antonio, Texas, and has revealed plans to build a third center — a mammoth, 65 MW, $1.93 billion in Camp Williams, Utah

  • Disk containing secret defense-contract details sold in Ghana for $40

    Journalism students buy a hard-drive containing secret information on multi-million dollar contracts between Northrop Grumman and the Pentagon; they bought the drive at Ghana “digital dump” for $40