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 Cyberattacks on U.S. military jump sharply in 2009

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PostSubject: Cyberattacks on U.S. military jump sharply in 2009   Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:09 pm

Cyberattacks on U.S. military jump sharply in 2009


Cyberattacks on the U.S. Department of Defense -- many of them
coming from China -- have jumped sharply in 2009, a U.S. congressional
committee reported Thursday. Citing data provided by the U.S.
Strategic Command, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review
Commission said that there were 43,785 malicious cyber incidents
targeting Defense systems in the first half of the year. That's a big
jump. In all of 2008, there were 54,640 such incidents. If cyber
attacks maintain this pace, they will jump 60% this year.
The committee is looking into the security implications of the U.S.
' trade relationship with China. It released its annual report to Congress
Thursday, concluding that a "large body of both circumstantial and
forensic evidence strongly indicates Chinese state involvement in such
activities." "The quantity of malicious computer activities
against he United states increased in 2008 and is rising sharply in
2009," the report states. "Much of this activity appears to originate
in China." "The cost of such attacks is significant," the report
notes. Citing data from the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations,
the report says that the military spent $100 million to fend off these
attacks between September 2008 and March 2009. A Defense Department
spokesman did not have any immediate comment on the report's numbers
Thursday. Attacks on department systems have been rising
steadily for years. In 2000, for example, only 1,415 incidents were
reported. The increase is in part due to the fact that the U.S.
military is simply better at identifying cyberthreats than it used to
be, said Chris Poulin, the chief security officer of Q1 Labs, and
formerly a manager of intelligence networks within the U.S. Air Force.
The department figures are "probably more accurate now," than they were
nine years ago, he said. Security experts have long known that
many computer attacks originate from Chinese IP (Internet Protocol)
addresses, but due to the decentralized nature of the Internet, it is
very difficult to tell when an attack is actually generated in China,
instead of simply using Chinese servers as a steppingstone. Q1's
Poulin says that his company's corporate clients in the U.S. are seeing
attacks that come from China, North Korea, and the Middle East. "We do
definitely see patterns coming from specific nation states." He
said that because China's government has taken steps to control
Internet usage in the country, it could probably throttle attacks if it
wanted to. "China's defiantly initiating attacks," he said.
"State-sponsored? Who knows. But they're certainly not state-choked."
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