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Archive for the ‘China’ Category

USG Questionnaire for National Security Positions

In Archive, China, Hacking, InfoSec, OPM, USA on June 8, 2015 at 8:08 PM

via OPM.gov

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Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Reports on United States/Russia/China/Britain/Israel Nuclear Arsenals

In Archive, Britain, China, Israel, Military, Russia, USA on March 7, 2015 at 11:42 AM

These are the most up-to-date reports from Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on the nuclear arsenals of the world’s biggest superpowers. This post will continually be updated with the most recent reports as they are published, including those of other major players such as France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and any others, when they become available.

United States (March/April 2015)

As of early 2015, the authors estimate that the US Defense Department maintains about 4,760 nuclear warheads. Of this number, they estimate that approximately 2,080 warheads are deployed while 2,680 warheads are in storage. In addition to the warheads in the Defense Department stockpile, approximately 2,340 retired but still intact warheads are in storage under the custody of the Energy Department and awaiting dismantlement, for a total US inventory of roughly 7,100 warheads. Since New START entered into force in February 2011, the United States has reported cutting a total of 158 strategic warheads and 88 launchers. It has plans to make some further reductions by 2018. Over the next decade, it also plans to spend as much as $350 billion on modernizing and maintaining its nuclear forces.

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US Nuclear Launch Code Was 00000000 For 20 Years During Cold War

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National Security Archive Declassified Documents on U.S. Nuclear War Plans, Accidents, and Command Systems

Secret U.S. Air Force Nuclear Test Detection Site Locations

DoD Science Board Urges Expanded Global Monitoring for Counterproliferation Purposes (New Excuse to Expand Dragnet)

Russia (March/April 2014)

Russia has taken important steps in modernizing its nuclear forces since early 2013, including the continued development and deployment of new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), construction of ballistic missile submarines, and development of a new strategic bomber. As of March 2013, the authors estimate, Russia had a military stockpile of approximately 4,300 nuclear warheads, of which roughly 1,600 strategic warheads were deployed on missiles and at bomber bases. Another 700 strategic warheads are in storage along with roughly 2,000 nonstrategic warheads. A large number—perhaps 3,500—of retired but still largely intact warheads await dismantlement.

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China (November/December 2013)

The number of weapons in China’s nuclear arsenal is slowly growing, and the capability of those weapons is also increasing. The authors estimate that China has approximately 250 warheads in its stockpile for delivery by nearly 150 land-based ballistic missiles, aircraft, and an emerging submarine fleet. China is assigning a growing portion of its warheads to long-range missiles. The authors estimate that China’s arsenal includes as many as 60 long-range missiles that can reach some portion of the United States. The US intelligence community predicts that by the mid-2020s, China could have more than 100 missiles capable of threatening the United States.

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China Reveals Its Ability to Nuke the US: Government Boasts About New Submarine Fleet Capable of Launching Warheads at Cities Across the Nation

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Britain (July/August 2013)

Recent research has revealed new facts about the British nuclear arsenal over a 25-year period starting in 1953. This accounting and the authors’ own research support an estimate that the British produced about 1,250 nuclear warheads between 1953 and 2013. From a peak of about 500 warheads in the period between 1974 and 1981, the UK arsenal has now been reduced to some 225 weapons.

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Israel (November/December 2014)

Although the Israeli government neither confirms nor denies that it possesses nuclear weapons, it is generally accepted by friend and foe alike that Israel is a nuclear-armed state—and has been so for nearly half a century. The basis for this conclusion has been strengthened significantly since our previous estimate in 2002, particularly thanks to new documents obtained by scholars under the US Freedom of Information Act and other openly available sources. We conclude that many of the public claims about the size of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are exaggerated. We estimate that Israel has a stockpile of approximately 80 nuclear warheads for delivery by two dozen missiles, a couple of squadrons of aircraft, and perhaps a small number of sea-launched cruise missiles.

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See Also:

World Leaders Play Nuclear War Game at G7 Summit; Scenario: Atomic Dirty Bomb in Financial Heart of Western Metropolis

What Would Happen if an 800-Kiloton Nuclear Warhead Detonated Above Midtown Manhattan?

“Steal Their Tools, Tradecraft, Targets and Take”: How NSA Uses Other Countries’ Cyber Attacks to Their Advantage

In Archive, China, Hacking, NSA, NSA Files, Surveillance on February 6, 2015 at 1:16 PM

nsa-fourth-party-milkshake

01/17/2015

h/t Jacob Appelbaum/Laura Poitras/SPIEGEL:

Just how close the NSA has already gotten to its aim of “global network dominance” is illustrated particularly well by the work of department S31177, codenamed TRANSGRESSION.

The department’s task is to trace foreign cyber attacks, observe and analyze them and, in the best case scenario, to siphon off the insights of competing intelligence agencies. This form of “Cyber Counter Intelligence” counts among the most delicate forms of modern spying.

In addition to providing a view of the US’s own ability to conduct digital attacks, Snowden’s archive also reveals the capabilities of other countries. The TRANSGRESSION team has access to years of preliminary field work and experience at its disposal, including databases in which malware and network attacks from other countries are cataloged.

The Snowden documents show that the NSA and its Five Eyes partners have put numerous network attacks waged by other countries to their own use in recent years. One 2009 document states that the department’s remit is to “discover, understand (and) evaluate” foreign attacks. Another document reads: “Steal their tools, tradecraft, targets and take.”

In 2009, an NSA unit took notice of a data breach affecting workers at the US Department of Defense. The department traced an IP address in Asia that functioned as the command center for the attack. By the end of their detective work, the Americans succeeded not only in tracing the attack’s point of origin to China, but also in tapping intelligence information from other Chinese attacks — including data that had been stolen from the United Nations. Afterwards, NSA workers in Fort Meade continued to read over their shoulders as the Chinese secretly collected further internal UN data. “NSA is able to tap into Chinese SIGINT collection,” a report on the success in 2011 stated. SIGINT is short for signals intelligence.

The practice of letting other intelligence services do the dirty work and then tapping their results is so successful that the NSA even has a name for it: “Fourth Party Collection.” And all countries that aren’t part of the Five Eye alliance are considered potential targets for use of this “non-traditional” technique — even Germany.

The Snowden documents show that, thanks to fourth party collection, the NSA succeeded in detecting numerous incidents of data spying over the past 10 years, with many attacks originating from China and Russia. It also enabled the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) to track down the IP address of the control server used by China and, from there, to detect the people responsible inside the Peoples’ Liberation Army. It wasn’t easy, the NSA spies noted. The Chinese had apparently used changing IP addresses, making them “difficult to track; difficult to target.” In the end, though, the document states, they succeeded in exploiting a central router.

The document suggests that things got more challenging when the NSA sought to turn the tables and go after the attacker. Only after extensive “wading through uninteresting data” did they finally succeed in infiltrating the computer of a high-ranking Chinese military official and accessing information regarding targets in the US government and in other governments around the world. They also were able to access source code for Chinese malware.

But there have also been successful Chinese operations. The Snowden documents include an internal NSA assessment from a few years ago of the damage caused. The report indicates that the US Defense Department alone registered more than 30,000 known incidents; more than 1,600 computers connected to its network had been hacked. Surprisingly high costs are listed for damage assessment and network repair: more than $100 million.

Among the data on “sensitive military technologies” hit in the attack were terabytes of data relating to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) – also known as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, air refueling schedules, the military logistics planning system, missile navigation systems belonging to the Navy, information about nuclear submarines, missile defense and other top secret defense projects.

The desire to know everything isn’t, of course, an affliction only suffered by the Chinese, Americans, Russians and British. Years ago, US agents discovered a hacking operation originating in Iran in a monitoring operation that was codenamed VOYEUR. A different wave of attacks, known as SNOWGLOBE, appears to have originated in France.

Keith Alexander’s Investments While NSA Director: Cutting Edge Surveillance Tech & China/Russia-Linked Commodities in “Cartel” Market

In Archive, China, Keith Alexander, NSA, Russia, Surveillance on October 26, 2014 at 12:01 AM

keith-alexander

10/10/2014

Jason Leopold/VICE:

Former National Security Agency (NSA) Director Keith Alexander has held investments in a corporation that identifies itself as a “world leader in cloud solutions.” And in a “data gathering and research” firm. And in a company that develops software that improves the quality of images captured by surveillance cameras. And in a radio frequency business that, among other things, manufactures amplifiers for air traffic control, radar, and surveillance.

The NSA once said that if revealed, this information would threaten national security.

In a lawsuit against the NSA, attorney Jeffrey Light argued that the agency had misinterpreted the laws it cited to justify the ongoing secrecy. Earlier this week, before the case hit a courtroom, a government attorney turned over 59 pages of financial disclosure reports Alexander filed between 2009 and 2014. Brown said in a letter dated October 2 that the NSA was releasing the material “in the interest of transparency.”

Although Alexander was head of the NSA from 2005 through March of this year, NSA’s ethics officer Shadey Brown said the Ethics and Government Act only requires financial disclosure reports to be released for a period of six years before receipt; therefore, he would not provide reports Alexander filled out prior to 2008.

Alexander resigned as NSA director following a tumultuous year that saw former agency contractor Edward Snowden leak highly classified documents about top-secret NSA surveillance. Alexander then launched private consulting firm IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., reportedly offering to help banks and other firms protect their computer networks from hackers for up to $1 million a month (he later reduced that figure to $600,000 a month). See Also: Ex-Spy Chief’s Private Firm Ends Deal With U.S. Official

Representative Alan Grayson accused Alexander of profiting off the sale of classified information.

Alexander’s private consulting work and allegations made by Grayson are what prompted VICE News to seek Alexander’s financial reports to determine whether he had a stake in any firms with whom he entered into consulting arrangements.

Alexander invested as much as $15,000 in: Pericom Semiconductor, a company that has designed technology for the closed-circuit television and video surveillance markets; RF Micro Devices designs, which manufactures high-performance radio frequency technology that is also used for surveillance; and as much as $50,000 in Synchronoss Technologies, a cloud storage firm that provides a cloud platform to mobile phone carriers (the NSA has been accused of hacking into cloud storage providers).

Alexander also held shares in Datascension, Inc., a data gathering and research company. The Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading in Datascension last August “due to a lack of current and accurate information” about the company. (Datascension was linked to telemarketing calls that apparently prompted one person in a complaint forum to remark the company is “trying to gain personal information.”)

An NSA spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment, and spokespeople for the technology firms did not respond to VICE News’ questions about whether Alexander has offered his consulting services or whether they were awarded contracts with the NSA. Many of the firms have been awarded contracts by the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

10/22/2014

Shane Harris/ForeignPolicy:

At the same time that he was running the United States’ biggest intelligence-gathering organization, former National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander owned and sold shares in commodities linked to China and Russia, two countries that the NSA was spying on heavily.

At the time, Alexander was a three-star general whose financial portfolio otherwise consisted almost entirely of run-of-the-mill mutual funds and a handful of technology stocks. Why he was engaged in commodities trades, including trades in one market that experts describe as being run by an opaque “cartel” that can befuddle even experienced professionals, remains unclear. When contacted, Alexander had no comment about his financial transactions, which are documented in recently released financial disclosure forms that he was required to file while in government. The NSA also had no comment.

On Jan. 7, 2008, Alexander sold previously purchased shares in the Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, a Canadian firm that mines potash, a mineral typically used in fertilizer. The potash market is largely controlled by companies in Canada, as well as in Belarus and Russia. And China was, and is, one of the biggest consumers of the substance, using it to expand the country’s agricultural sector and produce higher crop yields.

“It’s a market that’s really odd, involving collusion, where companies essentially coordinate on prices and output,” said Craig Pirrong, a finance professor and commodities expert at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business.

“Strange things happen in the potash market. It’s a closed market. Whenever you have Russians and Chinese being big players, a lot of stuff goes on in the shadows.”

On the same day he sold the potash company shares, Alexander also sold shares in the Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., a state-owned company headquartered in Beijing and currently the world’s second-largest producer of aluminum. U.S. government investigators have indicated that the company, known as Chinalco, has received insider information about its American competitors from computer hackers working for the Chinese military. That hacker group has been under NSA surveillance for years, and the Justice Department in May indicted five of its members.

Alexander may have sold his potash company shares too soon. The company’s stock surged into the summer of that year, reaching a high in June 2008 of $76.70 per share, more than $30 higher than the price at which Alexander had sold his shares five months earlier.

He may also have dodged a bullet. Shares in the company plunged in the second half of 2008, amid turmoil in the broader potash market. In 2009, “the bottom fell out of the market,” Pirrong said. Alexander may not have made a lot of money, but he also didn’t lose his shirt.

That didn’t keep the intelligence chief out of the trading game. In October 2008, in the midst of the potash downturn, Alexander purchased shares in an American potash supplier, the Mosaic Company, based in Plymouth, Minnesota. It was a good time to buy: On the day of the purchase, the stock closed at $33.16, having plummeted from highs of more than $150 per share during the summer.

But inexplicably, Alexander sold the shares less than three months later, in January 2009. The stock had barely appreciated in value, and Alexander again disclosed “no reportable income.”

The timing of both the potash and aluminum sales in January 2008 is also intriguing for political reasons. In the spring of 2008, shortly after Alexander sold his positions, senior U.S. officials began to speak on the record for the first time about the threat of cyber-espionage posed by Russia and especially China. Public attention to the intelligence threat was higher than it had been in recent memory. The optics of the NSA director owning stock in a company that his own agency believed may have been receiving stolen information from the Chinese government would have been embarrassing, to say the least.

In May 2008, four months after Alexander sold the shares, Joel Brenner, who at the time was in charge of all counterintelligence for the U.S. government and had previously served as the NSA’s inspector general, gave an interview to me when I was with National Journal and accused China of stealing secrets from American companies “in volumes that are just staggering.” Brenner’s comments came just three months ahead of the opening of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He eventually went on national U.S. television to warn Americans attending the games that they were at risk of having their cell phones hacked.

U.S. officials at the time said that computer hackers in both China and Russia were routinely breaking into the computers of American businesses to steal proprietary information, such as trade secrets, business strategy documents, and pricing information. Eventually, Alexander himself went on to call state-sponsored cyber-espionage “the greatest transfer of wealth” in American history, blaming it for billions of dollars in losses by U.S. businesses and a loss of competitive advantage.

By 2009, Alexander held no more direct shares in any foreign companies, his records show. His financial transactions while in government apparently garnered no additional scrutiny beyond a standard review by ethics officials, who found no violations. Under official rules governing conflicts of interest, a government employee is prohibited from owning more than $15,000 in holdings of a company “directly involved in a matter to which you have been assigned.” For Alexander, spying on foreign governments and protecting the United States from cyber-espionage would seem to meet that criteria. But his records indicate that he never owned in excess of $15,000 in any foreign company.

U.S. officials have long insisted that the information that intelligence agencies steal from foreign corporations and governments is only used to make political and strategic decisions and isn’t shared with U.S. companies. But whether that spying could benefit individual U.S. officials who are privy to the secrets being collected, and what mechanisms are in place to ensure officials don’t personally benefit from insider knowledge, haven’t been widely discussed.

BLM – Tyranny of Taxation And Regulation Without Representation

In Activism, Alex Jones, Archive, China, News, NWO, Police State, UN, USA, USA, World Revolution on April 17, 2014 at 6:47 AM

Infowars.com
April 17, 2014

The vilification of the Bundy family is in full force now by the mainstream media who are trying to paint Bundy as a law breaker, tax evader and label him as part of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, a hot button label that effectively puts a bounty on his head as a terrorist as far as law enforcement is concerned.

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