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Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 240

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody-should-build-a-big-wall dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A former Pentagon analyst reports the Chinese government has 'pervasive access' to about 80 percent of the world's communications, and it is looking currently to nail down the remaining 20 percent. Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE Corporation are reportedly to blame for the industrial espionage. 'Not only do Huawei and ZTE power telecom infrastructure all around the world, but they're still growing. The two firms are the main beneficiaries for telecommunication projects taking place in Malaysia with DiGi, Globe in the Philippines, Megafon in Russia, Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates, America Movil in a number of countries, Tele Norte in Brazil, and Reliance in India.'"
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Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms

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  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:09PM (#40652159)

    This "former pentagon analyst"... Did he have access to intelligence reports of this nature? If so, and he's disclosing this now, I'm assuming the relevant documentation would be available via a Freedom of Information Act request? Since disclosing classified intelligence would be an act of treason, you know.

    Just out of curiousity, this "former pentagon analyst" wouldn't happen to be employed with a defense firm now that would stand to profit from any products the company offers to combat this threat, would it? As many a scientist has uttered before, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." That doesn't change because we're discussing a matter of national security: You still have to put up, or shut up.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm sure there is someone profiting off this. I'm also sure it's true. The problem is we don't require the source code to be free and readily available. THIS STUFF SHOULD BE PUBLIC INFORMATION!

      It might not stop hackers although it would give us the opportunity to lock down infrastructure. The code should be reviewed by security experts.

    • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:20PM (#40652235)
      Right. The not so Fine Article is low on details. It makes a grand connection between two rather uncontroversial facts: (1) Chinese net equipment can be found in an overwhelming majority of countries around the world and (2) the Chinese engage in cyberwarfare (as does the US and a few other advanced countries). Conclusion:

      The Chinese government and the People's Liberation Army are so much into cyberwarfare now that they have looked at not just Huawei but also ZTE Corporation as providing through the equipment that they install in about 145 countries around in the world, and in 45 of the top 50 telecom centers around the world, the potential for backdooring into data.

      Emphasis added on the word potential. Now where's the proof (preferably from a chip teardown by a reputable hardware hacker or hacking group)?

      • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:45PM (#40652361)

        Emphasis added on the word potential. Now where's the proof (preferably from a chip teardown by a reputable hardware hacker or hacking group)?

        There won't be any. Anyone with the capability of analyzing and reverse-engineering thousands of ICs would need deep pockets -- Either a large corporation or a government. A hacking group won't have the resources, even a well-funded one. You're talking about several hundred highly trained engineers from a dozen different disciplines working for years on the project, with no return on investment. There's no reason for a large corporation to conduct such business domestically -- they already have comparable products, and the Chinese equipment doesn't have any capabilities that aren't commonly available elsewhere. That leaves governments with a GDP in excess of a hundred billion USD per year. Short list. Said governments wouldn't disclose the results of such a search either, as it's a legitimate intelligence asset that would need to remain classified -- you don't want your enemy to know what you know, especially not before you come up with a way to defend against the attack or co-opt the infrastructure for your own purposes.

        Second, forensically analyzing tens of thousands of chips and microprocessors would be pointless anyway: There still has to be some method of communicating the information back, and they can't compromise the entire communications chain, which is what would be required. Telecommunications equipment is designed to be evesdropping-friendly; Complete with port mirroring, trace and audit logs, selective forwarding based on rules... it's all standard. We're not even talking about the law enforcement black boxes, this is just stuff used for legitimate business purposes. The moment any such 'bug' went active, it would set off alarms -- by necessity, the communications would have to occur over the provider's own network. Unless their network admins are idiots they should notice the abberant traffic.

        China would have to be very stupid to leverage such an intelligence asset for peanuts; It's basically a one-shot, and it would cost them billions in telecommunications contracts domestically. So if they do have such a capability, they're not going to use it until the value of the intelligence they would gain from it equals or exceeds that amount.

        So there's two arguments right there based just on the economics of the situation. I strongly suspect that this unnamed pentagon analyst is being paid to spread disinformation. Such disinformation would serve the purpose of keeping the american public sucking the tit of the Department of Homeland Security's fear juice, and exaggerating our actual intelligence capabilities -- rather than waste hundreds of millions on a reverse engineering project that could never be made public, we'll just insinuate that "We know. We're on to you," and rattle our sabre a little. Maybe it deters them, maybe it forces them to expend resources to find out whether we're telling the truth or not, but it costs us nothing to make such a statement.

        • So if they do have such a capability, they're not going to use it until the value of the intelligence they would gain from it equals or exceeds that amount.

          Too many backdoors and the house is wide open to the public. So basically we shouldn't be terrified of backdoors being installed in off-the-shelf products but of backdoors being installed in some custom-built equipment that manages to sneak into the office. Security-wise, this makes it more important to do a background check on people installing and admi

        • Re:Wait, what? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Fjandr (66656) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @12:50AM (#40653381) Homepage Journal

          There wouldn't necessarily be alarms. After all, the use of Cisco's IOS backdoors, last I saw, had the problem of being so quiet that surreptitious use by black hats could not be detected easily. If the people who actually constructed the backdoors were using them appropriately and designed them for completel transparency, I wouldn't make a bet against them being able to use them unnoticed. It's been done before, as recently as 2010 (the last time I read an updated report of IOS LEA intercept problems).

        • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by kasperd (592156) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @04:37AM (#40654197) Homepage Journal

          Anyone with the capability of analyzing and reverse-engineering thousands of ICs would need deep pockets

          No need to look at thousands of ICs. Looking at a few of the most interesting targets is still going to be valuable.

          A hacking group won't have the resources, even a well-funded one. You're talking about several hundred highly trained engineers from a dozen different disciplines working for years on the project

          I know one person who using just off the shelf equipment was able to read the ROM from a microcontroller in his sparetime. All it took was a cheap microscope and a webcam.

          There still has to be some method of communicating the information back, and they can't compromise the entire communications chain, which is what would be required.

          Covert channels can be very hard to detect. You don't need to compromise the entire chain. You just need to piggyback on a legitimate communication for hops between compromised equipment. For example VPN hardware could piggyback on legitimate connections by using some encrypted data instead of random values for sending packets over the Internet. A compromised router anywhere on the path the VPN connection takes could pick out the data. Now the data is on a router on the public Internet. There are plenty of ways to get the data from there. First of all the attacker could very well have a legitimate connection going through that router, now it just needs a covert channel to send data from that router.

          Sending data from the router without risk of being noticed is slightly more tricky. The question is, would you take the risk of modifying packets in the hope that nobody is actually comparing the packets going into the router and out of the router? If you modified the IPID field of every packet going through the router, that would produce a feasible covert channel. It would not be immediately detected, but would be visible if you carefully inspected the traffic. Notice that it would not be sufficient to look at the traffic through the router in a lab before deployment, because the router wouldn't be sending any covert data until instructed to do so.

          A more stealth method would be to just use the IPID field of packets generated by the router. There is no incoming packet to compare against. But extracting data that way without being visible takes time. You can run a traceroute that happen to pass through the router, then it will need to send three response packets (with the common settings). Each time you run a traceroute passing through that router, you could extract 6 bytes of data.

          China would have to be very stupid to leverage such an intelligence asset for peanuts; It's basically a one-shot, and it would cost them billions in telecommunications contracts domestically.

          Valid point, however even if it was noticed, it would be hard to prove who was behind.

      • In security, you have to make assumptions based on what is possible or likely, not what is proven. You don't have to prove that your first layer of firewalls can be breached - you assume that they might be and you put another layer of security behind it.

        With regard to security of information that China would like very much to have access to, such resource location information (oil, minerals, etc) and industrial designs, military and otherwise, you have to assume that they will do what they can to get at su

    • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by gtall (79522) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:26PM (#40652275)

      Apparently, he writes stuff for www.wnd.com...kind of hard to tell what they are but they seem to be a net media company. Anyhow, the fellow saying these things, Michael Maloof, seems to be saying a lot of things on WND. It is hard to believe that he'd be revealing secret information because he'd be arrested for that sort of thing. So maybe he's just running off at that mouth? It wouldn't surprise me that Huawei (I think's that's pronounced Way-Way) has back doors in their equipment given their relationships with the PLA.

      So at least on the surface your knee-jerk reaction appears to be unsubstantiated, he's not overtly working for a defense contractor.

    • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by number11 (129686) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:49PM (#40652391)

      This "former pentagon analyst" is a writer for WND, a rightwing web news site with all the credibility of the National Enquirer.

      Not to say that China wouldn't build backdoors into telco gear, of course they would. The US requires telcos to provide access for it to spy on calls, it wouldn't particularly surprise me if the Chinese just built it in without talking publicly about it. After WWII, many countries purchased Swiss encryption gear, and many years later it was divulged that the US had inserted a backdoor into that gear. Why would China, or telco gear, be any different?

      The fact is, around the world everyone should assume that anything done over a telephone is shared with unknown parties. Unless they've got trustworthy gear to encrypt calls end-to-end.

      • Re:Wait, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:26PM (#40652587)

        If I were China, I would put spying devices into hardware we build for well known American Telecom companies. Everything is made in China these days, with all the CAD files, firmware binaries, hardware schematics etc. all handed over to the factories in China.

        Why ruin your own brands when the American brands can get into more places.

      • Re:Wait, what? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:28PM (#40652601)

        National Enquirer, the "non-credible" news source that first ran the story on John Edward's affair and child out of his marriage while on the campaign trail. The same news source that broke the story on Jessie Jackson's illegitimate child that he was funnelling hundreds of thousands from his organization to keep the mother quiet.

        While 10 years ago I would have agreed with that comment of yours, they are now more accurate and truthful than NBC has been over the last few years. NBC had both of those stories I listed, but decided to bury them leaving the Enquirer the only news outlet that would run them, and both turned out completely accurate.

        • NBC had both of those stories I listed, but decided to bury them leaving the Enquirer the only news outlet that would run them, and both turned out completely accurate.

          I assume you mean NBC had the ability to break the story, not cover it because they certainly did. So they didn't break the story...do you have evidence for this? Do you have evidence NBC wasn't simply practicing journalistic integrity and was seeking a second source? In general, how much credulity do you posses on conspiracy theories? In your opinion, is a quality news organization one that breaks news first regardless of source?

          Have you looked www.nationalenquirer.com recently? Can you give more a de

          • Have you looked www.nationalenquirer.com recently? Can you give more a detailed reasoning on why anyone should take your statements seriously?

            "The content of this website is not available in your area."
            I definitely can't take the National Enquirer seriously. In fact, I can't take it at all!

            • I would guess you live somewhere libel laws are quite strict. The kind of country who would rather have censorship than gossip.

              • I would guess you live somewhere libel laws are quite strict. The kind of country who would rather have censorship than gossip.

                Not really. To be actionable in Finland [planetlaw.info], a libel or other form of defamation must be known to be false by the person making it in addition to being injurious to its target. Forget megabuck settlements also, as Finnish courts tend to award actual damages (without any wild-eyed interpretation of "actual") rather than exemplary or punitive amounts.

                It's far more likely that either (i) some of the content at www.nationalenquirer.com is licensed by its providers only for the US and maybe Canada and some other

              • by Teun (17872)
                The same message on a Danish connection.
      • This "former pentagon analyst" is a writer for WND, a rightwing web news site with all the credibility of the National Enquirer.

        Has WND told us the truth yet about the two-headed slime aliens anal-probing the kidnapped Elvis on the Moon (preferably with grainy photos)? Until then, WND has only a fraction of the credibility of the National Enquirer.

    • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LordLimecat (1103839) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:15PM (#40652543)

      Article read like FUD.

      As a consequence, sources say that any information traversing "any" Huawei equipped network isn't safe unless it has military encryption.

      Wow, military grade encryption? Would that be, like, AES, one of the most widely deployed, tested, and recognized encryption schemes out there? Wow man, that stuff is hard to come by.

      I also like the implication that unless you have a VPN, it will still magically find its way out to Huawei regardless of what other network controls you have in place. Having backdoors is one thing, getting thru a firewall is something completely different.

      Sources add that most corporate telecommunications networks use "pretty light encryption" on their virtual private networks, or VPNs.

      Proprietary information could be not only spied upon but also could be altered and in some cases could be sabotaged.

      Someone want to explain to me the difference between "altered in transit" and "sabotaged"?

      Im sorry, when so many of the assertions in the article read like uninformed drivel, its kind of hard to take the headline seriously. I have a strong feeling that the person who wrote this doesnt understand any of the terms hes going on about.

    • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Luckyo (1726890) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:20PM (#40652565)

      He's just ignoring the convenient fact that US has access to 100% by the same measuring stick.

    • Re:Wait, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032) <jcr@mac.cEINSTEINom minus physicist> on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:59PM (#40652747) Journal

      Since disclosing classified intelligence would be an act of treason, you know.

      Espionage, not treason. Under American law, there's a very specific definition of treason.

      -jcr

      • by dbIII (701233)
        What is it again - playing chess against Russians :)
        I know selling weapons via Iran to a terrorist group that has just killed 220 US marines doesn't count, North was still calling himself a patriot after that.
        • by jcr (53032)

          Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

          It's pretty hard to make a case for treason without a declared war in progress. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, for example, were convicted of espionage, not treason, because the USA wasn't technically at war with the Soviet Union.

          -jcr

      • treason/trzn/
        Noun:
        1) The crime of betraying one's country, esp. by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.
        2) The action of betraying someone or something.

        Disclosing classified intelligence can certainly fall under the definition of treason.

    • by sg_oneill (159032)

      I wouldnt actually be surprised if there was some substance. A while back, when Australia was doing its tendering for constructing the national broadband network (fibre to the home + backbone upgrade), it excluded these companies on the grounds of "security concerns" but declined to state why. It was puzzling as australia is as close to china as we are to the united states, and perhaps more so economically.

      Perhaps the US Pentagon had a word to Australian intelligence about the concerns, and this guy has hea

  • by bug1 (96678) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:15PM (#40652201)

    There was a story a few months ago about how Australia banned Huawei from involvment in a big project, they didnt say why.

    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/03/24/0424215/australian-govt-bans-huawei-from-national-network-bids [slashdot.org]

    • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:32PM (#40652299) Homepage Journal
      Actually they DID say why: specifically it boiled down to "because we cannot be *absolutely certain* that the Chinese Government does not have such a close relationship with Huawei that deploying their equipment would not (ever) compromise our national security".

      Seems to me that someone in The Australian Government has learned a few important life lessons from The X-Files. (ie trust No-One).

      Either that (a) or (b) they're just playing The Obvious "Devil You Know / Devil You Don't" card; and/or decisions were influenced by vendor-$ and Huawei could-not/would-not/weren't-given-a-chance-to cough up enough.

      Personally Option (b) sounds more typical of government.

      I for one will be eternally surprised to see any government making a well researched, informed, well reasoned decision - they're almost always a pack of retarded monkeys interested in looking after themselves and their friends.

      Go On Mr Government - PROVE ME WRONG - I Dares Ya!
      • Or they knew the situation.
        • by jamstar7 (694492)
          Or they didn't get a big enough bribe.

          Er. excuse me. 'Campaign contribution'. Yeah, that's the ticket...
          • Australia does not have the same issues as the USA. Here in the USA, our politicians are available to ANY foreign nation, as long as they pay in dollars. In all of the rest of the western nations, the politicians are at least somewhat loyal to their nation.
  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:17PM (#40652215)

    We even have the power to shutdown foreign companies like Megaupload w/o needing to prove they did anything wrong. But we're the "good" guys. So that makes it okay. After all we only killed 300,000 people this last decade, versus China who killed..... ummm..... wait there's something wrong with my theorem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      China has killed tens of millions of their own people under communism in the last 60-70 years. Huh? You think China's the nice or good guys??? Sarcasm doesn't bold well here.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>>China has killed tens of millions of their own people under communism in the last 60-70 years. Huh? You think China's the nice or good guys???

        I very clearly said IN THE LAST DECADE. The American Empire has killed 300,000 innocent men, women, and children through its wars of aggression (and about 50,000 actual soldiers/combatants). The Chinese government has not killed anywhere near that number since 2002. As of the last ten years China is actually "nicer" than the hostile U.S.

  • So some random guy who used to work in Place With A BIG Name mouths off about "phaer teh commies".

    And then proceeds to cite absolutely ZERO evidence to back up his claims.

    In most circles this would be considered libel of the worst kind (libel because it was written, slander is the same thing when applied orally), he deserves to be sued out of existence.

    NOT that I have any reason to disagree with the core of his argument "Don't trust them, they're backed by the government of someone we used to hate veheme
  • by Kohath (38547) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:25PM (#40652269)

    There's something of a cottage industry in spreading FUD about Huawei and ZTE. Why should anyone believe this stuff? (Or, for that matter, why should we believe much of anything in the news or on web sites?)

    • Re:FUD ? (Score:5, Informative)

      by hjf (703092) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:32PM (#40652619) Homepage

      So you buy Cisco and are subject to US backdoors.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        And abuses of the legal system. The company that Cisco is today are utter bastards that fit well with the "might makes right" mentality of China.
        I'd trust even the more bribable dark corners of US intelligence more than Cisco any day.
    • by mysidia (191772)

      I'm not sure it matters whether we believe it or not. Cisco stuff is manufactured in China. Can you prove that every single component is manufactured to American specs, with no 'spurious unknown compromising parts' or hardware microcode patches burned in 'by accident' ?

  • ... or does the US just use the front door?

  • by GiantRobotMonster (1159813) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:00PM (#40652457)

    I'm surprised at all the surprise?!
    I thought it was pretty common knowledge that Huawei and ZTE were run and funded by the Chinese Military.
    They have been using their financial muscle to undercut and bribe their equipment into as many countries telecoms infrastructure as they possibly can for over five years now.

    • by Kohath (38547)

      That settles it then. "Common knowledge" is always right. Especially when there's an exclamation point !

    • by dbIII (701233) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @11:41PM (#40653155)

      I thought it was pretty common knowledge that Huawei and ZTE were run and funded by the Chinese Military.

      Hopefully it will soon be common knowledge that a lot of industries in China are run and funded by the Chinese Military so this connection really means nothing in isolation. They are probably about as big and diversified in their holdings as coca-cola these days if not bigger, and 99% of the time they are in it for the money. Those childrens toys made by a company owned by the Chinese Military are not there so they can spy on our kids, they are there to help pay for a new aircraft carrier. The separation of state and private companies that we are used to seeing in democracies is instead a tangled web in China, with odd gaps such as entire huge open cut coal mines with thousands of miners that the government has zero involvement with (to the point where they are not even on a map, let alone taxed).

  • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:16PM (#40652547) Journal

    The second link is to "World Net Daily", a site that has about as much credibility as the John Birch Society.

  • It is a LIE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:36PM (#40652639) Journal
    There are all sorts of ppl that are on this site, and others, saying to look the other way. The Chinese would NEVER spy on the west, or put in backdoors to use for an offensive attack. I mean, these ppl all know that the communist China are the good guys. Likewise, that bunch of Chinese naval ships caught 50 miles off the phillipines coast is a non-issue is well. The fact that they were close to a number of telecom trunks has no bearing on anything.

    So, relax. China will not try what they did to India. And the communists are heading towards being capitalists so there is no chance that they are working to kill off the west.
    • by dbIII (701233)

      And the communists are heading towards being capitalists

      They already are quite extreme capitalists without many of the checks and balances on capitalism in the west, but that doesn't stop them from wanting to dominate the west in every way they can.
      BTW, what do you mean by "China will not try what they did to India"? Do you mean the hacking of the computers owned by the group supporting the Dalai Lama in India or something a lot bigger I've missed or forgotten about?

      To most of the world, China are not the

      • Re:It is a LIE (Score:4, Insightful)

        by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @12:40AM (#40653343) Journal
        China would be propping up economies only IF it were buying other goods from other nations. Instead, it cheats by fixing their money to western money, subsidizing and dumping on foreign markets thereby destroying western economies, and then blocking everything except for nations that they want to woo, or have raw resources.

        China's action are a big part of why we are having a meltdown in the global economy 5 years ago and now again.
        • by dbIII (701233)
          The money doesn't flow evenly so some places do well even though on average everyone is screwed over. So to some with things to gain they are the "good guys", just like Japan was to some in Australia right up until Pearl Harbour and Singapore.
          We really can't blame China for the silly Goldman Sachs games that they were not dumb, shortsighted and greedy enough to take part in. They could see the financial meltdown coming just like every finance column in every newspaper outside the USA was predicting, and t
  • they'd be extraditing people for breaking US laws in their own countires left and right.

  • So? (Score:2, Troll)

    by fullback (968784)

    And the US has used Echelon for industrial espionage against even its "allies" for 30 years.

    U.S. government agencies pass wiretapped and intercepted information to American companies all the time. Trade secrets of non-U.S. energy companies have been passed to American companies, cell phone technology, labor negotiation strategies of non-U.S. companies with factories in the U.S. and intellectual property has been stolen and transferred for decades.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      The allies got thrown a crumb of intelligence every now and again (apparently) and were to an extent complicit. The amusing thing is the existence of Echelon was confirmed by an idiot in Australian politics that complained it didn't give him forewarning of events in nearby PNG despite complete coverage of the telecommunications systems in that country. PNG had the system forced on them as part of an aid deal, so were not complicit, but their government knew it was there and avoided discussing issues of in
  • I don't understand how can this subject be brought up without talking about CALEA-compliant hardware [wikipedia.org]?

    The compliance to this wiretapping law may be usually implemented at a much-higher and easier-to-circument level but in spirit it very much achieves the same.

    All Network hardware *is* backdoored, regardless of the manufacturer's country and that's a FACT. The only thing we can do is improve awareness of this so we system engineers, developers, system integrators can design, code and implement around tha

  • One one hand, this is credible. China has shown an extraordinary appetite for industrial espionage. On the other hand, the story seems to come from the same source that descredited itself lying about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in order to justify Irak invasion.
  • Bollocks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @12:27AM (#40653295)

    The source article is on http://www.wnd.com/ [wnd.com], which is a pretty wacky looking right wing "news" site. Its top stories currently are :

    Gun shop veto draws legal fight
    Traveler says no to U.S. internal checkpoints
    Blogger: Why don't blacks behave?
    Cross-bearing Texas teen arrives In D.C.
    Reviewer: It doesn't look like we're repenting
    Poll: Majority favor extending all Bush tax rates

    Detecting a trend?
    Anyway the article in question simply says that 1) Chinese companies make most of the telecom switching gear. 2) Therefore, China's military has backdoored it all and is spying on every byte anyone transmits.

    Of course, this is conceivable, but there isn't a shred of evidence. Spying on such a huge scale would require huge infrastructure and data transmission, basically duplicating the entire Internet. That might be detectable.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Detecting a trend?

      Note to self, use this post as a reference the next time that someone uses huffpo as a story basis on /. again.

  • The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media. (Former CIA Director, William Colby)

    the chineese can build backdoors into the chips, because they do the manufacturing, but this sort of spying activity is not so much different than the american government / snoops requiring installation of their IP sniffers at google and every major ISP.. :-\\

    they are both a form of censorship / control of communication — however, whereas the chineese govt tries to simply block dissenting traffic, the ame

  • That settles it. I'm just going to have to move to the desert and wear a tinfoil hat to protect myself from the orbital mind control lasers.

    But, wait. What if the tinfoil was made in China? Or made from metal that was recycled in China? What if all the world's tinfoil contains secret Chinese backdoors to stop the proper functioning of tinfoil hats?

    /me whimpers in corner.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.

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