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China Crime Government Networking Software United States

NSA Hacked Huawei, Stole Source Code 287

Posted by timothy
from the whose-line-is-it-anyway dept.
Charliemopps (1157495) writes "New documents from Snowden indicate that the NSA hacked into and stole documents, including source code, from the Chinese networking firm Huawei. Ironically, this is the same firm that the U.S. government has argued in the past was a threat due to China's possible use of the same sort of attacks."
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NSA Hacked Huawei, Stole Source Code

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  • No irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @05:53PM (#46554243)

    That's probably how the US govt knows Huawei is a threat...

    • Re:No irony (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @06:40PM (#46554479)

      The US Gov has never articulated exactly how Huawei is a threat with any specificity. The NSA slides don't give any information either. Nothing released to the public has shown that Huawei was ever guilty of any of the things said about them, but on the other hand, the US Gov itself is guilty as hell as far as engaging in the sort of tactics we've accused Huawei of.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      and the rest of the world is learning how untrustworthy the USA is.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        If you needed to learn that by now then you have not been paying attention....
      • Re:No irony (Score:5, Interesting)

        by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @09:14PM (#46555141)

        and the rest of the world is learning how untrustworthy the USA is.

        Which country of any consequence is trustworthy? Russia? China? In the EU, Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, etc. don't exactly have spotless histories. Anyone in South or Central America?

        Places like Denmark, Iceland and New Zealand seem to be pretty trustworthy to me. But for some reason this just doesn't scale very well. From what I can see, and I very well may be wrong, there is some kind of tipping point when a country's population crosses over the 10-20 million mark. Obviously there are exceptions. Perhaps government simply gets too large to manage at that point and it is no longer possible to maintain oversight on everything.

    • Re:No irony (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jmc23 (2353706) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @07:00PM (#46554587) Journal
      No, that's how the US government found out huawei was too hard to hack so they tried to discredit them publicly to get companies to buy equipment to which they had easy access to.

      You know, just like trying to discredit PGP.

    • by hackus (159037)

      You ar ecorrect.

      Without Industrial Espionage, the Elite can never hold on to their power.

      Threats must be identified and neutralized, primarily through the stealing of industrial secrets to insure the Federal Reserve note is secure world wide.

  • Personal Liberty! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @05:54PM (#46554253)

    Wait,... isn't this the purpose of the NSA?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @07:38PM (#46554747)

      Wait,... isn't this the purpose of the NSA?

      Yep, if Snowden continues along this path he is moving into 'Traitor" territory. I only support him because he releases information on Domestic spying - this is completely within the realm of a FIA.

      • Re:Personal Liberty! (Score:5, Informative)

        by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @08:27PM (#46554957) Journal

        Snowden isn't releasing anything. He just dumped what he had on some journalists; they are the ones doing these slow staged releases.

        • In this case to the benefit of China.

          Snowden claimed to be an expert about China and espionage. When do you think we'll see some information about that? Or will the trend of only releasing information the compromises intelligence methods and activities of the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and their allies continue?

          He is indeed the rarest of "patriots," exposing only the intelligence plans of his own country and its allies, and not those of its adversaries.

          • by symbolset (646467) *
            Oh Jeebus. Anybody who didn't already know NSA was spying on Huawei before this was published still doesn't know it. They are in a coma.
            • There is a meaningful difference between a general idea of it and specific knowledge of what happened or was accessed.

              Think of the difference between, "somebody in the city doesn't like you," and "your neighbor Bob plans to burn down your house while you are asleep at 11:30 PM tomorrow using a case of Molotov cocktails that are already prepared and are sitting in his garage." Do you think there is a difference in the action you could take based on those two scenarios?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            To reiterate: Snowden is not releasing anything. He took what he got from the NSA internal networks, and handed that over. The way it gets released is subject only to the whim of the journalists who have the dump now. I would imagine that NSA significantly more information about how they spy on everyone, including China, than they have on how China is spying on them. For the latter, we'd need a Chinese Snowden equivalent.

            By the way, why are you guys still on this? Every time one of you NSA assholes opens yo

          • by jma05 (897351) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @10:47PM (#46555517)

            This is the most BS I have seen in this article. I almost want to think you get paid for this.

            > In this case to the benefit of China.

            The point of the article is not whether it benefits China. The point is that US has been accusing other countries of doing things that it itself does many times over... things that it implied that it would find so abhorrent that it would never consider doing. This news would have been a lot less depressing if it was found that China broke into Cisco... because China does not lecture the world on digital principles.

            As a non-american, I actually want US to be the bearer of high values in cyber space so that we have someone to point to and say - that is how things are supposed to be done. It has been incredibly disappointing to follow these revelations. Fortunately, the US tech community still holds high values, even if the corporates clearly don't.

            The case of Huawei isn't just about China. It's products are used the world over. Attacking them is an attack on the communications of the world in general, not an attack on someone you can conveniently label as a communist enemy. There is no cold war here.

            > Snowden claimed to be an expert about China and espionage. When do you think we'll see some information about that?

            Snowden is a counter-intel guy on China. He does not have policy documents on China. Why is this even hard for you to grasp?
            What you are demanding is like China asking when Ai Weiwei and Chen Guangcheng will criticize US, rather than just China. That's not their responsibility.

            > Or will the trend of only releasing information the compromises intelligence methods and activities of the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and their allies continue?

            First, he can only disclose what he had direct access to. If you want China docs, get a Chinese whistleblower.

            Second, none of the disclosures are considered “methods”. The journalists have been cautious to not disclose them.

            > He is indeed the rarest of "patriots," exposing only the intelligence plans of his own country and its allies, and not those of its adversaries.

            Please provide a list of these non-rare patriots that expose intelligence plans on both sides.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @08:40PM (#46555003)

        Y'know what? Fuck you. This whole 'outrage over domenstic activity, but foreign-spying is a-ok' attitude has got to stop.

        I'm not American. The notion a foreign power can root through my data, without my or my governments consent, with no repercussions and the full support of people like you, is abhorrent to me.

        Traitor? The man becomes more of a hero with every tidbit like this he releases. A Hero to the rest of us. Because you no longer count.

        • Ah, it is refreshing to, at last, hear the "it's OK when we do it, but not OK when America does it" spoken out loud. More honesty like this, please!
        • You completely missed the real point, however. Americans can object to this, though it will take time. They will draw a line at some point and say this is legit, that's not. From a foreign perspective you can be angry all you want, but this is not something that Americans will get angry about.

          Your opinion does not matter, unless you happen to be a policy maker in China. And then it does not matter to the Americans who object to the NSA, and are deciding whether the next revelation us a big deal.

          If there wer

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just as much as it is the job of the army to invade foreign countries and kill their people. Unless we're actively at war with that country, then no, they shouldn't be doing it, and it is an illegal act of aggression. That, and I'm not really sure how a company that isn't involved in anything military should be considered any different from a civilian; NSA doesn't give a fuck about any boundaries.

      Plus, might I remind you, the NSA is also attacking American citizens.

    • by jma05 (897351) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @08:43PM (#46555027)

      > Wait,... isn't this the purpose of the NSA?

      According to US government, hacking communication infrastructure of a country by another government is an "act of war", not regular espionage. They said this very loudly just before Snowden revelations began. So NO. They are not supposed to be doing that.

      • "Act of war" is not a catchall for all hacking, only certain acts.

        • by jma05 (897351)

          Why don't you go ahead and define what is and what isn't an "act of war", exclusively using statements by US officials on this matter, rather than your personal opinions that suit your worldview.

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            Actually, it was the Pentagon who claimed hacking was an act of war. I can't seem to find any law maker, presidential statement, or law making it so.

            Granted, the Pentagon is a government agency, but they cannot act lawfully without the civilian government giving them permission. So obviously, an act of war is subject to interpretation.

            • by jma05 (897351)

              I am not sure what you are disagreeing with.

              - Pentagon officials are US officials.
              - I did not say that an act of war isn't subject to interpretation, although I fail to see how you reached that conclusion, given your prior propositions.
              - Nor does it make sense for cold fjord to insinuate that I implied that all hacking falls under acts of war. He was making a strawman argument.

              But I am asking what is it that was an "act of war" about Chinese hacking of US that wasn't the same about US hacking of Chinese. Th

              • by sumdumass (711423)

                I am not sure what you are disagreeing with.

                I'm not really in disagreement with anything, just stating that different people have different opinions about it and the one you seem to be relying on is an underling of the people with the power to actually decide what is and what isn't an act of war against the US. This means they can say a lot of things and it doesn't make it so.

                Pentagon officials are US officials.

                Yes, and they are under higher up officials who make those decisions. They also administrate the

                • by jma05 (897351)

                  I think you argued for your position quite well here. It just did not connect in the earlier post since I cannot read your mind.

      • by ignavus (213578)

        > Wait,... isn't this the purpose of the NSA?

        According to US government, hacking communication infrastructure of a country by another government is an "act of war", not regular espionage. They said this very loudly just before Snowden revelations began. So NO. They are not supposed to be doing that.

        Ah, but when we do it, it is a glorious action undertaken for freedom, truth, and to protect innocent children.

        But when those foreigners do the same thing, it is because they are mean, slinking, low scoundrels.

        There's a world of difference. Anyone can see that!

    • That all depends on what you want your government to be doing. You could just as easily argue the Vietnam war was the purpose of the military.

  • but include the little teapot.
  • by saps1e (560653) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @06:01PM (#46554293)
    So if they have access to the source code, does this mean that the NSA is speaking authoritatively when they say Huawei's routers do have backdoors for the Chinese govt?
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      More like the NSA did not want kit on the open market that was not as easy as US and EU products for next gen DISCOROUTE, QUANTUM like options.
      "NSA targets sysadmin personal accounts to exploit networks" (March 21, 2014)
      http://www.zdnet.com/nsa-targe... [zdnet.com]
      i.e. a long list of ways in shared with 5+ other nations, their contractors, ex staff, former staff.
      Anyone able to afford contractors, ex staff, former staff for the methods gets in too :)
      Thats the problem with weak global security in any networking pro
  • by hessian (467078)

    The Chinese have been hacking American military stuff since the 1980s.

    Not only that, they were the source of the vast majority of the weapons used against us in the Vietnam war, and fought directly against us in Korea.

    They're bad guys.

    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      Remind us again why the US was there in the first place.

      Fucking kool-aid drinkers.

    • by YukariHirai (2674609) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @06:28PM (#46554421)

      Merely fighting against America does not necessarily make them bad guys, in a reasonably objective sense. If you are American, then anyone fighting against you would seem to be bad guys from your point of view, but from an outsider's point of view, it's just "these guys" and "these other guys".

      Some might argue that them hacking makes them bad guys by some measure, but the US has been doing the same thing, so I'd consider that inconclusive at best and hypocrisy at worst. Others might argue that the stuff done to Americans during the Vietnam War makes them bad guys, but given everything done by the Americans during the Vietnam War... well, same conclusion.

      With that said of course, the Chinese government has had a history of doing some very shitty things to a lot of people. On the other hand, so has the US government...

      • Right.

        However I have some Chinese friends who aren't too happy with the history of their government. The remember things like relatives being bundled off to the provinces to never be seen again.

        Remember the empty chair.

        http://www.economist.com/blogs... [economist.com]

        America has plenty of problems but....

      • by frist (1441971)

        There is no comparison my friend. You need to read about the glorious peoples' revolution in china. You need to read about 30 million people dying to famine because of Mao. When people compare the USA with China or the Soviet Union, it just shows how ignorant they are of history.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Why was "military stuff" near any vast fast public networks? What contractor or gov worker would connect a site, factory, base, supply system to a public network for anyone to 'try' for from some competing or hostile distant nation? Thats why most wealthy nations had dedicated hardened networks and very skilled staff. Only poor nations used their own low quality civilian like telco systems for encoded mill use.
      i.e. you get into a typing pool or low security mil network or its a massive well crafted hone
    • by Alomex (148003)

      Vietnam was fighting for its independence. In fact had it been granted after WWII as France had promised they would have likely become a capitalist country like the rest of Indochina.

      Instead we cornered them into a communist corner by bombing them and their children with napalm and they are the "bad guys" because the Chinese gave them some rifles?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 22, 2014 @06:04PM (#46554311)

    #include "cisco.h"

    sigh...

  • The jokes on you NSA (Score:5, Informative)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @06:06PM (#46554325) Journal
    Huawei had stolen the code from Cisco. So it is no big loss for them. They are laughing at NSA for not getting the source from the source.

  • So, in essence, the NSA stole the stuff Huawei originally stole from Canada's Nortel.
  • by giorgist (1208992)
    Tell us what you know !!! Information wants to be free
  • From the article:

    NSA workers not only succeeded in accessing the email archive, but also the secret source code of individual Huwaei products. Software source code is the holy grail of computer companies.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Thats the big question - how did the NSA get in...
      China faced years of efforts from the USA, UK and Soviet Union to try and understand its nuclear tests and later rapid mil advances via help from diverse private EU/US/Canadian contractors.
      China knew every longer range radio transmission of any kind was been saved by sites in surrounding nations and via sat efforts.
      China knew to harden all communications surrounding is nuclear tests.
      i.e. British sigint in Hong Kong was a massive undertaking even with th
      • Thats the big question - how did the NSA get in...

        Through the holes in the source code that Huawei stole from Cisco? (which were placed there by the NSA in the first place?)

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          You would think the Russian advisors would have warned them about complex US hardware and software exported via no questions asked US front companies :)
  • Repeat after me: China = bad! NSA = good!

  • ...isn't that kinda what we pay them to do?

    seriously, the last time i checked China was a communist country with no rule of law and no true free elections...isn't it then part of the national security interests of the United States to do what they can to keep tabs on all sorts of stuff?

    don't we know that Chinese hackers have infiltrated *our* corporations? do you really think microsoft has never been hacked or the windows source code downloaded and sold to players all over the globe?

    i mean, really...is wha

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