Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security China Government United States Your Rights Online Politics

US May Prevent Chinese Hackers From Attending Def Con, Black Hat 193

Posted by timothy
from the like-a-george-lucas-script dept.
Taco Cowboy (5327) links to a report from Reuters that says "Washington is considering using visa restrictions to prevent Chinese nationals from attending popular summer hacking conferences in Las Vegas as part of a broader effort to curb Chinese cyber espionage, a senior administration official said Saturday. The official said that Washington could use such visa restrictions and other measures to keep Chinese from attending the August Def Con and Black Hat events to maintain pressure on China after the United States this week charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into U.S. companies to steal trade secrets."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US May Prevent Chinese Hackers From Attending Def Con, Black Hat

Comments Filter:
  • Isolation (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Good move US, isolate yourself from the rest of the world, so we don't have to do it.
    See how that goes for you. Moves like this will only make the next Con's happen in a non totalitarian country, your loss.

    PS: Isn't the 2nd amendment's sole purpose to prevent your government from acting against the people? Can you tell me what the f* you're waiting for?

    • Pretty sure most believers in the 2nd Amendment don't give a rat's ass about helping the Chinese.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Dude, it's not about helping the Chinese.
        It's about your government turning the country into a giant jail and you all are the inmates. Keeping Chinese nationals from Def Con, really? REALLY? Like that will achieve anything, so desperate for a new cold war to cover up their own shit and distract from their own illegal activites.
        It would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad.

        • It's about your government turning the country into a giant jail and you all are the inmates.

          I thought I was dead...

        • by vux984 (928602)

          so desperate for a new cold war

          Wot are you on about? A "new" cold war? Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

    • Bearing arms is a last resort, we prefer to exercise the 1st amendment to resolve disputes.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Bearing arms is a last resort, we prefer to exercise the 1st amendment to resolve disputes.

        You mean this 1st amendment?

        "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

        I actually lol'ed, are we even talking about the same United States? Because the United States I am talking about has neither freedom of speech, nor a free press. And the right to "peaceably assemble", really?

      • by mmell (832646)
        Four boxes to use in defense of freedom: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order.
    • PS: Isn't the 2nd amendment's sole purpose to prevent your government from acting against the people? Can you tell me what the f* you're waiting for?

      2017.

      No one wants to martyr the first black president.

      After he leaves office, if the next guy doesn't actually reduce the entire federal government, we won't last a decade without a new American civil war.

  • better idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebonum (830686) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @12:06AM (#47085767)

    Bar members of the Chinese military from attending. Even that is purely symbolic.
    Someone should tell Obama that in American we don't bar people based on race or nationality alone.

    Keep in mind. The US sets the standard. If we start doing things like this, don't whine when the China does the same thing. They could make the same case for any conference on any topic. If Americans come, they will steal XYZ.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SpankiMonki (3493987)

      If we start doing things like this, don't whine when the China does the same thing.

      can't tell if serious

    • Re:better idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dahamma (304068) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @12:45AM (#47085873)

      Someone should tell Obama that in American we don't bar people based on race or nationality alone.

      No, but there's nothing wrong with barring people based on political or military affiliation. China is not the US. They carefully control who they allow to leave China for the US, and so the Chinese citizens attending Def Con are doing so with the implicit permissions of the Chinese government.

      They could make the same case for any conference on any topic.

      Yeah, next time there is a hacker conference like Def Con based on complete freedom of expression and anarchy in China let us know. I won't hold my breath. And if China starts banning all US citizens from attending conferences, said conferences will no longer be held in China. But they won't, because the majority of China's economy currently revolves around placating American investors.

      You can trash the US all you want, but there are a limited number of countries in the world that would even allow a conference like Def Con or Black Hat.

      • by dryeo (100693)

        You can trash the US all you want, but there are a limited number of countries in the world that would even allow a conference like Def Con or Black Hat.

        Many totalitarian governments like to get all the dissidents together in one easy to manage group. Show up and get entered into the database for extra scrutiny plus having all those dissidents in one group makes doing intelligence on them much easier. Always a good chance of hiring some too.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          Yeah, totalitarian. Clearly the US government is totalitarian. Or maybe you should go look up that definition before you use it again.

          Show up and get entered into the database for extra scrutiny plus having all those dissidents in one group makes doing intelligence on them much easier.

          What you have described is exactly the Chinese government model. Except for the hiring part - the US clearly does that at Def Con, but instead of threatening to jail people they threaten to pay them 6 figures.

          • Re:better idea (Score:5, Interesting)

            by dryeo (100693) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @03:04AM (#47086145)

            Yes, America has inverted the normal definition of totalitarian to pretend they're the opposite. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          • Re:better idea (Score:5, Informative)

            by russotto (537200) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @10:25AM (#47087099) Journal

            What you have described is exactly the Chinese government model. Except for the hiring part - the US clearly does that at Def Con, but instead of threatening to jail people they threaten to pay them 6 figures.

            How soon we forget. The FBI arrested Dmitri Sklyarov at DefCon.

            • by Dahamma (304068)

              That whole situation sucked and should never have happened. Though the result was he was released on bail, charges were eventually dropped, and after a jury trial Elcomsoft was found not guilty as well. Checks and balances... executive branch overreached and abused their power, judicial smacked them down.

              Compared to recent events in Russia where a couple of musicians were arrested, held without bail for over 6 months, convicted in a kangaroo court, and sentenced to 2 years in prison for singing an "offens

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Move the conference to Europe, which already has many similar ones.

        • by dkf (304284)

          Move the conference to Europe, which already has many similar ones.

          But then most of the employees and contractors of the NSA won't be able to attend!!!

          That's not a bug in your plan, of course...

    • The Chinese don't have solid proof to the level that the US has on the Chinese. The Chinese only can cite a person that handed over US secrets, while the US can cite private and public sector examples (much less Chinese history of stealing from their own).

      That, and it doesn't look like the US wants much from the US aside from a compliant labor pool.

    • Re:better idea (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @01:24AM (#47085957) Homepage

      Bar members of the Chinese military from attending. Now how exactly does the NSA know it was members of the Chinese military. Let me guess after initiating proper diplomatic relations the NSA approached China's computer crime task force and initiated a legal joint investigation in the hacking and after proper legal investigation discovered the perpetrators. What, don't tell me this didn't happen, not even fucking close.

      So the NSA hacked computers in China, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt those computer could be hacked and placed 'er' discovered proof of network hacking in the US, conducted by the NSA 'er' government of China and now the NSA 'er' government of China seeks to cover it up.

      You can see the real problem here. The NSA blatantly and publicly lied repeatedly to it's own government, the NSA now has publicly declared it is hacking government computers in China based upon the evidence they are attempting to submit. Now we know how naughty the NSA has been, the question is would they, hack computers in the US and then falsify evidence and plant it on computers in China that it has now publicly admitted to hacking, in order to deflect attention away from it's own criminal activities.

      Surely those idiots can see the problem they have created for themselves in combining network defence and network assault in the one unit. They are an offensive computer network organisation, their role is to destroy and break the security of other countries networks. Which now they are publicly admitting to via this flawed investigation, all based around hacking networks and breaking security and publicly proved only thing, is did hack government computers and networks in China. As to the validity of the evidence, they utterly tainted it to the point that only corrupt courts within the US would accept it and the rest of the world and the international courts would have to reject due to that extreme contamination.

      • by sethstorm (512897)

        Bar members of the Chinese military from attending.

        The problem is that it's more than just the military, it's practically everyone there with any competency in computers. The rest are accessories.

        Oh, and it doesn't take cheap shots at the NSA to know that.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          You really don't get it at all. It is the sheer mitigated arrogance of the US government and claims that it's laws apply to every other country including the laws that the US government does not have to obey others countries laws in those countries. The total in you face arrogance of it all. For a start the NSA should have been told to STFU and everything should have been handed over to the FBI and the FBI should be pursuing the prosecution. This because they are a policing organisation that acts legally a

          • You really don't get it at all. It is the sheer mitigated arrogance of the US government...

            How exactly is the US government's arrogance being mitigated [reference.com]? Based on the context, I'm guessing you meant 'unmitigated [merriam-webster.com]'.

            And we wonder why folks outside the US think we're all morons. Sigh!

          • FBI... Policing.... That's good, tell me another. J. Edgar Hoover pretty much set the tone for the FBI. Which organization do you think is actually prosecuting most whisleblowers and anyone the gov doesn't like?

    • by mysidia (191772)

      Bar members of the Chinese military from attending. Even that is purely symbolic. Someone should tell Obama that in American we don't bar people based on race or nationality alone.

      This is all highly unconstitutional. If they are allowed to enter the united states, AND they are not being arrested or detained, then they have the rights and privileges that those present in the US have...

      Including the right to freedom of speech, which includes the right to organize and assemble.

      The Defcon. and Blackh

      • Bar members of the Chinese military from attending. Even that is purely symbolic. Someone should tell Obama that in American we don't bar people based on race or nationality alone.

        This is all highly unconstitutional. If they are allowed to enter the united states, AND they are not being arrested or detained, then they have the rights and privileges that those present in the US have...

        Including the right to freedom of speech, which includes the right to organize and assemble.

        The Defcon. and Blackhat conferences are an exercise of free speech rights. The government cannot lawfully prohibit those conferences or prevent anyone from attending; doing so is in direct violation of the bill of rights due to interference with and abridgement constitutionally protected activities and rights and privileges.

        I didn't even need to read TFA to know that this will be accomplished by denying visas to those folks, not by posting law enforcement personnel at the doors to the conference and checking IDs. The US can (and does) deny visas to all sorts of people, and for many reasons, including this kind of thing. As do most other countries.

        Perhaps you should think about what you say before you say it? That's not meant to be an insult, just a suggestion.

        • Bar members of the Chinese military from attending. Even that is purely symbolic.
          Someone should tell Obama that in American we don't bar people based on race or nationality alone.

          This is all highly unconstitutional. If they are allowed to enter the united states, AND they are not being
          arrested or detained, then they have the rights and privileges that those present in the US have...

          Including the right to freedom of speech, which includes the right to organize and assemble.

          The Defcon. and Blackhat conferences are an exercise of free speech rights.
          The government cannot lawfully prohibit those conferences or prevent anyone from attending;
          doing so is in direct violation of the bill of rights due to interference with and abridgement constitutionally protected activities
          and rights and privileges.

          I didn't even need to read TFA to know that this will be accomplished by denying visas to those folks, not by posting law enforcement personnel at the doors to the conference and checking IDs. The US can (and does) deny visas to all sorts of people, and for many reasons, including this kind of thing. As do most other countries.

          Perhaps you should think about what you say before you say it? That's not meant to be an insult, just a suggestion.

          I don't need to RTFA or read your prior comment to understand that barring Visas for this sort of thing is STUPID. They'll just pay some white guy to give them the data while a few hundred thousand Chinese who MIGHT have learned we are a great nation will become annoyed and say; "Well, I guess they saved me from visiting a ridiculous police state."

          Making America act like the old USSR or some banana Republic isn't the way to win anything. By the time you protect virginity of your daughters, they've been walk

        • by mysidia (191772)

          The US can (and does) deny visas to all sorts of people, and for many reasons, including this kind of thing. As do most other countries.

          They can... but once someone gets a valid visitor's Visa and comes into the US -- they can't turn around and say you are not allowed to attend any security-related conferences.

          The article headline didn't say US to deny Visitors' Visas to Chinese.

          • The article headline didn't say US to deny Visitors' Visas to Chinese.

            That's true. I guess it's too difficult to read the first sentence of the summary. tl;dr, huh?

      • WE THE PEOPLE of the United States of America in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.

        Doesn't say anything in there about helping anybody but us. Doesn't say our rules apply (or should be applied) to anybody but us either. I've also noticed that much of the Bil

        • by mysidia (191772)

          Doesn't say anything in there about helping anybody but us. Doesn't say our rules apply (or should be applied) to anybody but us either.

          Hi, to be clear. That is a statement ONLY about the people establishing the constitution. When the PEOPLE established the constitution, we created a government of enumerated powers.

          The first amendment doesn't say that it applies to citizens only, AND it does not apply to citizens only.

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting

    • by thsths (31372)

      > we don't bar people based on race or nationality alone.

      You don't? That does not align with my experience. How about Syria or Cuba?

    • Keep in mind. The US sets the standard.

      I will agree with that. In the sense that any nation whose performance is lower than the US definitely deserves an "F".

    • I agree with this.

      If we believe in "America" and Democracy -- we should stick with treating people equally. Back when this was something we did with pride -- we had a lot of people defect. Now we've got Americans selling out for a buck and a lot of "espionage" is done by buying databases from contractors with the US Gov -- go check out a wikileaks document dump sometime and get back with me if you doubt this.

      By using drones instead of diplomacy. By cracking down on "Arab looking" rather than bad acting. By

    • by HiThere (15173)

      It's considerably worse than that, it's stupidly counterproductive. If DefCon is held somewhere else next year, it will just put the US to a lot more trouble.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Since the US is under such an oppressive regime, it's better to be denied entry than the other thing that usually happens over there: detention with no accusation.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    yeah this is the way to do it. Look forward to going to defcon 2015, Beijing, China

    • by cheekyboy (598084)

      Why china? you still need a visa, why not taiwan which is next door, or hong kong or somewhere else thats reasonably easy to get into.

  • If the government wants to stop Chinese from hacking US companies, it should limit the number of Chinese students studying Computer Science in American universities. That would cut the number of skilled Chinese hackers, and would increase the number of places in American universities for American students. ( See the article [cnn.com] "Chinese flock to elite U.S. schools". ) Of course there are worldwide MOOC classes, but limiting access to classroom Computer Science education would help.

    • If the government wants to stop Chinese from hacking US companies, it should limit the number of Chinese students studying Computer Science in American universities. That would cut the number of skilled Chinese hackers, and would increase the number of places in American universities for American students. ( See the article [cnn.com] "Chinese flock to elite U.S. schools". ) Of course there are worldwide MOOC classes, but limiting access to classroom Computer Science education would help.

      Of course. Because no one else, anywhere in the world, knows how to hack. Or understands computer science.

      Pro Tip: Get a passport and travel around a bit. You'll find that there are bright people everywhere, and often they have indoor plumbing and stuff.

      Heck, in some places they even have universities (even in China). What a shocker!

      • by GNious (953874)

        Pro Tip: Get a passport and travel around a bit. You'll find that there are bright people everywhere, and often they have indoor plumbing and stuff.

        If you're telling an American to go travel, you'll first have to explain that there is part of the planet that is outside of US, Canada and Mexico .
        - Then you should explain the concept that people outside of those 3 countries do not always speak English ..
        - and that they have sovereign countries with laws differing from those of the US (1) ..
        - and that getting there likely requires more than a car ..
        - and that people outside of those 3 countries might not be Christian, or Muslims (2) ..
        - and that Americans

  • After all the reports of Chinese based hackers penetrating every nook and cranny of Federal and Commercial Defense assets over the last couple of years this seams a case of closing the barn door long after the horse has left...
  • Given how much they've already stolen from us and other First World countries, it would be a good thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They're probably all running XP on their laptops, so keeping them out would significantly cut down on the number of vulnerabilities floating around the con WiFi.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Recently finished up my 8 years in in Navy, last for were spent working alongside NSA, when you say "China's in every nook and crany" i't for the most part just bs malware...China is actually the #1 intruder we CATCH...it's the ones that we dont know about that to be worried about. Also, Defcon is all about freedom of information, i find it rather counter-productive to limit what it stands for...espeically comming form US with our "freedom of speech"

  • by spasm (79260) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @01:48AM (#47085995) Homepage

    When the US govt starts dictating who is allowed to come to your conferences you need to move the conference. Same as the AIDS research conferences have been held anywhere except the US since the 80s because from 1987 to 2009 the US govt banned people with AIDS from traveling to the US.

    • by Frobnicator (565869) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @02:25AM (#47086055) Journal

      It isn't the only one. Quite a few conferences dedicated to cryptography and security have been held outside the US because of the ITAR controls [wikipedia.org] and other regulations that treat encryption as weapons and security systems as terrorist devices.

      Cryptographic systems were listed as arms until about a decade ago, and even today some security technologies are potentially on the list. Even if they aren't on ITAR any more, attending the conference is certain to get your name entered to all kinds of US-based lists. Rather than risk being considered for international arms dealing and international terrorism, quite a few conferences take place anywhere but the US. The risk both to the conference itself and to those who might attend the conferences are just too great.

      Austria, Switzerland, France, Malaysia, ... many countries are still more popular for security conferences than the US.

    • Great point.

      Reagan showed the World what America was all about; "provincial prejudice and backwater pride."

      They'll move the venue and some other nation will become a beacon of enlightenment.

      Now there are people who say we can't tax wealthy people because they will all move -- and somehow they understand THAT concept but not this one. I'd rather have a lot of enlightened smart people, than people with money. The one makes the other regardless of who is talented with money.

  • by renzhi (2216300)
    Obama is a jerk, the whole administration keeps on making stupid decision. If you keep on doing things like this, just don't come crying when other people would do the same thing to you. It's not just China, it could be any country too.
  • US May Prevent Chinese Hackers From Attending Def Con, Black Hat. The official said that Washington could use such visa restrictions and other measures.

    It's already been hacked. They offered me cash to go there in their stead.

  • Ok, the U.S. (through the NSA) has been revealed (through Snowden) to be able to:
    1) record and retain EVERY phone call made in an ENTIRE country (actually two, the Bahamas and Afghanistan I think)
    2) hack into the e-mail of at least some world leaders (for example: Germany, not exactly weak in the technology department)
    3) subvert (and exploit?) the standards for some of the world's most widely used security protocols
    4) hack into the networks of Huawei to view source code (and change it?), one of the largest

  • Why are they singling out the Chinese? Don't throw statistics at me. There are French, Israeli, Egyptian, South Korean, Japanese, and on down the line who've hacked facets of the US Government and US Companies. If you're going to go down this road, you have to disallow everyone. I'm not saying you should go down this road. Then again, I aspire to be a Chinese Citizen [phmadore.com].
  • Used by countries the world over. "No, your people can't come to our country for this or that conference/function/speech, etc. You guys piss us off about something or other, so we're going to make a stink about it.

    This is nothing new, nor is it especially interesting. It's just a (not so) friendly reminder to the Chinese that we don't like their attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) at espionage (both industrial and political). That we do it to them and others is irrelevant. This is a political p

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The US has been guilty of pervasive industrial espionage for a very long time. The whole US regime is just an extension of corporate power. It always disgusts when, when I hear Americans talk of democracy. At least in China the opposite is true, corporate power is largely an extension of the regime, and however opressive, there appears to be a genuine attempt to improve social conditions instead of just boosting shareholder profit.
    All these accusations levelled at China, seem merely to be a distraction from

  • by Casandro (751346) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @03:33AM (#47086207)

    I mean those people create _actual_ harm.
    China cannot harm people outside China in any significant way, and should they ever do, your local government would at least protest. However no western government ever protests against the US... even when they abduct people.

    China doesn't even run large sigint installations in Germany the way the US does.

  • The implied ending to "Yes we can" is "do whatever the hell we want"
  • What do you think will the net effect be? It might work this year, and next year you'll see the conference move abroad, costing you not only income from tourism but also the ability to sneak your spooks easily into the con.

    I sometimes really wonder if the responsible parties in the US are acting dumb or whether they are.

  • Yeah, the world is kind of concerned about hackers at the moment, but China isn't the source that is of concern.

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid

Working...