News you may have missed #0136

  • US Senate panel votes to extend PATRIOT surveillance powers. The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a measure that would leave the controversial surveillance powers of the USA Patriot Act mostly intact.
  • So who was behind GhostNet cyberespionage? Cyber hawks in the West are eager to blame the Chinese government for the huge cyberespionage ring, managed to infiltrate nearly 1,300 mainly government and corporate computers in at least 103 countries, before it was detected last March. This is in contrast to the actual cybersecurity experts themselves, who insist that they still have no idea who was behind it.
  • US Pentagon creates website for access to secret science. The Pentagon’s Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) has announced the creation of a new password-protected portal where authorized users can gain access to restricted scientific and engineering publications.

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Researchers discover gigantic cyberespionage operation

Ronald Deibert

Ronald Deibert

A team of Canadian researchers claims to have discovered a large cyberespionage ring located mainly in China. The researchers say the ring has managed to infiltrate nearly 1,300 mainly government and corporate computers in at least 103 countries around the world. The report, entitled Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network, was compiled after a ten-month collaboration between Ottawa’s SecDev group and the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies. Although the report concludes that the cyberespionage ring is located mainly in China, it specifically rejects claims that GhostNet is inevitably a Chinese government operation, saying that there is no evidence that Beijing is behind the operation. University of Toronto associate professor Ronald Deibert suggested that the operation could potentially be the work of non-state pro-Chinese actors, or could be conducted by a profit-oriented group that sells the acquired information to whoever offers it the highest monetary compensation. “It’s a murky realm that we’re lifting the lid on”, said Dr. Deibert: “This could well be the CIA or the Russians”. Read more of this post

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