Skip to comments.Telecom Equipment Project by the Chinese for Taliban after 9-11
Posted on 07/03/2002 7:31:13 AM PDT by honway
click here to read article
The biggest fear IMHO at the senior levels of our defense and intel. establishment as I write is a so-called "1-2 combi punch", i.e. first hit the Homeland from overseas with a massive cyber attack where vulnerable and critical infrastructure systems are shut down, and then the physical attacks orchestrated from within by sleepers and other illegal entrants, i.e. WMD delivery, more hijacked airliners or NukeBiosChems on subways or in crowded areas or anthrax puffed about here and there. Or vice versa. Does'nt matter.
The pandemonium would be horrendous. It would be every man, woman, and family for themself.
China could very easily have copies of the source code of our FAA, military, and other government computers. The implications here are enormous.
FIVE MONTHS AND COUNTING...
July 27, 1999
Economics correspondent Paul Solman of WGBH, Boston, provides an update of the Y2K and potential computer problems.
JIM LEHRER: Our economics correspondent Paul Solman of WGBH-Boston has the Y2K story.
PAUL SOLMAN: .... we wanted to talk to those sober souls who are trying to solve the Y2K problem, the people whose job it is to get inside the old computer systems, find the Y2K bug and fix it. And what they told us was genuinely surprising. Before the surprise, though, a quick cram session on Y2K for those who still don't get it. At Primeon outside Boston, Carl Giallombardo showed us an actual line of computer code.
PAUL SOLMAN: So Y2K could benefit US companies, communities, and also, some experts now say, the work force, because the US, already ahead in computer innovation, has used Y2K to speed the recruitment of the globe's top high-tech talent.
SPOKESMAN: Let me show you some of the programming staff that works here at Primeon. Robert Yang has a Ph.D. from Chinghua University and was a professor at Chinghua for ten years. Jason [Zhicheng] Shi is the manager of year 2000 development. Jason has two Ph.D.'s. Lu Sun is a project manager, has a Masters in Computer Science from Cinghua University, and ended up number two in his class. His wife ended up number one.
PAUL SOLMAN: Primeon itself was founded by Fred Wang, a member of China's crème de la crème Class of '77, the first class to enter the reopened colleges after Mao closed them during the cultural revolution and sent students out into the fields. Wang scored higher than-- get this-- some 200 million potential college applicants. Just to get his spot at one of China's top engineering schools, he was one in 10,000. He has recruited his fellow best and brightest.
PAUL SOLMAN: This really the very smartest of the computer people in china that have you here?
FRED WANG: Yes, I'm sure. Yeah, we have about ten Ph.D.'s and professors. Yeah, it's a very, very-- I mean, they are like a superstar.
PAUL SOLMAN: Superstars like Fred Wang and his top classmates.
JAMES DONOHUE, Vice President, Human Resources, Primeon: Getting people of Fred's quality to do this kind of work in the US is just about impossible. Y2K is not a glamorous business. The Internet's the glamorous business these days. And to go in and basically spend your time cleaning up "other people's messes" when you could be working on Internet and E-commerce type of situations may put you in a big competitive disadvantage. You can't hire people of that quality to do Y2K.
PAUL SOLMAN: Americans won't do it?
JAMES DONOHUE: That's right.
PAUL SOLMAN: But the Chinese will.
JAMES DONOHUE: That's right.
PAUL SOLMAN: To most economists, immigrants are a huge plus for the US economy.
LESTER THUROW: There is no question about it, if you look at immigrants, they've got more get up and go because we know that, right? They got up and went. It's a big advantage when, hey, you can get a fully trained, let's say, computer software engineer to migrate to the United States. That's a plus-plus, right? We don't have to pay for the education and we get the benefits.
FAA Faulted for Security Lapse
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration failed to conduct security checks on dozens of foreigners hired to fix Y2K problems in sensitive computer systems used for air traffic control, congressional investigators said Tuesday.
The General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said it found the FAA had violated its own security policies by allowing its contractors' foreign employees, who had not received background checks, to be involved in repairing 15 of 153 critical computer systems.
Citizens of Ukraine, Pakistan, Britain and Ethiopia were given access without proper checks, as well as 36 Chinese who performed Y2K reviews on eight critical systems, including one involved in air-to-ground communications.
``By not following sound security practices, FAA has increased the risk that inappropriate individuals may have gained access to its facilities, information or resources,'' said Joel C. Willemssen, the GAO's director of civil agencies information systems, in a report to the House Science Committee. The panel had asked the GAO to investigate the extent to which the FAA relied on foreign nationals for Y2K preparedness.
The nation's air traffic systems were at greater risk to people wishing to insert faulty or deliberately harmful changes to the computer code, Willemssen said. One of the systems reviewed by the foreign citizens helps manage the flow of air traffic across the nation.
The FAA's policy requires background checks of all FAA and contractor employees. The agency's Y2K Program Office told the investigators it didn't know about the requirement, the GAO said. The FAA also was unaware of whether the agency or the contractors had performed background checks on any of the contractor employees, including foreigners.
The contractors, Primeon and Computer Generated Solutions Inc., were not given direct access to the FAA's computers. Instead, the FAA sent them copies of the program codes on computer disks through express mail, the investigators said. The contractors had to sign agreements requiring them to return or destroy all copies of the program codes.
But the investigators warned that ``copies of the code could be sold and/or reviewed to identify system weaknesses that could later be exploited.''
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Science Committee, sent a letter to National Security Adviser Sandy Berger on Dec. 20, expressing concern that other agencies might have violated security rules while rushing to repair Y2K problems.
In a statement on the FAA, Sensenbrenner said, ``The extent of access unscreened individuals had to the air traffic control system merits serious attention by the White House and others responsible for ensuring the security of sensitive computer systems on which we all rely.
About 4:30 p.m., two large electric lines heading east out of the Brandy Branch Generating Station near Baldwin shut down when circuit breakers tripped on both lines. It's unclear why those trips occurred, but the breakers are designed to shut down portions of the lines to prevent further faults from the actual point of trouble.
When those lines shut down, electric lines heading west out of Brandy Branch picked up the load along with other electricity coming from Georgia and redirected that flow back into the city grid over two other lines. Electricity was still flowing freely and not overloading the grid into the city.
A short time later, there was an unexplained transformer fire at the Kennedy Generating Station north of Talleyrand and the generator at the plant shut down. Electricity generated from Kennedy had been flowing in the two operating transmission lines along with the electricity from the Northside Generating Station and the nearby St. Johns River Power Park.
I have no evidence confirming the power outage in Jacksonville was a cyber-attack. However, the official explanation for the outage is 100% consistent with a cyber-attack. This event is consistent with the concerns outlined in the Wash. Post article, "Cyber-Attacks by Al Qaeda Feared", linked above.
The devices are called distributed control systems, or DCS, and supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems. The simplest ones collect measurements, throw railway switches, close circuit-breakers or adjust valves in the pipes that carry water, oil and gas. More complicated versions sift incoming data, govern multiple devices and cover a broader area.
What is new and dangerous is that most of these devices are now being connected to the Internet -- some of them, according to classified "Red Team" intrusion exercises, in ways that their owners do not suspect.
Because the digital controls were not designed with public access in mind, they typically lack even rudimentary security, having fewer safeguards than the purchase of flowers online
What a comforting thought. Thanks for all your excellent research on this.
Thanks for that article. IMHO, this scenario is much more likely than deliberate release of smallpox or other chembio agents.
China continued to supply arms to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist even after the group began the September 11 attack on America, says a senior U.S. official.
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 26, 2002 -- Success in Afghanistan does not mean victory in the war against terrorism, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz said today.
"Al Qaeda is not a snake that can be killed by lopping off its head," Wolfowitz told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "It is more analogous to a disease that has infected many parts of a healthy body. AFRTS Radio Report: DepSecDef updates Senate committee on military operations in Afghanistan
"There is no one single solution," he stressed. "You can't simply cut out one infected area and declare victory. But success in one area can lead to success in others."
Overall, Wolfowitz said, the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan to kill, capture and disrupt terrorists is helping to protect the American people. At the same time, the United States is helping the Afghan people ensure their country does not once again become a terrorist sanctuary.
Noting the highlights of the nation's "extraordinary military success," he said somewhat less than half of al Qaeda's top 30 leaders have been killed or captured. The United States has custody of more than 500 detainees. Law enforcement agencies in more than 90 countries have arrested some 2,400 terrorism suspects.
"Our military success in Afghanistan has contributed to that larger success, both indirectly by encouraging others to cooperate, and also more directly," Wolfowitz said. "Abu Zubaydah, one of bin Laden's key lieutenants, was driven out of his sanctuary in Afghanistan and as a result was captured last March."
Zubaydah's cooperation contributed to the detention of Jose Padilla (aka Abdullah al Muhajir), who allegedly was planning and coordinating terrorist attacks. A Moroccan detainee led law enforcement officials to two Saudi Arabians planning terrorist attacks in Morocco. A videotape discovered in Afghanistan led to the arrest of an al Qaeda cell in Singapore that was planning to attack a U.S. aircraft carrier.
"These developments are encouraging, but it is important to remember that al Qaeda is still dangerous and active," Wolfowitz said. "This network still poses threats that should not be underestimated."
Afghanistan is only one node in the global terrorist network. "A network, by its very nature is based on the idea that should one node be eliminated, the network can still continue to function," he said.
In Arabic, "al Qaeda" means "base," indicating that the entire organization is the base of terrorist operations. "It is spread throughout the world and it needs to be eliminated, root and branch," Wolfowitz said.
Al Qaeda has infected some 60 countries, including the United States, Germany, France, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. It had critical nodes in Hamburg, Germany, and Jacksonville, Fla., as well as in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, the deputy said, U.S. and coalition forces rooted out both the terrorists and the tyrannical Taliban regime that protected them. He said the goal was to deprive the terrorists of a sanctuary where they could safely plan, train and organize. "Not only to capture and kill terrorists, but to drain the swamp in which they breed," he remarked.
Over the past eight months, he said, U.S. and coalition partners have defeated the Taliban regime, killing or capturing many of its ringleaders. Others are on the run. America's men and women in uniform have conducted operations with great bravery and skill.
Military plans were put together with remarkable speed, he said, and operations were swiftly and successfully executed. The campaign was "measured in weeks rather than months, and with relatively few troops on the ground. On Sept. 11, "there simply were no war plans on the shelf for Afghanistan."
Army Gen. Tommy Franks started "from scratch" on Sept. 20, Wolfowitz said, and less than three weeks later began military operations on Oct. 7. Two weeks after that, U.S. troops were operating in Afghanistan with Northern Alliance forces. "In many ways, it was a remarkable feat of logistical and operational utility," he said.
He also pointed out that the United States did not become bogged down in a quagmire in Afghanistan, unlike the British in the 19th century or the Soviets in the 20th century. "Nations that arrive in Afghanistan with massive armies tend to be treated as invaders and they regret it," he said. "Mindful of that history, Gen. Franks has deliberately and carefully kept our footprint small to avoid just such a situation."
"We have always viewed our mission in Afghanistan as one of liberation, not occupation," Wolfowitz said. "Afghans are an independent, proud people. We have worked from the beginning to minimize the number of our troops there and to focus instead on helping the Afghan people to help themselves in their journey to representative self- government."
Huawei to double Indian investment
Huawei Technologies, is planning to double its investments to $30 million in India this year. Huawei is also the only Chinese software operation in India. The expansion plan will also see the companys staff in Bangalore by 200.
Monday, February 18, 2002
BANGALORE: Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies plans this year to nearly double investment in its Indian software center to $30 million, company officials said.
"We have a long-term commitment towards India and would be investing significantly both in terms of manpower, technology and infrastructure in the next two to three years," Jack Lu, Huawei India's chief operating officer, told Reuters.
Huawei plans to expand its Bangalore staff by at least 200 this year and nearly double investment from a current $17 million, a company spokesman said.
The growth of Huawei's two-year-old software research and development center in Bangalore, the only Chinese software operation in India, is a sign of the computer hardware giant's determination to pick up software strength from India which has a vast army of programmers.
The neighboring countries have edged closer in technology, but are also seen by analysts as rivals in software programming as the sector grows in China. "While the Indians are good at software development and project management, the Chinese are good in system design and architecture," Lu said.
Lu said privately-owned Huawei, China's biggest telecoms gear maker, saw India as a leading product development center in coming years and planned to "eventually localize" staffing at the R&D center.
Out of a current workforce of around 500 at the firm's Indian center, about 100 are Chinese.
Huawei also sources software from Indian companies which include Infosys Technologies, Satyam Computer Services and Wipro Ltd.
Huawei said it awarded projects worth about $14 million to its Indian partners in 2001 and about 200 engineers from its partner firms worked on its projects in China last year. Indian software exporters, who derive most of their business from the United States, have begun to tap China's huge market, attracted by enormous growth in the hardware sector and a pool of talented knowledge workers.
Satyam last month opened a branch office in China which it said could also serve as a channel to provide services to related markets. Infosys also plans to open a branch in China.
Chinese premier Zhu Rongji suggested during a visit to India last month that China and India should combine their strengths in computer hardware and software for mutual benefit.
And that's helped Wipro, and other Indian contract IT services companies, steadily grow despite the down economy. According to Badiga, Wipro recruited about 2,300 workers between April and September last year.
To Wipro, said Badiga, the L1 is just one more tool that's helping the company prosper. To Emmons, however, it's a "nasty tool Congress created to get cheap labor for their corporations." And to a growing number of recession-scarred IT workers, the L1 visa is just one more thing to worry about.
Members of the Jemez Harmony barbershop quartet surprised Bruce Tarter, seated left, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory director, with a surprise happy birthday serenade Wednesday morning in the J. Robert Oppenheimer Study Center. The University of California President's Council, which includes Laboratory Director John Browne, Charles Shank, director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Tarter were meeting Tuesday and Wednesday at the Lab. The quartet is made up of Lab employees (left to right) Horton Struve of International Technology (NIS-IT), David Daniel of Advanced Computing (CCS-1), William Wilson of Nuclear Physics (T-16) and Donald Brown of Geophysics (EES-11). Photo by LeRoy N. Sanchez, Public Affairs
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