In the WSJ, Gordon Crovitz discusses Google’s revelations on China’s “Blue Army”, the cyber-war companion to their Red Army:
Google traced the attacks to the eastern Chinese city of Jinan, a base for the national-security arm of the People’s Liberation Army and the locale of last year’s hacking. By week’s end, security company Trend Micro reported that Google was not the only victim, just the only one that dared to disclose. Similar phishing attacks had hit Microsoft’s Hotmail and Yahoo’s email services.
These attacks are notable not for their technology but, more ominously, for how sophisticated the attackers need to be to fool top government officials. They used near-perfect tone and language to get the recipients to believe fake emails were real. The technique of “spear” phishing identifies targets individually and crafts highly personalized messages that seem wholly legitimate, as they often appear to come from friends or colleagues. The spoofers, likely trained by the PLA, did a great job…
The fooled officials reportedly include a cabinet member. Hackers got access to incoming and outgoing emails for months.
China spends as much on domestic security, including Internet censorship and hacking, as on its military. It recently formed a “Blue Army” of cyber warriors in addition to its traditional Red Army.
The PRC, it appears, is treating information dominance as more than just a slogan.