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Showing posts from May 29, 2013

Four-Star General in Eye of US Cyber Storm

Depending on your point of view, U.S. General Keith Alexander is either an Army four-star trying to stave off a cyber Pearl Harbor attack, or an overreaching spy chief who wants to eavesdrop on the private emails of every American.

Alexander, 61, has headed the National Security Agency since 2005, making him the longest-serving chief in the history of an intelligence unit so secretive that it was dubbed “No Such Agency.” Alexander also runs U.S. Cyber Command, which he helped to create in 2010 to oversee the country's offensive and defensive operations in cyberspace.

The dual role means Alexander has more knowledge about cyber threats than any other U.S. official, since the NSA already protects the most sensitive U.S. data, extracts intelligence from foreign networks and uses wiretaps to track suspected terrorists. But it also puts the general at the center of an intense debate over how much power the government should have to spy on private citizens in the name of protecting nat…

Obama to Raise Cybersecurity Concerns with China

The White House says U.S. President Barack Obama will talk cybersecurity next week with Chinese President Xi Jinping, amid fresh reports of cyber attacks on critical U.S. defense systems.

U.S. officials have not commented on the latest reports, but White House spokesman Jay Carney says he is sure cybersecurity will be discussed when President Obama meets with President Xi in California. Carney called the issue a "key concern" of the administration that U.S. officials raise at every level in meetings with Chinese counterparts.

Monday, The Washington Post newspaper published parts of a confidential defense report accusing Chinese cyberspies of compromising some of most sensitive and advanced U.S. weapons systems.

Classified sections of the report outlined more than two-dozen breaches of missile defense and other weapons systems by Chinese hackers, including many that had not been previously reported.

China has firmly denied involvement in the hacking attempts. It has also returne…

China Announces Digitalized Combat Forces

China's state news agency says the Chinese army will conduct an exercise next month to test new types of combat forces, including units using digital technology.

Xinhua reported Wednesday the drill marks the first time China's military will focus on digitalized combat forces to be used in "informationalized war."

The announcement of the digitalized combat forces comes as U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to talk about cybersecurity next week with Chinese President Xi Jinping, amid fresh reports of cyber attacks on critical American defense systems.

U.S. officials have not commented on the latest reports, but White House spokesman Jay Carney says he is certain cybersecurity will be discussed when President Obama meets with President Xi in California. Carney calls the issue a "key concern" for the administration that U.S. officials raise at every level in meetings with Chinese counterparts.

Monday, The Washington Post newspaper published parts of a confide…

Police in 17 Countries Smash Huge Money Laundering Scheme

Agents from five continents have smashed a huge money-laundering scheme that allegedly helped 1 million criminals hide their profits.

The U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday it indicted the Costa-Rican based Liberty Reserve digital currency company. Five suspects were arrested in New York, Spain and Costa Rica. Two others are still at large.

The indictment accuses Liberty Reserve of laundering $6 billion in profits from crimes, including credit card fraud, identity theft, drug trafficking and child pornography.

Justice officials say Liberty reserve gave criminals a way to hide their money without leaving a trace by letting them set up accounts with fake names and phony addresses.



Police in 17 countries helped U.S. and Costa Rican authorities break up the ring. They include agents in Morocco, China, Russia, Australia and western Europe.

Russian Missile Plan Chills Chances for Syrian No-Fly Zone

Analysts say it will be more difficult for the United States or other Western powers to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria if Russia goes ahead with the sale of anti-aircraft missiles to its ally Damascus.

Moscow said this week it plans to deliver the advanced S-300 air defense system to the embattled government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, despite objections by the U.S., France and Israel.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Tuesday the transfer will be a "stabilizing factor" and will deter what he called "some hotheads" from considering sending foreign forces to intervene in the Syrian conflict.

The surface-to-air missiles would represent a major upgrade over Syria's current air defenses and could challenge Western aircraft, said Ben MacQueen, a Middle East analyst at Australia's Monash University.

"The S-300 has the capacity to knock down cruise missiles as well as high-altitude planes," he said. "So the possession of the…