Vulnerabilities / Threats
2/1/2010
04:26 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Chinese Spies Targeting U.K., MI5 Warns

A leaked report tells of gifts with malware and blackmail traps targeting U.K. enterprises.

A leaked report written by MI5, the U.K.'s counter-espionage and security agency, warns that Chinese agents are eavesdropping on and stealing information from U.K. businesses, and trying to obtain trade secrets through blackmail.

The contents of the 14-page restricted report, authored by MI5's Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure, were revealed over the weekend in The Sunday Times.

The report charges China with conducting a concerted attack on U.K. critical infrastructure and with targeting the computer networks of public relations companies and international law firms. It also cautions U.K. business travelers about the security risks they face when visiting China.

"Hotel rooms in major Chinese cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, which are frequented by foreigners, are likely to be bugged," the report warns, according to The Sunday Times.

The report says that undercover intelligence officers from the People's Liberation Army and China's Ministry of Public Security have approached U.K. business people with gifts of infected electronics and "lavish hospitality."

Such warnings are not new. In 2008, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs issued an advisory to U.S. travelers headed to China for the 2008 Olympic Games. "All visitors should be aware that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations," the advisory warned. "All hotel rooms and offices are considered to be subject to on-site or remote technical monitoring at all times. Hotel rooms, residences, and offices may be accessed at any time without the occupant's consent or knowledge."

In a document titled "Foreign Travel Threat Assessment: Electronic Communications Vulnerabilities," published June 10, 2008, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's critical infrastructure threat analysis division , the DHS urged business leaders and U.S. officials to "leave [electronic devices] at home" when traveling because "[f]oreign governments routinely target the computers and other electronic devices and media carried by U.S. corporate and government personnel traveling abroad to gather economic, military, and political information."

Last week, McAfee, in conjunction with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), published a cyber security report that found businesses face persistent attacks on their networks from cybercriminals and foreign governments. Last month, Google revealed that it and some 33 other companies had been targeted in just such an attack from China.

The U.S. State Department has asked China for an explanation of the attack on Google and other companies. China has responded by denying any involvement and stating that it's the biggest victim of cyber attacks.

The Dark Visitor, a Web site that reports on the activities of Chinese hackers, has compiled a selection of similar-sounding Chinese government responses to charges of involvement in cyber attacks, dating back to 2004.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-1927
Published: 2014-10-25
The shell_quote function in python-gnupg 0.3.5 does not properly quote strings, which allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary code via shell metacharacters in unspecified vectors, as demonstrated using "$(" command-substitution sequences, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-1928....

CVE-2014-1928
Published: 2014-10-25
The shell_quote function in python-gnupg 0.3.5 does not properly escape characters, which allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary code via shell metacharacters in unspecified vectors, as demonstrated using "\" (backslash) characters to form multi-command sequences, a different vulner...

CVE-2014-1929
Published: 2014-10-25
python-gnupg 0.3.5 and 0.3.6 allows context-dependent attackers to have an unspecified impact via vectors related to "option injection through positional arguments." NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incomplete fix for CVE-2013-7323.

CVE-2014-3409
Published: 2014-10-25
The Ethernet Connectivity Fault Management (CFM) handling feature in Cisco IOS 12.2(33)SRE9a and earlier and IOS XE 3.13S and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via malformed CFM packets, aka Bug ID CSCuq93406.

CVE-2014-3636
Published: 2014-10-25
D-Bus 1.3.0 through 1.6.x before 1.6.24 and 1.8.x before 1.8.8 allows local users to (1) cause a denial of service (prevention of new connections and connection drop) by queuing the maximum number of file descriptors or (2) cause a denial of service (disconnect) via multiple messages that combine to...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.