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Agency Recovers From Computer Break-Ins (State Department)
My Way News ^ | 7/11/06 | TED BRIDIS/AP

Posted on 07/11/2006 5:03:12 PM PDT by wagglebee

WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department is recovering from large-scale computer break-ins worldwide over the past several weeks that appeared to target its headquarters and offices dealing with China and North Korea, The Associated Press has learned.

Investigators believe hackers stole sensitive U.S. information and passwords and implanted backdoors in unclassified government computers to allow them to return at will, said U.S. officials familiar with the hacking. These people spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the widespread intrusions and the resulting investigation.

The break-ins and the State Department's emergency response severely limited Internet access at many locations, including some headquarters offices in Washington, these officials said. Internet connections have been restored across nearly all the department since the break-ins were recognized in mid-June.

"The department did detect anomalies in network traffic, and we thought it prudent to ensure out system's integrity," department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said. Asked what information was stolen by the hackers, Cooper said, "Because the investigation is continuing, I don't think we even know."

Tracing the origin of such break-ins is difficult. But employees told AP the hackers appeared to hit computers especially hard at headquarters and inside the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, which coordinates diplomacy in countries including China, the Koreas and Japan. In the tense weeks preceding North Korea's missile tests, that bureau lost its Internet connectivity for several days.

China's government was considered by experts a chief suspect in computer break-ins at the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies disclosed last summer. But China also is home to a large number of insecure computers and networks that hackers in other countries could use to disguise their locations and launch attacks.

The Pentagon warned earlier this year that China's army is emphasizing hacking as an offensive weapon. It cited Chinese military exercises in 2005 that included hacking "primarily in first strikes against enemy networks."

After the State Department break-ins, many employees were instructed to change their passwords. The department also temporarily disabled a technology known as secure sockets layer, used to transmit encrypted information over the Internet. Hackers can exploit weaknesses in this technology to break into computers, and they can use the same technology to transmit stolen information covertly off a victim's network.

Many diplomats were unable to access their online bank accounts using government computers because most financial institutions require the security technology to be turned on. Cooper said the department has since fixed that problem.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chicoms; china; computerfraud; hackers; northkorea; statedepartment
The Clinton legacy lives on.
1 posted on 07/11/2006 5:03:16 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee
A "My Zone Alarm goes crazy from all the probes from (Red) China" bump.

5.56mm

2 posted on 07/11/2006 5:06:01 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: wagglebee

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1663957/posts


3 posted on 07/11/2006 5:08:07 PM PDT by RDTF ("We love death. The US loves life. That is the big difference between us two. Osama Bin laden)
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To: RDTF

Sorry the search missed it.


4 posted on 07/11/2006 5:16:52 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

no biggie - just more info. Wish they had left it in breaking news, I think it is a significant story


5 posted on 07/11/2006 5:18:08 PM PDT by RDTF ("We love death. The US loves life. That is the big difference between us two. Osama Bin laden)
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To: wagglebee
North Korea is developing a formidable CYBER TERROR team, one of them under development at Kim Il Song University in Pyongyang--generally a five year program. Mirim Military College, in the North Korean mountains, is another one. These are actually cyber specialists in the Korean People's Army, not civilians. They are, in short, "cyber soldiers".

In 2004, they had 600 enrolled. There are more now for sure. They have been given a special operational status, just recently, in the Korean Workers Party (the Communist Party) structure. I wouldn't be surprised to see their fingerprints all over this--and I would guess this was their first major assignment, in advance of the TPD and Nodong/Scud/SS-22 launches.

6 posted on 07/11/2006 5:49:54 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (A few clever bones tossed on gay unions, flag burning & Iraq still don't absolve GWB over BORDERS)
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To: wagglebee

China war begins


7 posted on 07/11/2006 6:07:06 PM PDT by wildcatf4f3 (high compression hothead here)
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To: wildcatf4f3

And of course, it could be China behind it, too.


8 posted on 07/11/2006 6:29:57 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (A few clever bones tossed on gay unions, flag burning & Iraq still don't absolve GWB over BORDERS)
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To: wagglebee

The Mafisoft legacy lives on.

What a bunch of morons. Wanna bet they use WINDOSE software?


9 posted on 07/11/2006 7:00:13 PM PDT by observer5 ("Better violate the rights of a few, than of all!)
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To: observer5

Mafia$oft that is!

I guess there is no limit to the stupidity of people.


10 posted on 07/11/2006 7:01:33 PM PDT by observer5 ("Better violate the rights of a few, than of all!)
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To: wagglebee

My first thought is that this is war; dark plans are well under way. While the zombies downtown hold up signs against Israel, not far from a church they would find some excellent sunglasses being distributed from.


11 posted on 07/11/2006 8:16:47 PM PDT by MonicaG (Grateful to our troops & veterans - thank you!!!)
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