OPM Hack, Lies Came First, Truth Creeps out Slowly

We are conditioned to hearing the lies first from the administration stemming from an event affecting the homeland security and the citizens within. It takes months, sometimes years for the truth to be known, and it must be said, suspicions still remain. Stinks huh?

Such is the case with the Office of Personnel Management hack that took place several months ago. The numbers and depth of the hack are getting published that are closer to the truth….. the truth has no agenda but achieving the whole truth takes enduring tenacity.

Unconfirmed chatter but apparently during the diplomatic and business visit by China President Xi, Barack Obama will not address the hacking except perhaps is a side meeting with lower level staffers. The mission by the White House is to defer to the corporations such as Boeing and Microsoft to target the matter of hacking with China.

OPM Now Admits 5.6 Million Fed’s Fingerprints were Stolen by Hackers

Wired: by Andy Greenberg > When hackers steal your password, you change it. When hackers steal your fingerprints, they’ve got an unchangeable credential that lets them spoof your identity for life. When they steal 5.6 million of those irrevocable biometric identifiers from U.S. federal employees—many with secret clearances—well, that’s very bad.

On Wednesday, the Office of Personnel Management admitted that the number of federal employees’ fingerprints compromised in the massive breach of its servers revealed over the summer has grown from 1.1 million to 5.6 million. OPM, which serves as a sort of human resources department for the federal government, didn’t respond to WIRED’s request for comment on who exactly those fingerprints belong to within the federal government. But OPM had previously confirmed that the data of 21.5 million federal employees was potentially compromised by the hack—which likely originated in China—and that those victims included intelligence and military employees with security clearances.

The revelation comes at a particularly ironic time: During the U.S. visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping, who said at a public appearance in Seattle that the Chinese government doesn’t condone hacking of U.S. targets, and pledged to partner with the U.S. to curb cybercrime.

“As part of the government’s ongoing work to notify individuals affected by the theft of background investigation records, the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense have been analyzing impacted data to verify its quality and completeness,” reads OPM’s statement posted to its website. “During that process, OPM and [the Department of Defense] identified archived records containing additional fingerprint data not previously analyzed. Of the 21.5 million individuals whose Social Security Numbers and other sensitive information were impacted by the breach, the subset of individuals whose fingerprints have been stolen has increased from a total of approximately 1.1 million to approximately 5.6 million.”

OPM adds that it’s mailing letters to all affected victims, and notes that it’s also offering them free credit monitoring. But that identity theft protection, which cost $133 million in likely misspent tax dollars, doesn’t begin to address the national security implications of having the fingerprints of high-level federal officials in the hands of hackers who are potentially employed by a foreign government.

OPM downplayed the significance of that biometric breach in its statement, adding that “federal experts believe that, as of now, the ability to misuse fingerprint data is limited.” When WIRED asked about those limitations, however, an OPM spokesperson wrote only that “law enforcement and intelligence communities are best positioned to give the most fulsome answer.”

The agency’s statement does admit that hackers’ ability to exploit the stolen fingerprints “could change over time as technology evolves,” perhaps as more biometric authentication features are built into federal government security systems. And it says it’s assembled an interagency working group that includes officials from the Pentagon, FBI, DHS, and intelligence agencies to review the problem. “This group will also seek to develop potential ways to prevent such misuse,” the statement reads. “If, in the future, new means are developed to misuse the fingerprint data, the government will provide additional information to individuals whose fingerprints may have been stolen in this breach.”

The increased number of stolen fingerprints represents only the latest in a series of calamitous revelations from OPM about the hacker intrusion that led to the resignation of the agency’s director Katherine Archuleta in July. Aside from the 21.5 million social security numbers taken by attackers and the newly confessed 5.6 million fingerprints, the agency has also confirmed that hackers gained access to many victims’ SF-86 forms, security clearance questionnaires that include highly personal information such as previous drug use or extramarital affairs that could be used for blackmail.

“The American people have no reason to believe that they’ve heard the full story and every reason to believe that Washington assumes they are too stupid or preoccupied to care about cyber security,” Senator Ben Sasse wrote today in an email.

For the hackers who cracked OPM’s vault of highly private information, it’s the gift to foreign intelligence that keeps on giving.


Hey Vegas, Seen this Clintonista at a Casino Lately?


Charlie Trie’s and Ng Lap Seng’s Laundered Contributions to the DNC Introduction
Former Little Rock, Arkansas, restaurateur Yah Lin “Charlie” Trie and Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng collaborated in a scheme to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign funds to the DNC. Ng wired over one million dollars from accounts he maintains in Macau and Hong Kong to accounts maintained by or accessible to Trie in Little Rock and Washington, D.C. Although Trie held himself out as an international trader (and, in fact, actively sought to develop an international trading business he called Daihatsu International Trading Corporation), he was never successful. Trie’s bank records and tax returns reveal that he received little or no income from sources other than Ng Lap Seng.
Although he failed to establish a successful, income-generating international trading business, Trie, his wife and his businesses managed to contribute a total of $220,000 to the DNC between 1994 and 1996. Trie and Ng also reimbursed the contributions made by a number of other DNC contributors who were recruited by Trie in order to further disguise the ultimate source of the contributions. As Trie earned little money through his own business activities, the Committee concludes that Trie used the foreign-source funds wired from Ng to make his (and his wife’s and businesses’) DNC contributions and to reimburse the conduit contributors. The Justice Department indicted Trie for these illegal activities on January 28, 1998. More here.

Over this past weekend:

Chinese Businessman Arrested For Sneaking $4.5M in Cash into US

FreeBeacon: A Chinese businessman accused of illegally funneling foreign money to the Democratic National Committee ahead of Bill Clinton’s reelection in 1996 has been arrested for sneaking upwards of $4.5 million into the United States.

The New York Post reported that 68-year-old Ng Lap Seng, a real estate developer, and interpreter Jeff Yin were arrested Saturday for smuggling millions in cash from China to U.S. airports over two years, Manhattan federal court records indicate.

Ng smuggled the total of more than $4.5 million in cash into the U.S. over roughly 10 trips between China and the states between 2013 and 2015, according to the criminal complaint.

The businessman and his interpreter were scooped up by authorities after they told Customs and Border Patrol that the $400,000 in cash they had on hand was for gambling and purchasing paintings and then brought the money to Queens, N.Y.

It is unclear what has happened to the rest of the money.

Though never ultimately charged, Ng played a role in the “Donorgate” scandal before the 1996 elections that resulted in Clinton ally Charlie Trie pleading guilty to violating campaign finance laws in 1999.

Ng transferred approximately $1.4 million to Trie, also a Chinese businessman, who then gave the funds to the DNC before Bill Clinton’s reelection.

FBI Declines Cooperation with State Dept. Hillary Server

Update: More data released via Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch today released more than 50 pages of new emails from the clintonemail.com server account of Huma Abedin, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton during her tenure in the State Department. The emails discuss seemingly sensitive security and foreign affairs issues and raise questions about the handling of classified material during Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.  The documents were obtained as result of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking Huma Abedin’s government business emails conducted on non-state.gov email accounts (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)).  The emails were produced from a search of State Department records, as the agency continues to delay full production of records turned over by Ms. Abedin recently.

In 2012, then-Secretary of State Clinton traveled to Finland (June 27-28), Latvia (June 28), Russia (June 28-29), and Switzerland (June 29-30).  On June 26, 2012, former Principal Deputy Executive Secretary Pamela Quanrud, writes to Abedin:

Huma – if I could lobby to get to Geneva on Friday night. We have a big data dump to get from beth jones and others there to prep for Saturday, and it would be a lot better for us to work through the night there (with access to classified) than be stuck in St. Pete with no classified at all.

Abedin responds from her [email protected] account the next morning (June 27):

i had no idea about no comms

of course

we need secure

makes total sense

The emails show Abedin used the non-secure clintonemail.com server to discuss sensitive travel and operations security information that could have placed the personal security of Clinton and other government officials at risk, such as real-time location information while traveling abroad, and other hotel and travel arrangements.

On May 31, 2012, as Clinton and her State Department entourage are traveling in Scandinavia, Abedin writes to Clinton’s then-Special Assistant Lona J. Valmoro:

Abedin to Valmoro: “Let me know when u r leaving.”

Valmoro: “We are en route to airport now. Could we do during the 45 minute drive from Oslo airport to hotel.  Everyone can dial into Ops and will have minis.”

Abedin: “When? Who’s in car with her?”

Valmoro: “Cheryl is with her now. If we are wheels up by 9:35 pm, land at 11:25, start call by 11:35 or 5:35 pm EDT?

Abedin: “[I] could barely hear [Hillary Clinton] with the background….”

On June 25, 2012, Abedin writes that she is willing to discuss travel details while on a “packed train.” With the subject line “Could we get on the phone together at 11:30 – in advance of the [Russia] trip call?” Abedin writes to several people, including Quanrud:

I see call got moved to noon. We can talk right before then if you want. All shuttles were canceled this morning and I am sitting on a packed train so hard for me to talk but we can def do calls. [Emphasis added]

Other emails also provide details of Clinton’s plans and schedules for the 2012 trip that included Russia, including the timing of calls on trip planning.

The documents show that State Department officials sent duplicate emails about government business to Abedin’s official State Department address and her clintonemail.com account.

Other emails show sensitive foreign affairs information is contained on Abedin’s Clinton server account.  A June29, 2012, email discloses a move to hold a meeting concerning Syria in Geneva.  Pamela Quanrud writes Abedin and Clinton aide Valmoro an email with the subject:  “UK and P3 meeting requests”:

UK has asked to meet at 8:45 ahead of a 9:30 with UK.US and France to coordinate. Jake thought P3 meeting necessary – what about UK? Should we say yes to 8:45?

Abedin writes back two hours later:

UK meaning hague?

Another email details a request from the Iraqi Foreign Minister for a bilateral discussion with Clinton.  Abedin uses her clintonemail.com account to approve the “pull aside,” writing, “fine to add to list.”

Another document shows Abedin approving, weeks ahead of time, the Hanoi Sheraton for Clinton’s trip on July 10-11, 2013, to Vietnam.  A June 22, 2012, email from Tulinabo S. Mushingi, who is now the U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, details the hotel options in Hanoi for Abedin, with Sheraton as the number one option.  The email details both the luxury and security aspects of the hotel:

The Sheraton hosted the Secretary in July 2010 and October 2010 and much of the hotel staff remains, so they know the drill The July 2010 visit S stayed in the Imperial Suite (shown in attachment and the suite available for this visit); in October 2010, since another Head of State was also in the Sheraton and occupied the Imperial Suite S stayed in the Presidential Suite. The Imperial suite is spacious and very bright and airy, with lake views. It has a large bathroom with Jacuzzi style tub and walk in shower. The Sheraton was redecorated and refurbished within the past 12 months, so it is in excellent condition and is very attractive. From a logistics perspective the hotel is excellent as it has a very large parking area for staging motorcades. It’s location is in close proximity to government buildings where most meetings are likely to be held.


P.S. Post reminded us that the entire focus of the Hanoi stop is to promote U.S. businesses and trade. Given the purpose of the stop, the optics of staying at the available quality American name brand hotels would carry the same message, hence another for choosing The Sheraton.

Mushingi also suggests that one other hotel choice is not up to par in that “the suite bathroom is nice, but not quite to the standard of the Sheraton.”

Again, Abedin receives and responds to this email on her non-government account, writing back the next day:

Sheraton worked perfectly fine.

On August 8, in response to a FOIA lawsuit, Judicial Watch obtained a sworn declaration from the former secretary of state in which she claimed to have turned over to the agency “all my e-mails on clintonemail.com” and conceded that “Huma Abedin did have such an account which was used at times for government business.”  Neither the State Department, Clinton, nor Abedin has provided information about the status of Abedin’s emails (or the emails of any other government employee) on the clintonemail.com server.

“These emails Judicial Watch forced out through a federal lawsuit show that Huma Abedin used her separate clintonemail.com account to conduct the most sensitive government business, endangering not only her safety but the safety of Hillary Clinton and countless others,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “And why would Ms. Abedin and Mrs. Clinton use this unsecure system to discuss foreign affairs and sensitive matters such as the Syria conflict?  Hillary Clinton’s email games were a danger to the nation’s security.”

The FBI is probing Hillary Clinton’s personal email and data server but will not provide any progress report or findings to the Department of Justice or the State Department. Further, the FBI refuses to even reveal to the State Department exactly what the FBI technology team is researching. The judge has forced the State Department to cooperate with the FBI but it is clearly not a two way street.

One particular area of concern for the FBI team is to determine the evidence of hacking which could in fact be used to build on existing foreign hacking investigations. For the FBI to determine digital traces of foreign intelligence services and even more the likelihood of damage assessments is tantamount to the FBI investigation in the realm of cyber-espionage. The FBI is owning this process exclusively and not collaborating with the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, at least at this time.


FBI refuses to cooperate in Hillary Clinton email server probe

WashingtonTimes: The FBI refused to cooperate Monday with a court-ordered inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email server, telling the State Department that they won’t even confirm they are investigating the matter themselves, much less willing to tell the rest of the government what’s going on.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had ordered the State Department to talk with the FBI and see what sort of information could be recovered from Mrs. Clinton’s email server, which her lawyer has said she turned over to the Justice Department over the summer.

The FBI’s refusal, however, leaves things muddled. “At this time, consistent with long-standing Department of Justice and FBI policy, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation, nor are we in a position to provide additional information at this time,” FBI General Counsel James A. Baker wrote in a letter dated Monday — a week after the deadline the Justice Department had set for the FBI to reply.

Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that is pursuing at least 16 open-records cases seeking emails from Mrs. Clinton and her top aides, said at this point it’s not even clear what Mrs. Clinton provided, since all that’s been made public at this point are the former secretary of state’s public comments and some assertions, made through her lawyer, to the State Department.

Judicial Watch is prodding the courts to try to delve more deeply into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and the group said a number of questions persevere about both Mrs. Clinton and top aides such as Huma Abedin, who did public business on an account tied to the server Mrs. Clinton maintained.

“We still do not know whether the FBI – or any other government agency for that matter – has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department,” Judicial Watch said.

“We also do not know whether the server purportedly in the possession of the FBI – an assumption based on unsworn statements by third parties – is the actual email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department or whether it is a copy of such an email server. Nor do we know whether any copies of the email server or copies of the records from the email server exist,” the group said in its own court filingMonday afternoon.

Judicial Watch did release more than 50 pages Monday of emails it obtained from Ms. Abedin’s account on Mrs. Clinton’s server, and said it was clear she was talking about “sensitive” topics that shouldn’t have been discussed on an insecure account.

Many of those were details of Mrs. Clinton’s movements overseas, such as hotels she was staying at.

“These emails Judicial Watch forced out through a federal lawsuit show that Huma Abedin used her separate clintonemail.com account to conduct the most sensitive government business, endangering not only her safety but the safety of Hillary Clinton and countless others,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

He questioned what reason Ms. Abedin — who did maintain an account, [email protected], on State.gov servers — would have for using the other account for important business. Mrs. Clinton said she kept only one account, the one on the clintonemail.com server, because it was more convenient, but that reasoning does not appear to apply to Ms. Abedin.

The State Department is making all of Mrs. Clinton’s emails public under order of Judge Rudolph Contreras. But the department has said it won’t make all of the emails public from Ms. Abedin or other top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills or Philippe Reines. Instead the department only plans to release those messages specifically requested in open-records demands.

Mrs. Clinton turned over about 30,000 email messages in December, while her aides turned over more than 100,000 pages between them, with the final set only being returned, by Ms. Abedin, earlier this month, the department said in court filings.

Without those documents in hand, the State Department has been unable to do full and complete searches in response to subpoenas, congressional inquiries or Freedom of Information Act requests.

The State Department has asked for dozens of cases to be put on hold while it tries to get a single judge to coordinate all of its searches in more than two dozen cases. But the people requesting the records have objected, and say the State Department has nobody to blame but itself.

“The State Department acts as if Ms. Abedin’s and Ms. Mills’ documents fell from the sky on the eve of the State Department’s production deadline, but that is not remotely the case,” Citizens United, one of the plaintiffs who’s sued under the FOIA, said in a filing late last week.

Citizens United says the State Department missed its own deadline for producing Ms. Mills’s and Ms. Abedin’s documents.

The Obama administration countered that it went above and beyond its duties under the law by asking Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills to return their records and then to search them in response to open-records requests. The State Department says it’s moving as quickly as possible, but says the sheer number of documents — and the number of requests for them — calls for a stay in most cases.

But of the 26 requests where the State Department has sought to halt proceedings, six have already been denied. Only one has been granted, one was granted in part and denied in part by the same judge, and another is being held in abeyance.

The State Department told one of the federal judges Monday that it’s facing nearly 100 different open-records lawsuits — not all of them related to Mrs. Clinton’s email server — that have stretched officials to their limit.

Monday’s FBI letter underscores the tangled situation Mrs. Clinton’s emails have produced. The letter was addressed to Mary McLeod, a lawyer at the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI — and which means, in effect, that the FBI is refusing to talk to its own parent department about the matter.

Mr. Baker pointedly noted in his letter that he was aware the response would be submitted to the court, which would presumably make it public.

Earlier this month the Justice Department, in another pleading, insisted Mrs. Clinton didn’t do anything wrong in being the one who decided which of her messages were official business records that must be returned to the government, and which were purely personal and able to be expunged.

Judicial Watch said that raises thorny questions for a department that is supposedly investigating Mrs. Clinton.

Last week Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, called for Attorney General Loretta Lynch to name a special counsel to oversee the investigation, citing too many potential conflicts of interest.

Stop the Migrants, Support H.R. 3314

No one, including the FBI, law enforcement or even the State Department can or will assure much less guarantee there will be NO risk to our national security. It must also be noted, the migrants are from many countries including Afghanistan, Iran and even Pakistan to list a few.

Top 10 nationalities applying for asylum in Germany

Congressman Brian Babin of Texas is striking back hard on the immigration issue with direct attention placed on the migrant issue in Europe as the White House and the State Department are preparing to increase the number of migrants up to 100,000.

Representative Babin has introduced legislation, H.R. 3314 that requires our attention and support to advance it in the House.

Meanwhile, per orders of the White House, the taxpayer is giving yet another $419 million to Syrian refugees.

The United States will give $419 million more in humanitarian aid to assist Syrian refugees and the countries that are hosting them, administration officials said Monday.

The new aid brings the total U.S. donation since the Syrian conflict began in 2011 to $4.5 billion, more than any other country. It was announced a day after Secretary of State John F. Kerry said the United States would raise its annual refu­gee resettlement cap from 70,000 this fiscal year to 85,000 next year and 100,000 in 2017.

The United States has been the single largest donor of humanitarian aid to Syrians who have been displaced within their war-torn country or who have become refugees. But the administration has been criticized for not admitting more Syrians to America in the face of an epic wave of people fleeing the war zone. More details here.

The migrant issue in Europe has surpassed critical conditions, with regard to costs, housing, medical assistance, rescue/recovery, food, transportation, paperwork processing, jobs and challenges the legal system.

Embedded image permalink

The Hungarian government placed full-page advertisements in Lebanese and Jordanian newspapers Monday, warning migrants that they can be jailed if they enter the country illegally.

The “strongest possible action is taken against those who attempt to enter Hungary illegally,” the ads said in English and Arabic. Lebanon is reported to host nearly 1.2 million Syrian refugees while around 630,000 are currently in Jordan.

Speaking in parliament Monday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said millions of migrants are “laying siege” to Europe’s borders.

He said “the migrants are not just banging on our door, they are breaking it down” and insisted that razor-wire fences the country is building on its borders with Serbia, Croatia and Romania are needed to defend Hungary and Europe, the Associated Press reported.

Hungary closed its border with Serbia on Sept. 15 and reopened it Sunday for vehicles, which are being checked by authorities.

In Turkey overnight, about 700 mainly Syrians who waited at Istanbul’s main bus station for a week after authorities suspended ticket sales to the northwestern town of Edirne, set off on foot toward the town — 150 miles away near the Greek border — in an effort to reach Europe, Agence France-Presse reported.

Some managed to board buses and private vehicles en route, but those who failed to do so were blocked by police about 31 miles from Istanbul, according to the news agency.

In Greece, fewer boats than normal landed on the island of Lesbos — a major transit point for Syrian refugees heading to Europe from Turkey — on Monday morning, ahead of an expected thunderstorm, Reuters reported.

It came after 13 migrants died when their boat collided with a ferry off Turkey on Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees, many of them from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea, have headed to Europe this year fleeing conflict at home as countries along the route struggle to cope.

Monday, Austrian police spokesman Helmut Marban said nearly 24,000 refugees entered the country during the weekend, and another 3,200 arrived at the Nickelsdorf crossing — the main border crossing from Hungary — on Monday morning. Greek police also said 8,500 asylum-seekers crossed into neighboring Macedonia in the last 24 hours, the AP reported.

Foreign ministers from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were meeting Monday, and were expected to voice opposition to Germany’s call for a more even distribution of migrants, the BBC reported. Germany says it is expecting at least 800,000 migrants this year.

European Union interior ministers are due to discuss the crisis on Tuesday and on Wednesday, EU leaders will gather for an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on how to deal with the influx of migrants and refugees.

The Croatian government said that 29,000 refugees entered the country by 6 a.m. local time Monday.

Speaking at a camp housing migrants near the eastern town of Tovarnik, Croatia’s Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic said he will seek to stop the flow of migrants from Greece at Tuesday’s meeting, Reuters reported.

He added: “It is absolutely unacceptable to have Greece emptying its refugee camps and sending people towards Croatia via Macedonia and Serbia.”

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said that the U.S. will accept 85,000 refugees from around the world next year, up from the previous quota of 70,000. He also said the total would rise to 100,000 in 2017.

USA TODAY reporter Kim Hjelmgaard is currently traveling the land route taken by many migrants from Lesbos, Greece, to Berlin, Germany. Follow his journey here:


Obama Admin Rewards China in Spite of Hacking


Every president stays at the Waldorf Astoria in New York especially during a United Nations General Assembly. Yet, since China bought the iconic hotel, the White House has expressed real concerns over intelligence conflicts, spying and hacking, hence Obama will not use the Waldorf hotel during his stay.

The Crime, Chinese Hacking

Report: Chinese Hackers Used OPM Data To Steal US Military Intel; ‘Significant Risk To US Military’

EXCLUSIVE TO FORBES: Screen shot of directory of data stolen by Iron Tiger from U.S. Defense Contractor Source: Trend Micro

Chinese hackers used data stolen from April’s OPM breach in recent thefts of terabytes of sensitive data from U.S. defense contractors, according to Trend Micro’s Vice President of Cybersecurity Thomas Kellerman. As previously reported, Trend Micro published a report on Thursday entitled Operation Iron Tiger, detailing these extensive confirmed breaches by Chinese cyber spies.

In followup to yesterday’s article on this report, I interviewed Kellerman and had further discussions last night with Dr. Ziv Chang, Sr. Director, Cyber Safety Solutions, Core Technology at Trend Micro and lead author on the report. No contact has been made with Trend representatives since last night. Kellerman stated during that interview that he believes OPM data was used in formulating the attacks discussed in the Iron Tiger Report.

OPM data was used in formulating attacks on U.S. military interests

Kellerman said he believes that data stolen from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in the April 2015 breach of the OPM systems has been and is being used by Chinese cyber spies, named by Trend Micro as “Iron Tiger.” He said that the OPM data enabled Iron Tiger to precisely target U.S. military contractor victims as well as to know the types of information each victim would hold, determine the best methods to use to attack them and to execute attacks.

Theft of highly-sensitive, mission critical data 

When asked to characterize the types of data that Iron Tiger targeted on contractor systems Chang commented that the following types of data were targeted and exfiltrated:

  • Base Operations Support
  • Engineering, Procurement & Construction
  • Information Technology & Systems Engineering
  • Intelligence Analytics & Training
  • Language & Cultural Analysis
  • Operations and Maintenance
  • Security Assessment & Training


Stolen data presents a significant and serious risk to US military interests

Both Kellerman and Chang confirmed when asked that the data stolen by Iron Tiger presented a significant and serious risk to U.S. military interests and operations. Kellerman said that appropriate representatives within the US government had been notified and provided a copy of the report as well as all relevant details not included in the report such as victim (target) names and data stolen, two days before Trend Micro made the report public on its site. The latest data hacks by Iron Tiber on U.S. military interests were observed was August 21, 2015.

Kellerman stated that he believes the attacks are ongoing but may be slowed in response to global discussions about possible sanctions for breaches on civilian entites. Trend Micro is continuing to monitor the group and will report to victims and authorities as appropriate, Kellerman said. Much more here.

The Reward for China

A computer rendering of the XpressWest train.

China, U.S. Reach Agreement on High-Speed Rail Before Xi Visit

Bloomberg: A China Railway Group-led consortium andXpressWest Enterprises LLC will form a joint venture to build a high-speed railway linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles, the first Chinese-made bullet-train project in the U.S.

Construction of the 370-kilometer (230-mile) Southwest Rail Network will begin as soon as next September, according to a statement from Shu Guozeng, an official with the Communist Party’s leading group on financial and economic affairs. The project comes after four years of negotiations and will be supported by $100 million in initial capital. The statement didn’t specify the project’s expected cost or completion date.

The agreement, signed days before PresidentXi Jinping’s state visit to the U.S., is a milestone in China’s efforts to market its high-speed rail technology in advanced economies. The country has beenpushing the technology primarily in emerging markets — often with a sales pitch from PremierLi Keqiang– as a means to project political influence. A $567 million contract last October to supply trains forBoston’s subway system was China’s first rail-related deal in the U.S.

The agreement also represents an important victory in China’s high-speed rail rivalry withJapan, as the two countries havecompeted for train contracts throughout Asia. The parent company ofJR Central, Japan’s largest bullet-train maker, hadexpressed interest in the Los Angeles-Las Vegas line several years ago, and China and Japan are both expected tobid to supply train cars for a proposed high-speed rail line in California’s Central Valley.

“This is the first high-speed railway project where China and the U.S. will have systematic cooperation,” Yang Zhongmin, a deputy chief engineer with China Railway Group, said after a news conference in Beijing. “It shows the advancement of China-made high-speed railways.”

The Los Angeles-Las Vegas project will create new technology, manufacturing and construction jobs in the region, Shu’s statement said.

Through July, China had built more than 17,000 kilometers (10,565 miles) of domestic high-speed rail lines, according to the officialXinhua News Agency.

Apart from the railway project, China National Machinery Industry Corp. andGeneral Electric Co. signed a memo of understanding to invest $327 million to develop 60 wind power stations in Kenya, Shu said at the Beijing news conference.

During Xi’svisit starting next week, China and the U.S. are expected to reach agreements on trade, energy, climate, finance, aviation, defense and infrastructure construction, China Foreign MinisterWang Yi said Wednesday. Xi is due to visitBoeing Co.’s factory in Everett, Washington as China makes a push to build its own passenger planes.

“Economic and trade cooperation will be a major topic for president Xi’s visit to the U.S.,” Shu said in Beijing. “China and the U.S. share common interests and have solid foundation for cooperation.”