back to article Obama's new cyber-security tactics finger corrupt staff, China

The White House has unveiled a fresh strategy for combating the theft of American trade secrets - days after a high-profile Chinese cyber-espionage campaign against US corporate giants was exposed. The strategy, outlined in a 141-page report [PDF] published on Wednesday, focuses on a five-part plan featuring diplomatic efforts …


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  1. frank ly

    A sleeping giant awakes

    "These acts also diminish US export prospects around the globe and put American jobs at risk."

    So, they're going to do something about that unpatriotic group of American companies that have their manufacturing done in China? I skim read it; have I understood this correctly?

    1. Gordon Fecyk

      Like, say, anti-virus firms?

      So, they're going to do something about that unpatriotic group of American companies that have their manufacturing done in China? I skim read it; have I understood this correctly?

      I sure hope so.

  2. wiggers

    Top tip

    If you have a computer with secrets on it, don't connect it to the public internet. Bletchley Park demonstrated decades ago that any mechanically generated (or electronic for that matter) code can be cracked given enough resources.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    I'm reading that Mandiant report right now....

    Scary stuff, if what they say is true. A unit of the People's Liberation Army, missioned with electronic industrial espionage on an extremely large scale, with hundreds (perhaps thousands) of employees at it's disposal, and focused on strategic industries within English-speaking countries. Charming.

    If true, there are probably other, smaller units looking at the Japanese, Germans, French, Russians.....

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: I'm reading that Mandiant report right now....

      Hi, Marketing Hack,

      There's an interesting series of articles on Mandiant's credibility in the market place and on Chinese Hackers and Security Malware Theater, here .... ..... where the view appears to be that there is much talk of doing a good job to elicit federal funds and get themselves on the Washington gravy train, but as for genuine performance in the security and prevention field, well .... that be another matter altogether with probable bluster being all that is being provided.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm reading that Mandiant report right now....

        What!!? A technology-related concern playing to Washington's fears of godless commies in order to make a living!?! Say it ain't so!!

        If the history of Silicon Valley shows us anything, there's only one place where this kind of malfeasance leads--tens of thousands of acres of peaceful fruit and nut trees being plowed under to make way for tilt-ups, corporate headquarters and housing tracts, with the final stage being the arrival of Jamba Juice, gourmet coffee and electronics retailers on every corner! (Ah, Fairchild Semiconductor, you little scamps--what hast thou wrought?!)

      2. charlie-charlie-tango-alpha
        Black Helicopters

        Re: I'm reading that Mandiant report right now....

        They are quite well embedded over here too. See for example.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm reading that Mandiant report right now....

        This is how the US gravy train of fear, lies, implications and other mechanisms of the fastidious fascist states work...

        To be sure, the Merikens are always framing up them, those and over there, as the enemy - it gives them something to get all excited about as they lay in their beds at night, rifle in one hand, dick in the other....

        "The guv-ment sed"

        And instead of admitting that the government is just a global banksters pawn of the corporations, and that they are dummb fucks who are easily led, they declare that anyone else who thinks different is UN American, and UN partriotic and is probably an El-Pinko Carm-yew-nist.

        The whole lovely American propoganda machine.......

        John Pilger - War on Democracy.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Pot meet kettle, goose meet gander.

    :-) It is a bit rich and highly hypocritical of the US to be crying wolf on the cyber espionage activities of others whenever the US is itself an active player determined to be top gun/dog in the field, as is evidenced by the testimony of Michael Hayden, former CIA director, who one assumes might know more than just a bit about what is going on around everyone.

    Here he spills the beans on a lot of things, and admits to the US doing everything which everyone else is doing and trying to be much better at it too, because it is so lucrative and nationally and internationally important ........ Michael Hayden on National Security in the Digital Age, Feb 19, 2013. Just accept that it is only natural and there is virtually nothing really effective you can do about it to stop it, other than to be more intelligent than others.

    I suppose though, that is the root cause of the problem for those who would be crying wolf ..... a lack of intelligence service and supply. But hey, if there is a deficit, buy in what is needed. It is that simple.

  5. Ole Juul

    Closer to home - indeed

    How about looking at their OS of choice?

  6. W. Anderson

    USA & Cyber Attacks

    While President Obama may be the most "tech savvy" president to-date, he is unfortunately getting a lot of incomplete and bad advice from all the "corporate heads" in his administration about the risks of Cyber Attacks against the USA.

    As long as many, if no most of the corporations, academia, State and Federal Government agencies and many organizations here in America continue to rely on and prefer software technologies that have proven time and again to be poor in reliability and security, then all the diplomacy, get tough" bravado and piece meal/bandaid tactics will not secure the USA infrastructure any more than now.

    Not long ago, Richard Clark - Federal Cyber Czar under both Bush and Obama administrations, who coordinated and oversaw such national security operations between the Department of Homeland Security, Dept. of Defense, Fortune 100 Corporations, Technology giants and the National Security Agency - concluded in federal reports that one of the critical technology threats to the USA in the twenty first century was Microsoft software and the proliferation it enjoys in use throughout the country.

    The conclusions reached in this comprehensive report, are borne out weekly and monthly by the details of the vast majority of successful Cyber attacks, and the dilemma faced every day in all aspects of life by the disaster of quality and security in Microsoft's very popular software ecosystem.

    Microsoft maybe one of the most successful and richest corporations in USA, but these achievement have little if anything to do with any technological creativity and competence, or any "real" innovation from them. That history won't pass muster in this new age that requires incredible technology chops and fore thought.

    Unless and until Americans come to grips with this reality and address the problem face on, all the other measures as put forth by the President and Congress are just fly swatting.

    The USA is paying the price of subservience and acquiescence to Redmond, Washington.

    1. Fatman

      Re: USA & Cyber Attacks

      Your second paragraph sums it up nicely.

      Trying to change embedded corporate and academic 'behavior' will be about as fruitless as getting a metric ton of manure to display intelligence. Only those who see the danger in kneeling at the altar of Redmond, and have migrated from that unholy abomination known as Windows, can reasonably rest at night, not worrying about what will hit the fan when the next attack hits.

      I recall some enlightened comment about stupidity and repetitiveness, and expecting a different outcome each time; but my mind isn't what it used to be.

  7. Nuno trancoso

    Wish that for once the zealots would step off their high horses and remembered that while Winblows is by and large the ultimate security hole, they also have by and far the largest userbase. Move everyone off Wintel land and start watching *nix get the beating from catering to (l)users.

    No matter how secure your OS/apps is, it won't stop pbcak, thus, will ultimately also fail.

    Dully remember, just because you have thousands of eyes on the source doesn't mean the flaw didn't go unnoticed. "Prior art" of existing *nix exploits proves this to be correct.

    Win, by being ubiquitous, has a target painted in it's forehead. Are you sure you wanna borrow that?

    p.s. bad security practices are NOT OS dependent. If we all move to "system z", you can expect the "clowns in control" to mess that one too.

  8. W. Anderson

    expected commenter excuses and distraction

    The commenter "nuno Transcoso" makes valid if redundant and boring obvious points that no software is totally immune from attack - as if anyone claims so, and that in many cases computer vulnerbilities can result from "human" error.

    If Microsoft swiss chess software were removed or replaced completely by UNIX/Linux based software, for example, tha would still result in an approximately 10,000 percent drop in security vulnerabilities as well as significantly increase reliability of computer use overall. Much more happy and less frustrated technology users.

    It is unlikely that Nuno Transcoso" has any expertise or knowledge beyond all those agencies and Richard Clark noted in my comment, and probably much less than most professional technologists not limited to Microsoft only technologies.

    Part of the problem here in USA is delusion of the masses as well as many business leaders, politicians and others in thinking that because the USA is the "greatest nation on earth", therefore everything from here, especially from Redmond, Washington is beyond reproach and danger.

    Ignorance and stupidity in any nation constitute national security threats.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No need to spy on Australia, they just ask Bob Hawke

    and he'll fly to China first-class to deliver whatever you want. Thanks for the noodles, mate!

  10. Rambler88

    the cloud's silver lining (for hackers)

    The more centralized are our data systems, the more vulnerable they will be, and the greater the incentive to hack the centers.

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Phew ....... IT's a Wrap. Can it.

    p.s. bad security practices are NOT OS dependent. If we all move to "system z", you can expect the "clowns in control" to mess that one too. ..... Nuno trancoso Posted Thursday 21st February 2013 23:31 GMT

    Quite so, Nuno trancoso, the systemic problem sits always between the chair and the keyboard ..... with humans being the weak link in all strong and long information chains of command and control. But that is not to say that they cannot evolve and morph into much more intelligent and ideally stable virtual machines, although I do appreciate that may be an alien concept and a boldly going step which may be presently a tad too far ahead of the mainstream to have them able to be SMARTR Enabled and HyperRadioProActive for Novel Leading Neuro Linguistic Programming. Fortunately, however, does it and IT not require the Many to be at their work, and freely internetworking and exchanging new knowledge for old secrets, for a Choice Few to have Many Gatherings of Mass Following Phishes for Colossal Consequential Collateral FX.

    Any beings/entities/orgs/Operational Stealth Services effective in the Intelligence Field of Hearts and Minds Capture and in IT Fields of Domain and Dominion with CyberIntelAIgent Security and Virtual Protection of Fungible Assets and Sensitive AIMethodologies, are not clones of clowns in control of chaos, for the Powers They Be, Control Commands in CHAOSystems....... Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems for Global Operating Devices and Virgin Galactic Interfaces.

    Never in the field of human development has so much been owed by so many to so few is an APT Application of Novel Leading Neuro Linguistic Programming and AI ProgramMING.

    cc Sir Richard re Novel Leading AI ProgramMING Projects from the Secured Comfort of Creative CyberSpace with Captivating Command and Crack Channel Control of Computers, Commuters and Communications.

    I Kid U Not, El Reg. And all of that designedly and decidedly puts you in a spooky prime quandary, for it betatests both for a crazy ability and mad enthusiasm to both lead and follow in breaking and in broken fields of intelligence endeavour which suffer not from the folly of fools who be just tools, both useful and useless.

    Have a nice day, y'all. And cheers, a pint would be most acceptable. Thanks.

  12. taxman


    'All the cited cases involve current or former employees of negotiable morals rather than infiltration by outside hackers.'

    So is this report then saying that if such activities had been caried out in the 50's then the modus would have been paper and camera? But now having entered the 21st Century (must be true as I saw a Thunderbird on a rescue mission just the other day - although foxes are now getting a raw deal) because the data/words/ thoughts transfered are held in/on magnetic/solid/organic/electro-conductive material that we now use the phrase dreaded by the good Doctor?

    Computer=Cyber? Although being flesh and blood myself I am a computer. So am also a cyber man?

  13. Tony Paulazzo

    Governments lie.

    The safest bet is to assume your government is lying to you now.

    Everything they say is obfuscation and double think.

    Unfortunately we can't just lay the blame on governments because The People are being complicit in the big lies.

    I do not see a way out of this conundrum.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Exterminate everyone.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: easy.

        easy. ..... Exterminate everyone.... theodore Posted Friday 22nd February 2013 12:56 GMT

        Err.... better edutain everyone with truly accurate information and advanced intelligence is not as drastic, theodore, and leads to entirely new worlds with greater levels of fabulous fabless order. And that is not difficult either, which has one wondering why it is not being done by those who are supposed to be serving the population with government and services.

        Are we to conclude that they are mostly incompetent and/or working to a hidden personal agenda which enriches them and theirs at the expense of everyone else? It appears ever more likely whenever they try to ignore such criticisms rather than boldly addressing them to prove them, beyond any reasonable doubt, definitely wrong, which of course, they would never be able or enabled to do. Therefore be they guilty as charged? Yes? No? Definitely maybe?

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