back to article Former FBI spy hunter: Don’t trust China on ‘no hack’ pact

A former FBI investigator who helped expose Soviet double agent Robert Hanssen1 warns that enterprises should give up worrying about hackers, “who are now the good guys”, and be more worried about spies. Veteran spy hunter turned infosec exec Eric O'Neill said that espionage has evolved and become increasingly digital as …

  1. fajensen Silver badge

    "Former" - Exactly!

    “Chinese firms don’t invest in research and development. They’re not interested in innovation themselves,” he claimed.

    Keep believing that - while the Chinese secures their monopoly on state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries and bio-tech. Probably more. Fighters that works - unlike the F35?

    1. Alfred

      Re: "Former" - Exactly!

      They cannot make the parts required for a decent ballpoint pen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Former" - Exactly!

        People criticizing Chinese engineering are hopelessly behind the times. Have you been on the Shanghai maglev?

        If you find some Chinese crap, it says more about you, than it does about the upper limits of Chinese manufacturing capabilities.

        Things are made to a price, you know? Corporate buyers go to China and say "make me 10 million CRAP ballpoint pens". Because that's what cheapskate consumers are choosing in the market place.

        1. Mark Exclamation

          Re: "Former" - Exactly!

          The Maglev is German technology.

          1. x 7

            Re: "Former" - Exactly!

            "The Maglev is German technology."

            actually no its not - it all stems from work by Eric Braithwaite at Imperial College, London

            though there are (unbuilt) American patents going back to the early 1900's

            the Germans ripped off Braithwaites work, though a big issue was that the UK Governments in the 1970's refused to fund any more development

        2. Alfred

          Re: "Former" - Exactly!

          I'm not saying they choose not to make the parts for a decent ballpoint pen because they choose to sell bad ballpoint pens.

          I'm saying that they are not capable of it. The manufacturing capability to make decent parts for a ballpoint pen currently does not exist in China. For making decent ballpoint pens, they currently import expensive ball bearings from other countries.

          Li Keqiang complained about it on national TV four months ago.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: "Former" - Exactly!

      I would suspect that if given the F-35, they could fix it and make it work.

      1. asdf

        Re: "Former" - Exactly!

        > F-35, they could fix it and make it work.

        Nobody can make that not be the albatross it is. I feel safe to say if the Chinese eventually have something that matches the F-22 though it will be a drone at that point in the fairly distant future.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Former" - Exactly!

          Oy!! Albatrosses are beautiful birds, and incredible fliers - flying thousands of kilometres on very little energy. The F-35 falls far short of that.

          Spend some time looking at albatrosses and other gulls flying on the sea and you will be very impressed with their abilities.

          But if you are referring to that poem about the Ancient Mariner by that junkie... point taken.

  2. x 7


    and don't let them come in as students

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      They get confused between imperial and metric measures, and it's just a matter of time before one causes a serious accident in your workplace.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Much rather have Chinese coming in on student visas than I would Syrians, Saudis or Libyans.

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    News - yawn - ZZzzzzzz...

    This is so NOT NEWS unless you've been playing Candy Crush all your life.

  4. Trollslayer

    Pot - kettle

    Who believes the US has stopped?

    1. asdf

      Re: Pot - kettle

      Well every local yokel police department Barney Fife around the US now is begging the FBI for how to get into the iPhone (who probably got it from the NSA, outside company lies aside). One time my ass.

  5. codefu


    Don't trust the US on 'no hack' pact.

    In fact, don't trust, full stop.

  6. Stevie Silver badge


    So he'd still be there if he hadn't left?

    Well, I'd be younger if I hadn't aged. 8oP

  7. ecofeco Silver badge


    I'd trust China about as far as I'd trust the USA.

  8. Keith Glass

    Well, duh. . . .

    . . . . NOBODY is not going to use their strong points. From what I've read, a young, talented cracker in China is cultivated and recruited to high-end private and government hacking teams.

    Whereas Cyber Command in the US won't touch a guy (at least publicly) if they have a hacking conviction. Can't speak to Europe, but I suspect GCHQ and all the rest are at least SOMEWHAT similar. . . .

    Locking your best talent out early is never a smart move. . .

  9. sisk

    I'm seeing nothing in this article that's news to anyone in, or even on the edge of, the security field.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    #7...#10....#15 and extra spring rolls please.

    Eric must have had some dodgy chow mein or somethin? 'No peace in our time' then Eric?

  11. btrower


    Don't trust ... ya think? Well, you can trust them as far as the other governments I suppose.

  12. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Tsk! Cynical me?

    So, a professional cyber spy hunter is advocating more business for cyber spy hunter businesses?

    No *hit Sherlock?

  13. cjcox

    Just in

    FBI attests to Chinese backdoor they used to get into San Bernadino iPhone

    The FBI knowing that China would never honor a "won't hack pact", use that fact to exploit China's backdoor into the iPhone. However, the FBI would still prefer a hack into the phone that Apple knows about. When asked what difference does it make, the FBI responded, "Don't you see, Apple is a fruit, and China isn't."

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Industrial espionage

    Welcome to Cloud Computing, which stores everyone's data in "the Cloud".

    Purely by "co-incidence", it also enables industrial espionage on an er... industrial scale.

  15. JJKing

    Didn't the Chinese stuff up the Raspberry pi by substituting a cheaper component or did I misunderstand The Reg article? Personally I avoid chinese made crap as much as humanly possible.

  16. crayon

    The bad guys are not playing by the rules

    Maybe the "good" guys should set an example by ... playing by the rules?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FBI Does Computers? Really?

    "Hanssen was a hacker during a time that FBI didn’t do computers, according to O'Neill."

    You mean like they do computers now? When I was there as a contractor, I knew where all of the holes were and could have almost replicated what Hanssen did. The last of due diligence, especially on the high-side network, was phenomenally weak. It wouldn't surprise me if there was another Robert Hanssen in the making and being just as successful!

  18. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Chinese Takeaway

    Your Secrets

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