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August 31, 2005

Titan Rain: Chinese Hackers Launch Most Significant Spy Threat In Decades

Interesting piece from Time.

We continue deserving it:

As cyberspying metastasizes, frustrated network protectors say that the FBI in particular doesn't have enough top-notch computer gumshoes to track down the foreign rings and that their hands are often tied by the strict rules of engagement. That's where independents--some call them vigilantes--like Carpenter come in. After he made his first discoveries about Titan Rain in March 2004 [and made the key discovery of the cyberattacks' point of origin from three servers in China], he began taking the information to unofficial contacts he had in Army intelligence. Federal rules prohibit military-intelligence officers from working with U.S. civilians, however, and by October, the Army passed Carpenter and his late-night operation to the FBI. He says he was a confidential informant for the FBI for the next five months. Reports from his cybersurveillance eventually reached the highest levels of the bureau's counterintelligence division, which says his work was folded into an existing task force on the attacks. But his FBI connection didn't help when his employers at Sandia found out what he was doing. They fired him and stripped him of his Q clearance, the Department of Energy equivalent of top-secret clearance. Carpenter's after-hours sleuthing, they said, was an inappropriate use of confidential information he had gathered at his day job. Under U.S. law, it is illegal for Americans to hack into foreign computers.

Via Kaus.


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posted by Ace at 01:57 AM

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