US web traffic rerouted via China Telecom
Published: 17th Nov 2010 13:53:18
The traffic to some highly sensitive US websites was briefly rerouted via China, according to Reuters.
The incident, which happened for 18 minutes last April, is published in a report by the US-China Economic and Security review commission.
It found that China Telecom sent incorrect routing information, but it is not clear whether it was intentional.
It comes amid continuing discussions in the US and the UK about cyber-security.
Among traffic rerouted via China was that destined for the US Senate website, the Office of the Secretary of Defence, Nasa and the Commerce Department, the report said.
"Evidence related to this incident does not clearly indicate whether it was perpetrated intentionally and, if so, to what ends," according to the draft report obtained by Reuters.
"However, computer security researchers have noted that the capability could enable severe malicious activities," it added.
The danger of cyber-attacks has been high on global agendas recently.
This week, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned that cyber-attacks posed a huge future threat and urged more joined-up efforts between the US military and civilian agencies.
MPs in the UK have also been hearing about the risks of cyber-attacks.
In evidence given to the Science and Technology Committee, experts said that a concerted cyber-attack capable of damaging key infrastructure could currently only be launched by an enemy state.
"The risk of a concerted attack which has fundamental effect on infrastructure would have to be at state level and therefore politically unlikely," said Dr Hayes, a senior fellow at the Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments.
But he said the tools were there for either politically-motivated hackers or organised criminals to launch an attack.
"If I see a nuclear weapon, I need plutonium, but cyber-weapons are just a sequence of ones and zeros. We have concerns that Stuxnet could be copied," he said.
"The risk of that is high and could have localised effect on critical infrastructure," he told MPs.
The recent Stuxnet malware, which appeared to be targeted at Iran's nuclear power plant, has caused alarm in governments around the world about a new wave of state-sponsored cyber-attacks.
Dr Ross Anderson, from the University of Cambridge, told MPs that Stuxnet was a sophisticated piece of malware.
"We can surmise it was from someone who didn't like the Iranians refining uranium. It took six people five months to write. It appears whoever commissioned it had access to people whose business was writing malware, as well as people clearly expert in industrial control systems.
It was an effort funded to the order of £1m or thereabouts," he said.
Experts have surmised that its complexity means it could only have been written by a nation state.
Mr Anderson told MPs that he had personal involvement into state-sponsored malware attacks.
"A couple of years ago, a student of mine helped the Dalai Lama's office clear up malware clearly from the Chinese government," he said.
Currently, though, the biggest risk to UK computer systems was still the prospect of internal system failures as upgrades to the net addressing system began, he said.
"The most likely cause of disruption to the internet comes from software failure associated with transition to IPV6," he said.
But he warned that the threat of external attacks was likely to get worse over time, as more and more systems became computerised.
Mr Anderson said that government needed to become more "IT-aware".
"Regulators such as Ofgem and Ofcom should have people on their staff who understand IT and the risk we could be sleepwalking into," he said.
He warned that the government needed to do more.
"We have never put enough into combating cyber-crime. The Metropolitan police have difficulty sustaining e-crime units, because they are forever being closed down or merged," he said.
He aid that the situation was not helped because the culture of the UK's security body GCHQ was non-collaborative, unlike that of the US's National Security Agency.
"Currently there are two separate communities, the civil community and the defence community. Outside of the defence community there is no source of expertise," he said.
"Bodies like the Information Commissioner's Office and the Metropolitan police don't have their own engineering staff, so are beholden to Cheltenham [the base for GCHQ] for advice."
He was not convinced that GCHQ was the right body for the job.
"It may take a cyber-attack to convince the prime minister that GCHQ is incompetent and things need to be changed," he said.
At 19:03:13 in EnglandA man has died after being arrested by Sussex Police.
At 18:55:56 in SportEngland's bowlers backed up the good work of their batsman to leave the hosts in a commanding position after three days of the third Test against India in Southampton.
At 18:50:32 in EnglandA head teacher has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing a primary school pupil in Lancashire.
At 18:49:43 in SportCoventry City have completed a deal to sign experienced striker Marcus Tudgay on a one-year contract.
At 18:48:42 in SportBarnsley have signed midfielder Luke Berry from League Two club Cambridge United for an undisclosed fee.
At 18:40:13 in ScotlandAthletes, spectators and Glasgow itself have broken records as the Commonwealth Games reach the half way point.
At 18:36:04 in HeadlinesScientists have for the first time separated a particle from one of its physical properties - creating a "quantum Cheshire Cat".
At 18:33:39 in SportBlackpool have re-signed forward Nathan Delfouneso on a one-year contract, with an option for a further 12 months.
At 18:26:02 in EnglandTests have shown a cleaning chemical or detergent is behind the deaths of thousands of fish in Oxfordshire.
At 18:25:21 in SportJen McIntosh has becomes Scotland's most successful female in Commonwealth Games history with five medals.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. US web traffic rerouted via China Telecom [Online] (Updated 17th Nov 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/108757/US-web-traffic-rerouted-via-China-Telecom [Accessed 29th Jul 2014]
News In Other Categories
British Gas owner Centrica has announced the appointment of Iain Conn, currently BP's head of refining and marketing, as its new chief executive.
England's bowlers backed up the good work of their batsman to leave the hosts in a commanding position after three days of the third Test against India in Southampton.
A retired senior diplomat has suggested that "much anti-Semitism is a reaction to the appalling Israeli treatment of its Arab neighbours".
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
While many people hanker for some proper summer weather with long dry and sunny days, for others those warm days can turn into a nightmare - those who suffer from hayfever.
Wales rugby star Ian Gough attacked his ex-girlfriend, former Miss Wales Sophia Cahill, days after her engagement to pop star Dane Bowers, a court heard.