For decades, China and the United States have fought a espionage war, using the relatively open society and free market economy of the United States to steal key information, trade secrets, and technical tools.
But as the coronavirus officially called COVID-19 continues to strike the world-officials and experts say that Beijing is stepping up espionage on American soil, focusing on manipulating narratives.
According to several current and former intelligence officials interviewed by Fox News, the current main focus is on trying to control the narratives of diseases within the United States and condemning it anywhere outside Beijing.
A U.S. defense official, who asked not to be named, emphasized that the focus of Chinese attention in the United States is still on technology theft, military preparation, and minimizing backlash.
“Most assuredly, the American people will demand some kind of financial response, if not outright reparations in the many billions,” the source explained. “And the Chinese cannot afford that, but they know Trump will cut into it, too.”
A retired Pentagon officer underscored that its media operations are in “full swing,” a slight shift from its typical focus on IP and technology theft.
“It is about saving face for them,” said the source. “It’s about leaking out false information, even to our [the U.S. intelligence] apparatus.”
At the end of last month, Trump administration officials launched an investigation to remove suspected spies from well-known American media and Chinese media suspected of submitting false media reports to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“There is hacking into computer systems, very active human (HUMINT) recruiting of U.S. citizens out of their embassies, consulates, and spies operating under diplomatic cover or non-official cover. They are extremely active against U.S. defense contractors and in and around technology industry hubs,” noted retired Special Forces Col. James Williamson. “If not the parts themselves, at least critical components of parts, have been used in sensitive U.S. defense technology.”
Dan Hoffman, a retired CIA station chief, concurred that, when it comes to the U.S., Chinese intelligence networks continue to operate at an alarmingly broad level. In terms of its HUMINT reliance in the U.S., Hoffman cautioned Chinese orchestrators often utilize business networking platforms such as LinkedIn to form connections and carefully recruit.
This coincides with a large number of technical tools.
The move to donate Chinese-made DJI drones to about 43 law enforcement agencies in 22 states has also attracted attention. These agencies should be used to monitor and appeal to those who do not follow strict social alienation guidelines.
DJI owns about 77% of the US consumer market, and the company claims it cannot obtain information from foreign drones. Many analysts did not purchase it.
“DJI is a Chinese company and is therefore subject to Chinese national security and cybersecurity law. This means the CCP understands all of DJI’s data – including data collected in the U.S. by U.S. persons – to be ‘Chinese data’ and must, therefore, be made available to the Chinese government,” said Klon Kitchen, a senior research fellow for technology and national security at the Heritage Foundation. “Any assurances that this information will be kept from Beijing is simply not credible.”
ICE ’s Special Head of Homeland Security Investigations (SAC) -Los Angeles Intelligence Program highlighted in a document released in 2017 that Di Jiang Innovations (DJI) “may provide the Chinese government with critical US infrastructure and law enforcement data.”
In September last year, bipartisan lawmakers led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) of R-Ark proposed the American Security Drone Act 2019 to prevent the use of local police and other law enforcement agencies Federal funds. Use DJI technology. The bill is currently awaiting a request from the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee for amendment.
Since the beginning of Trump’s term, the new limelight has been focused on these loose clues within the framework of national security. In November 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new initiative to “suppress Chinese espionage”, emphasizing that China ’s intellectual property and theft issues have been “rapidly growing” and the department is working Increase the arrest of those accused of theft. Trade secrets.
US government officials have also issued an alert to Beijing ’s infiltration into the American academic community, especially in coastal cities and overpass rural communities where they have stolen cutting-edge research from American universities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Institute of Health have stepped up efforts in recent years to identify scientists who steal important biomedical research. As of November last year, it is said that more than 200 investigations of this nature are ongoing.
Alexander Crowther, a strategist and international affairs expert at Florida International University, conjectured that technical intelligence tends to be favored, but there remains a “solid human intelligence program,” which specifically targets overseas Chinese, whether Chinese citizens or not.
“If they have family back in China, the Chinese government threatens them. If they do not, they appeal to what could be called ‘race loyalty,’ that is because you are ethnically Chinese, you should automatically be loyal to China; therefore, you should be loyal to the Chinese government,” Crowther said. “They also recruit American researchers, focusing particularly on universities. Universities are a twofer: Chinese students and faculty as well as underpaid U.S. academics.”
Several sources said that in recent years, China has also invested heavily in software and artificial intelligence platforms that are constantly testing and finding ways to continue to invade American systems. It is believed that this occurs mainly offshore, and only a small portion of cyber theft originates from the American terrain.
It is generally believed that the work of cyber hacking enforced by the Ministry of National Security has made remarkable progress in the past decade-that is, private contractors or “criminal hackers” have been hired to control obvious areas.
“China’s cyber espionage efforts against the U.S. are vast, wide-ranging, extremely aggressive, and highly creative,” said Karim Hijazi, CEO of cyber intelligence and defense firm, Prevailion. “They will do anything they can to compromise U.S. intelligence, government, and military assets, and the same is true for the private sector. Nothing is off-limits to them.”
Hijazi also observed an “incredible surge in malicious activity tied to coronavirus in general, and that includes Chinese operations.”
“China also regularly deploys backdoors that remain latent inside U.S. networks, waiting for the right time to become operational,” he surmised. “This is another long-term threat because these backdoors can be difficult to detect, particularly if they are not ‘calling home’ to the hacker’s command-and-control server for new instructions. Latent implants are challenging to detect and can lie dormant inside networks for years.”
In 2015, a Chinese data network theft by the US Office of Personnel Management destroyed the personal information of millions of federal employees. Over the past 18 months, officials of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) have filed more than thirty-two cases of alleged cyber and economic espionage on behalf of the Chinese government, and have filed the same charges against both Chinese and American citizens.
According to Reuters, more than 80% of economic espionage activities initiated by the Ministry of Justice have been linked to China since this year. Since 2012, 60% of all trade secret theft cases filed by the Ministry of Justice have been implicated in China.
Many applications used by millions of people in the United States have also been reviewed and warned by intelligence officials. Video conferencing giant Zoom admitted earlier this month that some of its call data was “incidentally” routed through China to non-Chinese users.
The author of Theresa Payton, the former chief information officer of the White House, who authored “Manipulation: Hijacking Elections and Distorting the Truth and CEO of Fortalice Solutions in Cyber Warfare”, he pointed out that, like the intelligence community, Like sending a danger signal for Huawei 5G, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been warning Americans that popular applications such as TikTok (thousands of popular applications during the lock-in period) “may allow China to peep in unexpected ways. United States”.
Analysts believe that in recent years, China has been particularly diligent in its bold multi-pronged espionage activities, prompting the Ministry of Justice to fight back. In 2016, Kun Shan Chun, an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), admitted that he had conducted secret undercover activities for China in the past few years, received cash, used prostitutes and lived in vigorous residences overseas. Last year, Candace Marie Claiborne, a longtime employee of the State Department, was sentenced to three years in prison for accepting thousands of dollars in cash and commodities provided by Chinese intelligence services to exchange information.
In addition, it was reported that in late December, after ignoring the warning and attempting to drive to a highly sensitive military base in Norfolk, Virginia, the U.S. government quietly deported two Chinese embassy officials a few weeks ago, marking a Chinese official. Deported for the first time. Over thirty years.
Courtesy: Fox News