Forget The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Chinese hackers are on a digital espionage campaign targeting a vast array of pretty much any major American organization “with intellectual property to protect,” and now that there’s a rare human side to combatting the malware attacks, we know there’s not enough being done to stop the hackers yet.Sponsored Ads
In a new cover story, Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Dune Lawrence and Michael Riley follow one of the American malware experts attempting to fight the war on hackers, and he reveals a long — even impossible — battle ahead. Since he began tracking Chinese hackers in 2004 at Dell SecureWorks, Joe Stewart has had two big successes in spy hunting, as he unveiled the identities of the hackers “Zhang” and “Cyb3rsleuth.”* And he doesn’t exactly deny Lawrence and Riley’s assertion that the ongoing Chinese malware spying goes straight to the top:
The unveiling of these advanced weapons and missiles is believed to be a warning to America and Israel against conducting a military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites.
“Too often, the White House and Pentagon look at these Iranian exercises and conclude they have more time, especially when something the Iranians try goes wrong,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. “This policy of procrastination is no substitute for strategy, however—after all, the Iranians can learn just as much from their mistakes as they can from their successes.”
The use of new missile systems indicates that Iran continues to have success building weaponry domestically despite Western economic sanctions.
“At the very least, the exercises show the trajectory in which the Iranian military would like to go,” Rubin said. “The exercises also should underline the notion that Iran’s indigenous arms industry is formidable and that sanctions alone will not be able to stop the regime.”
So has Greece been rescued and financial markets been tamed? Is the euro crisis a thing of the past? Unfortunately not. With their successes in the last few days, euro-zone politicians have done little more than bought themselves time. They must use this window to brace themselves for the next wave of the euro crisis which is about to crash down on Europe.
It’s already clear that the Greek economy can’t survive with a government debt to GDP ratio that will — at best — still be at 117 percent in 2020, especially given the record pace at which the country’s GDP is contracting. There is still no coherent strategy for making Greece competitive again inside the euro zone, or for raising the capital for the huge investments needed — let alone for the wholesale revamp of the country’s entire public administration.
Greek Crisis Will Escalate Again
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is often accused of diplomatic incompetence. And if you think the goal of diplomacy is to be loved, it’s hard to dispute this: Netanyahu is loathed by leaders worldwide.
But if you think the goal of diplomacy is to get other countries to adopt your country’s positions, then Netanyahu has had some surprising successes recently.
On the other hand, China has no problem with advancing its priorities, which start with building the most powerful military in Asia as a direct challenge to the United States. In so doing, its intent is to place Japan, South Korea, Australia, India and other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) nations in positions of strategic subordination as well as destroying the democratic system in Taiwan. Furthermore, from the 2020s onward, China intends to challenge the United States for global military supremacy. In short, China’s goal is to make the world “safe” for the continued survival of the Chinese communist dictatorship. China’s successes, if unchecked, will come only with diminished influence and freedoms for the United States as well as for our friends and allies.
China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) remains in session. As usual, the meeting has provided Beijing an opportunity to highlight the past year’s successes and lay out the problems that lie ahead. On the surface at least, China has shown remarkable resilience in the face of global economic crisis. It has posted enviable gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates while keeping factories running (if at a loss) and workers employed. But the economic crisis has exposed the inefficiencies of China’s export-dependent economic model, and the government has had to pump money into a major investment stimulus package to make up for the net drain the export sector currently is exacting on the economy.
For years, China’s leaders have recognized the risks of the current economic model. They have debated policy ideas to shift from the current model to one that is more sustainable in the long run and incorporates a more geographically equitable growth and a hefty rise in domestic consumption.
In contrast to the successes in the East and West, Russia — the country that did so much to inspire all these changes — has ended up the biggest loser in the post-Cold War era. Twenty years later, the country has experienced a triple defeat. First, Russia has failed to modernize its economy or social sphere. Second, it has not been able to build an effective political system, creating instead a one-man authoritarian regime. Russia has lost its international reputation and its former superpower status, leaving it almost entirely without allies or the support of global public opinion.
Recently, many in the Russian intelligence community have been investigating transmissions from the United States regarding a submarine only 30.5 cm (1 ft) in length at a cost of less than 160 rubles (aprox. $5 U.S.). Russian military scientists believed this submarine to be a fighting drone, added to the United States arsenal after the successes of the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle in Iraq.
Rome was a great civilization, perhaps the greatest according to certain accounts. Its citizens – modern, wealthy, empowered – were the envy of the world. Content with their luxuries and successes, the Romans imported slaves until citizens were a de-facto minority. They stopped manufacturing and creating. Instead, Rome became the center of a vast bureaucracy, controlling and delegating while outsourcing actual production to their slaves and colonies. Rome thus became lazy and fat, hedonistic and selfish, unwilling anymore to do the dirty work and make the sacrifices that earned its position atop the civilizational heap. They became utterly dependent on imported labor and imported products, hostage to their own egocentricities.
Regional economic experts agree: The end of the recession just means the end of the beginning of bad times.
Their consensus? The end of the recession looks much like the recession itself. We are at the end of the beginning of bad times.
On this page, you’ll find condensed versions of their assessments and warnings. Read on to find the interviews, which were lightly edited for clarity and slightly condensed.
China – the winner of the crisis.
Japan – seems especially fragile.
Africa – rolling back years of development successes.
America – not a real “V” — may be a hesitant one.