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Inside the Ring
MISSILE DEFENSE LIMITS
The Obama administration, despite public claims to the contrary, appears ready to try and limit U.S. missile defenses in agreements, according to a key House Republican leader.
Rep. Michael R. Turner, Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, said during a hearing Wednesday that he is concerned the administration is working to amend the NATO-Russia Council charter “to create guarantees regarding missile defense.”
“That has no support here and should be a nonstarter,” Mr. Turner said in a prepared statement for the hearing.
Moscow, for the past several years, has been demanding legal guarantees that U.S. missile defenses in Europe will not be used to target Russian missiles — guarantees that missile defense advocates say would limit U.S. defenses.
Computer hackers in China likely carried out the sophisticated cyber-attack against the security company RSA in March, according to the draft annual report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
RSA announced in March that its security product was compromised through a cyber-intrusion. The company provides encryption services that allow government and contractor users to log on remotely to secure computer networks.
“Although the company did not name China specifically, subsequent research demonstrated that components of the attack utilized a tool called ‘HTran,’ developed by a well-known member of the hacking group ‘Honker Union of China,’ ” the report says.
Analysis of the hacking tool revealed that the attackers tried to mask their location by routing command instructions from mainland China through computer servers in Japan, Taiwan, Europe and the United States, the report says.
“The perpetrators then used information about the compromised RSA security product in order to target a number of the firm’s customers, including at least three prominent entities within the U.S. defense industrial base,” the report adds, noting that those intrusions and intrusion attempts “also originated in China and appeared to be state-sponsored.”
Because the attack involved stealing technology that involved encryption and coding technologies, computer experts have said the sophistication was beyond the abilities of most nonstate hackers.
NORTH KOREA TWEETS
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About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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