K.S. Rajan (12 Jan 2012)
"FBI probes hacking of US-China group"


 
 


 

"The memo suggests that India, which has skills honed in IT outsourcing and a successful satellite industry, has embarked on global cyber-monitoring, an area where it has sought co-operation from other powers."
A real spy story.

From today's FT, FYI,
David

January 10, 2012 8:24 pm

FBI probes hacking of US-China group

By James Lamont in New Delhi, James Crabtree in Mumbai and Joseph Menn in San Francisco
The FBI is investigating the hacking of emails sent and received by members of a Congressionally appointed group that issues reports on the economic and military relationship between the US and China.
Two people familiar with the probe told the Financial Times on Tuesday that the law enforcement agency was looking into the interception of sensitive emails from members and staffers of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The FBI declined to comment.
Excerpts from several emails were posted on the internet this week by an Indian hacking group. They were contained in what the group said was a memo from an Indian military intelligence command that the hackers claimed to have penetrated.
One person familiar with the US probe said the emails were genuine. But he said the memo published by a group calling itself Lords of Dharamraja was “suspicious” and that law enforcement was not taking it at face value.
India’s defence ministry declined on Tuesday to authenticate the memo or the surveillance operation. It said the description of the alleged operation was “convoluted”. The US embassy in New Delhi also declined to comment on the material. The commission was “aware of these reports and [has] contacted relevant authorities to investigate the matter”, said Jonathan Weston, a commission spokesman.
If genuine, the memo would suggest Indian spies were interested in how US economic engagement, by the likes of engineering group General Electric, might bolster China’s technological prowess and Washington’s view of manipulation of the renminbi.
India is preoccupied with what it sees as a growing security threat posed by neighbouring China to the world’s largest democracy. It worries about the possible emergence of a so-called ‘G2’ between China and the US, and was riled two years ago by President Barack Obama’s suggestion on a visit to Beijing that China play a role in south Asian stability.
But one former state department official said dialogue between India and the US had broadened in recent months to address New Delhi’s fears that it was outside of a compact between Washington and Beijing.
The commission had itself focused on the cyber security threat posed by China, and warned of its growing capabilities.
The memo suggests that India, which has skills honed in IT outsourcing and a successful satellite industry, has embarked on global cyber-monitoring, an area where it has sought co-operation from other powers.
“The Indian government has taken substantive measures to enhance its cyber security. It is not surprising that India has taken such a proactive measure to secure itself,” said V.R. Raghavan, a retired general and president of the Centre for Security Analysis.
But he acknowledged: “No government will accept [responsibility for] this [kind of practice]; instead it will deny it.”
Additional reporting by Girija Shivakumar in New Delhi and Anna Fifield in Washington
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012.