The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a series of high profile hacks allegedly carried out by cyberattackers connected to China’s intelligence services.
During these hacks “volumes of intellectual property, security clearance details and other records from scores of companies over the past several years.”
They were able to acquire access to systems with prospecting secrets from mining company Rio Tinto and sensitive medical research from electronic and healthcare titan Phillips.
The hack, called Cloud Hopper, was uncovered by security researchers in 2016. U.S. prosecutors charged two Chinese nationals for the global operation last December. However, the two men remain at large.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the attack was much bigger than previously expected. It goes well beyond 14 unnamed companies in the indictment, spanning across at least a dozen cloud providers, which includes CGI Group Inc, one of Canada’s biggest cloud companies, Tieto Oyj, a big player in Finland’s IT sector, and International Business Machines Corp.
Inside the clouds, the hackers gained access to a vast network of clients. The Journal’s investigation found that hundreds of firms that had relationships with the cloud providers who got hacked. These clients included Rio Tinto, Philips, American Airlines Group Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Allianz SE, and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.
FBI Director Christopher Wray described the hackers’ work as the “equivalent of stealing the master keys to an entire apartment complex.”
It’s still being determined if hackers remain inside companies’ networks today.
U.S. agencies, especially the Justice Department, are concerned about potentially being exposed to hackers. Additionally, they worry that the hacks are now allowing the Chinese government to gain access to critical infrastructure.
The Chinese government has denied hacking allegations in the past.
In light of these developments, the U.S. will need to focus more on its cybersecurity infrastructure now that we’re two decades into the 21st century.
China’s transition from Maoism shouldn’t fool policymakers. It still remains authoritarian and is pursuing its own form of expansionism at the U.S.’s detriment.
American lawmakers will need to take this into account and start crafting new policies that actually focus on defense, instead of dropping hundreds of billions in pointless nation-building schemes.
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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