What could possibly go wrong?
February 18, 2008
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Chinese company Huawei, wants to buy 16.5% of U.S. technology company 3Com. 3Com makes systems that protect the Pentagon against cyberattacks. In January SC Magazine reported that China hacked key U.S. databases including federal agencies and defense contractors, stealing terabytes of data. New Yorker magazine reported that the Defense Department currently is detecting about three million unauthorized probes on its computer networks every day. The article said Chinese computer attacks have intensified in recent months. Some see benefits in the Chinese acquisition.
“The Chinese are hacking our stuff anyway, and their high-tech capabilities continue to grow as we sell them our technology and become dependent on their manufacturing. We may as well sell them our security software companies too and then ask them to protect us from the Canadians,” said Benedict Arnold, an inside trader who enjoys selling other peoples stuff and padding his off-shore accounts. “It’s the damn Canadians we have to look out for. They could attack us at any moment. I’m not kidding; I got an unsolicited email about it.”
Some people aren’t sure that asking China to provide internet security to the U.S. Defense Department is in our long-term interest. “Are you kidding me? Let the Chinese buy pieces of our security systems in addition to transferring our manufacturing to them and buying all their asbestos and lead infused stuff,” asked Humble Homily, an aging hipster who discovered common sense during a Y2K celebration. “I understand how we can trust them so much we only test 1% of all the food we import, and have them make the blood thinner Heparin for us without FDA inspecting the plant at all. But I’m not sure we should ask the Chinese to provide U.S. security. Maybe that’s going too far?”
The Chinese company Huawei, participating in the planned buy-out of the U.S. telecoms equipment maker 3Com, has angrily ripped U.S. politicians who claim the deal could endanger U.S. national security. Xu Zhijun, chief marketing officer at Huawei Technologies, told the Financial Times that the concerns expressed by some U.S. lawmakers were “bullshit”.
3Com supplies intrusion prevention technology to the US department of defense, designed to protect the Pentagon against cyber attack. The Pentagon believes that hackers in China conducted a massive cyber attack on its systems last year. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is one of Huawei’s customers, and Mr. Xu confirmed that Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s founder and chief executive, was a former PLA officer.
The New Yorker reported that the U.S. Defense Department detects three million unauthorized probes on its computer networks each day, while the State Department fends off two million probes daily. These probes often turn into full-scale attacks, the magazine reported, such as the assault last year on the Pentagon that required 1,500 computers to be taken offline. American allies also have been targeted: In May, the German government blamed the Chinese military after it discovered a spyware program had been planted inside government computers in several key ministries. Chinese officials and their relatives call the accusations “preposterous.”
“The very idea that it’s bad to give China U.S. secrets and let them provide security, direction and gain control of the federal government is just plain silly,” said Dongfan “Greg” Chung, 72, of Orange, California, a former Boeing employee, currently under arrest for sending information about the Space Shuttle, the C-17 military transport plane, and the Delta IV rocket to the Chinese government. “Isn’t the U.S. supposed to be all about transparency, freedom of information, breaking down the walls of intolerance, and giving in to others who have a different world view? That’s why I moved here and became a naturalized U.S. citizen even though I’m a native of China.”
In related news, Russian president Vladimir Putin has expressed disappointment over the easy U.S. sell-out to China. “It’s not fair that the Russian Federation isn’t able to participate in taking over U.S. assets. We just don’t have the money and the U.S. refuses to give us easy credit,” Putin reportedly said, while getting his nails sharpened at an all-night Russian Mafia party. “We at least tried democracy for a while before I grabbed control. The Chinese wouldn’t even try it but they’re getting all the goodies.”
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