Disturbing news is circulating that a state owned Chinese telecommunications firm rerouted around 15percent of all web traffic through its own servers, during a limited period on April 8.
This report, also documented by news agencies in the UK such as The Telegraph has raised fresh concerns that sensitive information may have been taken from this period. There is also a theory that china could be testing a cyberweapon which could be used in times of war to disrupt net traffic.
The hijacked traffic included email exhanges from websites of the US Senate, the Department Of Defense and others, including NASA.
Chinese engineering managers have stated that this rerouting was purely accidental, but the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s annual report has listed this as a possible ‘malicious’ incident.
“Evidence related to this incident does not clearly indicate whether it was perpetrated intentionally and, if so, to what ends, However, computer security researchers have noted that the capability could enable severe malicious activities.”
This was further backed up by Larry Wortzel, a member of the commission who issued the following statement “We don’t know what was done with the data when they got it. When I see things like this happen, I ask, who might be interested with all the communications traffic from the entire Department of Defense and federal government? It’s probably not a graduate student at Shanghai University. What could you do if you had the stream of email traffic for 18 minutes to and from the US Joint Chiefs of Staff? Most importantly you would get the internet addresses of everybody that communicated.”
KitGuru says: We are sure that the US powers that be have already been investigating this for months now.