Report: Chinese PLA Access 80% of “World’s Communications”

China has found a backdoor to access 80 percent of the “world’s communications” to include information passed through the internet and sensitive infrastructure databases, writes a former senior security analyst for the Pentagon.

F. Michael Maloof, who now writes for WND, cites Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and ZTE Corporation as the companies the Chinese government and People Liberation Army can use to gain access to this information via commercial networks installed by each Chinese electronic manufacturer.

“The two companies give the Chinese remote electronic “backdoor” access through the equipment they have installed in telecommunications networks in 140 countries. The Chinese companies service 45 of the world’s 50 largest telecom operators,” Maloof writes.

He goes further to say the Chinese are working to access the remaining 20 percent. Individuals and companies who communicate over their “virtual private networks” or VPNs are especially susceptible. Sources have told Maloof those networks are leaking like a “sieve” to Chinese data collectors, especially those that connect to companies based in places like Mexico.

U.S. government officials are aware of this threat. The U.S. House Intelligence Committee has also chosen to investigate the two companies in question. U.S. Commerce Department leaders banned Huawei from helping build a national wireless network as Maloof also points out.

It’s easy to connect this to the further cyber threat posed by the Chinese. It also brings to mind the 1,800 cases of counterfeit Chinese parts found in U.S. military equipment to include missile defense systems and intelligence sensors. On the drum beats for more cyber awareness inside the Pentagon.

If you want to hear more from Maloof on the subject he did an interview on The Cyber Jungle about the topic. Fast forward to the last segment when Maloof’s interview picks up.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to Military.com. He can be reached at mhoffman@tandemnsi.com.
  • kofald

    i think it is time to strike back. How long do you want to wait?

    • kim

      We most likely do so already; it’s called espionage. Reckon Pentagon is not smart enough to do the same thing to sensitive Chinese internet communication?

      • Anonymous

        Pentagon wasn’t smart enough to prevent 9/11, catch OBL for 10 years, or not engage in 2 decade-long land wars in Asia (one of which was lied about).

        Never over-estimate the Pentagon.

        • Belesari

          And so we begin!!!

          Ok ill bite. What was lied about?

          WAIT THE WMD!!

          Not really. He had yellow cake uranium (which is used to make nukes) which we got out of the country after the war…and no one reported on…..

          Chemical and biological agents? He had those in plenty syria no doubt has some of them atm. He also had built a huge modern chemical weapons factory that was almost ready when we went in.

          AQ in iraq? Of course they were there so were many other groups. ME countries use them like 2nd hand armies. Its why they fund them so much. We knew they had been there already. Not to mention they flooded there after the war started drew away insurgents from Astan…and no one used the repreieve to advance there……….

          So i agree with onlu one thing. never over estimate the pentegon but also never overestimate how much stupid politicans can screw up the military and its actions. We should have been out of iraq in 2006 or 7 but retard basicly fired the entire Iraqi army and supplied the insurgents and the militias with hundreds of thousands of knowledgable troops who had no money or jobs and also couldnt get any.

          • Belesari

            Why i seem to have touched the nerve.

        • gullibleontheceiling

          Yeah well that’s ’cause the Pentagon was in on it… do you honestly think a single dude in a cave directed the most sophisticated attack in history, allowing three planes to be piloted for hundreds of miles over heavily defended airspace with pilots that trained for a couple of months, only to hit tiny buildings all while traveling at hundreds of miles an hour? I’ve got some beachfront property in Oklahoma I’d like to sell you…

          • Matt

            Flying planes into buildings was not the most sophistaceted attack in history. Epic fail.

          • blight_

            For a group without access to its own weapons, it ranks as most destructive.

    • Andy

      Did we just layoff CIA and Jame Bond ?

    • hellbound1339

      Apparently, Washington would like to wait until Chinese boots are already in DC.
      Wish Reagan were still around…he’d be a man and knock the Chinese off their float.

      • Joeblow

        You mean the Ronald Raygun that sent an emissary with a cake to the Ayatollah, not long after the Marine barracks were blown up in Beirut Lebanon? You mean that Ronald Raygun?

  • mpower6428

    SUPRISE….!!!!

    the next pearl harbor/ 9-11 will be when “YOUR” electric, wireless, phone lines and cable shut down…. also the delivery schedules to “YOUR” local supermarket, gas station and hardware store…. along with anything and everything digitized you need to make an honest days living…. to include possibly your water, and sewer lines if they can find any chinese coders willing to slum like that….

    oh, you can forget about the USPS too, and for at least a month.

    • Musson

      Even if WalMart could keep their shelves stocked (which they won’t) you could not use your debit card to buy anything.

      Maybe I should buy that survival food after all.

      • mpower6428

        the scary part is… besides western europe, we’re the only country i can think of that would start cannabalizing each other on day 2.

        most of the population in asia/eur-asia, indian sub-cont, africa and latin america live without ,what we consider, “the basic neccesities” anyway.

        we’re the only ones vulnrable enough to attack that way, and it just gets worse every year.

        • Kosme

          What do you call the basic neccesities” ??? you know … we hace debit and credit cards down here … we have internet … we even have phone lines !

  • Steve

    This all started when IBM was allowed to sell their laptop business to the ChiComs. Reverse engineering reveals many secrets.

    But go right ahead, buy cheap. And import engineers with no allegiance to the US>

    • blight_

      It’s not Lenovo, it’s Cisco and the enterprise IT firms whose hardware is the backbone of the intertubewebs.

      • IKnowIT

        And, who do you think makes the chips for ALL of these companies? And, where do you think most of the engineering is done?

        • blight_

          Certainly not Lenovo. Depending on the parts in the PCB, the Intel chipset may be designed in Israel and fabbed in the US or Malaysia. Samsung and Hynix memory from Korea, Samsung or LG displays from Korea, final assembly in the PRC or Vietnam.

  • Vaporhead

    I remember people on this board giving me negative ratings when I said they could do the same to the knockoff equipment sold to our military, including gear in our aircraft. Chinese would plant a “backdoor” into our military equipment. This should be a grave concern to th U.S. and our Allies.

  • J.E. McKellar

    I think its time we singled out the corrupt businessmen that sold out our country to a foreign power and charge them with treason. Then we need to start a program of 100% US-sourced procurement for military equipment and critical infrastructure. Give Americans the chance to rebuilt their own country, and throw the nwo-liberal looters, financial con-artists, and corrupt politicians into those prisons they were so eager to build and fill with the American poor.

    • mpower6428

      “nwo liberal looters”…? thats a new one for me but, if you wanna go there… bring it.

    • Steve

      It’s not just the companies. This equipment is supposed to be controlled under ITAR, so the government had to give their blessing at the time.

  • Musson

    Does this mean in case of War – I won’t be able to use my I-phone?

    /s

    • Vaporhead

      Why, yes. If it wasn’t the Chinese who took it over, the new ratified Communications Act Barack just signed would allow him and his coherts to take over your phones anyways.

    • Joeblow

      The Chinese probably have backdoors on your I-Phone already — they’re made in China after all.

  • Jon

    Doesnt the US have the ability to access something like 100% of the worlds communications? I’m sure the NSA is doing the same damn thing to the Chinese and everyone else. Before we start crying strike back at china maybe we should think about what kind of world we would have if we made acts of espionage cause for war. The US would be fighting everybody and everybody would be fighting each other. Not that I really care. I own stock in Lockheed :)

    • Anonymous

      But but but it’s only bad when China does it! We’re the good guys, so it’s OK for us to to do it!

      • Pilgrimman

        Back to Reddit.

      • blight_

        You seem to be running low on !

        Here, take this.

        !!!!!!!!!

  • Brad

    China and a lot of other countries learned from the US, they watched us and took notes. China is dumping all kids of money into africa, just like america does with other countries, but China does not tell them how to run their country, they just want to do busisness. In the past American tossed all kinds of money at othe countries, and we still do. And not a one of them can we trust, or really depend on. As fare as war goes, there will only be wars in countries, where it doesn’t hurt the bottom line, or in the case where it threatens certain interest of another country. Things are going to get heated as othe countries grow and depend a bigger share of the resources.

    • Belesari

      “but China does not tell them how to run their country”

      Really? Hey maybe we should give money to north korea we can use their slave labour to make stuff!

      When has Japan or South Korea betrayed us?

      • ruger

        The US people cannot trust their own government sadly because they have moved away from and usurped the Constitution at every chance. …a big problem. This is not a religious comment: There exists no higher calling or greater power than man, in these scumbags minds because politicians are not afraid of voters.

  • RCDC

    They (China) have the parts, they manufacture and produce, they have the manpower, money and ingenuity. They are dangerous.

    • HazardUs

      they lack ingenuity….

  • ltfunk2

    This sounds liek another joke article by Kevin Coleman. Anybody who could see 80% of the worlds communications wouldnt have to work as hard as the Chinese do. LOL

  • kski

    In the words of one of Tom Clancy’s characters “THIS REPRESENTS A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Where is Reagan when you need him. Either we take a stand now or we lose the next war!

    • ghostwhowalksnz

      Reagan was selling spare parts to the Iranian mullahs

      • Belesari

        Yes in a attempt to free 7 americans. And there have always been questions about the whole affair.

        And the clintons gave the chinese missile tech in exchange for money……your point.

        • blight_

          Loralgate was all Loral. I heard Obama gave the Pakistanis F-16s…!

        • Joeblow

          Ronald Raygun was forced to pay tribute to the Ayatollahs. He even sent Robert McFarlane to Tehran bearing a cake for Khomeini. Raygun was all bark and no bite.

          And there is no evidence that Clinton gave missile tech to anyone. Greedy capitalists whom neocon TEA baggers worship are the ones who sold us out to China. They continue to do so to this very day.

          • ruger

            No-dbad, it is the ones who blindly worship the gods of government that allow corporate donors to do such things. Your ignorance of tea baggers is astounding. It is supposed to be the government oversight that protects the taxpayer. Instead the government allows this to happen and then suggests that by giving it more power, it will solve the problem they created.
            Keep your ignorance to yourself, don’t continue to punish people like you.

          • Joeblow

            BZZZT!

            Why is it that TEA baggers always act shocked, SHOCKED when capitalists act like capitalists? The people whom the baggers worship are the ones who sold us out for a buck. I thought making a profit was a good thing, no? These Masters of the Universe use their wealth to buy our govt and politicians to get out of the way. Isn’t that what the baggers want — get govt out of the way?

  • oldmtnbkr

    Uhhhm, if WND is going to become a regular source for Defensetech’s posts, I may need to revise my bookmarks….

    • Musson

      Or DEBKA.COM?

  • blight_

    Wasn’t this the guy who alleged Israel also had stealth Blackhawks?

  • RCDC

    Apple have braches and factories in China. PC phones, Laptop, desktop, telephoney electronics and parts were also produce in China, aside from Reebok, Nike and etc. USA export jobs and technology to China to produce what is now sold in US and the rest of the world as consumer products to profit from low produce and export tax. This is no suprise. Probably the next hollywood movie after I see dead people is I see Chinese people.

    • A. Nonymous

      The Sixth Shens?

  • jamesb101

    Is ANYBODY Surprised at this?

    make your cost’s cheap….
    get the market….
    keep your back door open…

    Simple…

  • Lance

    This is the BIGGEST ”DUH” ever. Of course they have accesses they make 90% of the worlds computer parts and assemblies.

  • Mark

    Can somebody please WAKE UP and smell the EGG ROLLS?

    Connect the dots folks … the next war will be with the Communist Chinese.

    I don’t trust them … further than I can spit them.

    • DWAIN

      WE WILL GO TO WAR WITH CHINA… YOU CAN BET ON THAT

  • Tad

    Hey! PLA! Stop reading this post immediately!

  • Urallparanoid

    I think you should all calm down and pity the poor Chinese intel officers who (if this is true) have to sift through 80% of the world’s communications, 79.9999999999% of which are boring nonsense (79.9999999999999999999% in the case of America).

    • HazardUs

      another big chunk is just porn.

    • Belesari

      Actucally 70% of the internet is entirely porn.

      Now i understand the PLA just want free porn.

      • C.L.Loh

        On most of the Chinese web browsers, porn sites are not accessible.

  • Sam

    And all U.S. phone call records and billing are done by the Israelis.. They have access to just about every landline in America. 60 minutes did a report of this over a decade ago. How the U.S. gov’t could allow this is beyond me and most Americans given the Israeli’s history and continued spying on America.

    • Belesari

      Dude ya’ll killed 6,000,000 men women and children over 60 years ago! Wasnt that enough.

      Jesus christ when i figure out why insane people are obsessed with jews ill be rich. Or depressed. Or both.

      Lets see Israel last terrorist attack in the US or invasion of someone outside of the palestinians territories etc (from which they have been shot at daily by rockets and gunfire)….

      Damn i cant remember one. Oh and dont mention assasinations of terrorist leaders and such i dont care.

      • RMS


        Lets see Israel last terrorist attack in the US or invasion of someone outside of the palestinians territories etc (from which they have been shot at daily by rockets and gunfire)….”

        Lebanon 1982 & 2006.

        Just enter “Liberty Attack” or “Lavon Affair” into the search engine of your choice.

  • Marcellus Hambrick

    The Chinese are getting every advantage over the US. All we are concerned about is social programs. We are a country in decline. You can see it coming. The Chinese, with no dissention from their populace, will “bury us” like Khrushchev said. The Chinese are stealing military and economic secrets left and right and we are only concerned about people paying their “fair share”. Give me a break.

    • Joeblow

      Huh? Who the hell do you think sent the jobs and technology over there? Poor Americans below the poverty line? It’s the greedy capitalists and free-marketeers that sold us out. They did this to reap enormous profits for themselves and they stash their money in offshore bank accounts to avoid paying taxes. You’re damn right we should make these pigs pay their fair share.

      • blight_

        Makes you wonder if worker-owned companies would be better, or worse. Then again, the evildoers would move from the executive’s chair and an MBA to some union board and run the company into the ground for self-gain. That has been the historical precedent set by greedy people interested in themselves ahead of others, in all timeframes and commercial/government contexts.

  • Some Other Steve

    Before blowing a gasket, consider the source: WND: Wing Nut Daily.

    Sheesh.

  • Belesari

    Actucally i’ve known this for over a year already it was reported awhile back by quite a few internet science/tech sites.

  • fungU

    Ping wow. Ming chow.

  • dubweiser101

    There’s nothing deadlier than a Chinaman behind a keyboard.

    • blight_

      Wrong. There’s nothing deadlier than no longer making your own weapons free of outside parts.

  • MGC

    American: Nice Duds General, bet the Talibs can see you for miles.

    Red General: Camo is for Pu**ies

  • Ronnie

    LISTEN UP USA a mate here in Australia just told me how much his brother makes (electronic eng) in China. His china Co is making boards etc for the US NAVY. It’s godda be in the script …..surely the greedy US CEO’s have not sold u all down the river.

  • Black Owl

    We are pathetic…

  • Qianlong

    But when the US use Echelon to snoop on 90% of all world comms it’s OK?

    • blight_

      Touche.

      That said, they are replicating NSA capability. Presumably, the NSA has similar backdoor routines in electronic systems, or has “defense” hackers working out ways to circumvent a variety of model secured computer systems.

    • RCDC

      I bet they are already on military.com snooping. Hey are you a commedong?!!

    • nightlife6

      Echelon was old tech – we now cover 100%

  • longshadow

    Having the capability to access 80% of the world’s commercial networks and actually tapping them are two very different things. Large scale eavesdropping efforts like the one suggested in this article would have been detected a long time ago simply because of the traffic volume flowing back to China.

    This article would have been a little more relevant if the journalist had tied China’s selective monitoring agenda to the referenced hardware taps.

    In the same respect, we and our partners have our own large scale foreign communications monitoring programs so we shouldn’t act surprised when we hear about another country doing the same thing.

  • Jonathan

    Are we this incompetent?

    I thought the USA was supposed to be smart. Wouldn’t important layers in our internet and communications networks be made with American made electronics for this very reason?

    Or is this propaganda?

    What is stopping American made computers? Besides the lack of cheap labor compared to Asia. I would probably pay a few hundred dollars more for a computer if it was made in the USA and had it’s design improved by the NSA/CIA.

    I trust them more then I trust foreigners because ultimately they have the USA’s interest in heart (I hope).

  • Dawn

    And we’re waiting for??? Get with the program folks. You’re supposed to be our first line of defense.

  • Terry

    Yea, a Chinese spy does not looky like Chinese.

    • blight_

      Depends on what “A Chinese spy” is. The case officer is almost certainly Chinese, but his assets will come in genders, races and creeds.

  • hax0r

    microsoft left a huge backdoor open in windows 7 google metasploit 2 exploit and you will see that everyone is leaving backdoors open so that the governments can control your pc. This is no news since most backdoors that are discovered by hackers are left open and are never patched. How come MS has done nothing to close the metasploit back door and it has been evident that it exists for 2 years. the most dangerouse thing about metasploit is that the hacker has full control of your pc and can also see your desktop, copy password hashes for brute force attacks, and worst of all you can format or delete partitions. like i said full control. metasploit can also attack unix and linux machines its success rate on unix based machines im unsure about. Macs are next for that exploit team. For those of you who think macs are safe think again. there were “no virus’s for mac since there was no way to scan for them” most macs are infected.

    • blight_

      Time to make my root password longer, then drop admin priviledges on my main Windows account. It’ll make life inconvenient, but…

    • Jonathan

      Computers are built to be insecure on purpose in my opinion.

      They are the perfect “spy” tool. Place one in every home and now you know what people’s beliefs are, what they are buying, what they are saying, what they are writing, and even what they are seeing.

      Hardware that attempts to secure a computer has to go through government approval, and if it works won’t be allowed for national security reasons (ITAR, etc).

      But if you don’t believe me, try to design and sell a device that will allow you to control the signals to and from your computer. It’s illegal as far as the government is concerned, even if it’s not “officially” illegal. Highly dissuaded to the point of impossible would be a better explanation.

  • nraddin

    You know that having the network traffic is not the same thing as having the data in that network traffic. If I do end to end encryption, theoretically I can broadcast it to the world and it wouldn’t matter. You don’t have the key to open the data so you just have a stream of junk.

    This is not to say allowing your network gear to push data streams places that you didn’t intend is ok, just that if you have planned for that eventuality it’s shouldn’t be a huge issue.

    • blight_

      Indeed. What does their “backdoor access” give them? Raw data streams? Read-only priviledges? The ability to co-opt an enemy system for their own ends? Perhaps the ability to shut down enemy systems? Hard to say from the outside.

      Makes you wonder if anyone at CISCO is thinking about it. You know, the human network…

  • blight_

    Impostor?

  • TonyStark

    I guess America has to wake up its bloody idea n start dealing with tis sinister panda. rethink how US can deal with china’s asymmetrical warfare using a more down to earth approach rather than political fighting over the 2 parties and overspend on too precious to destroy war toys that stand too vulnerable to china’s cheap missiles n weapn

  • Andr

    LOL !! I wish I could say who has “backdoor” instead of his head, but I afraid to be banned. The real risk is only that Cisco etc are loosing huge money competing with Chinese companies. The rest – sniffing and transferring 80% of conversation via WAN to China, reading encrypted conversations first of all is technically impossible and second – has no sense at all. US gave China technologies. Moved plants and development to China. Why to steal something US already gave for free? Large US companies (including Cisco) outsourced IT support to India, China, Philippines, gave them access rights to networks and nobody has concerns that sensitive data could be compromised. US public dept to China is in my opinion something we should worry about. Lack of jobs is something we should worry about. More than 100.000 people killed during US presence in Irak – this is something we should worry about. Stop looking for enemy to switch our attention from really important things.

  • acid_rain

    look, we hack them all the time. they hack us all the time. tis just how the game works. you think for a second that the dod or dhs hasnt breaches their infra then youre wrong. use google and just search it out. the evidence is there. its been leaked for the last few years now. we hack them. them hack us. its a game. if the US guys thought there was any real danger dont you think we’d have patched our own country then taken china offline? c’mon, with barely any effort a few folks tooks down brazil, you know the country, down for days. not just the net either. google foos. debate all your guys want. leave the grown up stuff to the pros. good day.

    I SAID GOOD DAY.

  • acid_rain

    look, we hack them all the time. they hack us all the time. tis just how the game works. you think for a second that the dod or dhs hasnt breaches their infra then youre wrong. use google and just search it out. the evidence is there. its been leaked for the last few years now. we hack them. them hack us. its a game. if the US guys thought there was any real danger dont you think we’d have patched our own country then taken china offline? c’mon, with barely any effort a few folks tooks down brazil, you know the country, down for days. not just the net either. google foos. debate all your guys want. leave the grown up stuff to the pros. good day.

    I SAID GOOD DAY.

  • Pete Cortese

    Pencil,paper,and courier worked well for a long time.Go back to it .

  • Smokey

    I wonder how much of the world’s communications the US and UK are able to monitor via installations such as RAF Menwith Hill? I would expect it’s at least in the area of 80% as well.

  • Craig

    Besides supplying weapons to North Vietnam and North Korea which is on their border, it seems the Chinese keep to themselves and always have. Genghis rode shotgun for a while however.

    • reply

      genghis is not chinese, he’s mongolian. that’s like saying the germans invaded the french for 1 run and then using the phrase “the french tried to invade england blah blah blah after the fact without knowing the facts”
      it’s bad context

      I really think China really does keeps to themselves and are just really god dam competitive. It seems they do everything the usa does, They got invaded by western countries before (it’s not talked about, hong kong, japan, england etc, some 8 western countries trying to divide up the country) and I really don’t think they trust people after that. If you think of it from their point of view, the same people who invaded them before didn’t seem to change, why trust them when they want to get into trouble near “our” borders (vietnam). Why trust a puppet government and foreign backed competitor with weapons near our border, why have any wars near our borders,

      No one wants this and if China has a turn of heart for the worst, no one wants any wars with them either. It’s the people that do that you have to watch out for.

  • http://fasthackz.eu.pn/ CombatArmsHacks

    It is perfect time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I may just I wish to counsel you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  • cloud leaf

    you do realize that 81% of internet traffic is ****….so sue PLA for piracy, don’t use this as an excuse to pay for cyber war to fattening the 1% of the MIC!

  • SFC C+11

    Read the book “CYBER WAR – THE NEXT THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT” by, Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake.
    Look at WHO gave the Chinese Proprietary Rights so they could sell their merchandise in China. You may be amazed!!

  • http://ass-mann.de/coppermine/displayimage.php?album=1&pos=75 digital agency london list

    I love what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting!

    Keep up the very good works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

  • MyNameIs

    after reading alot of good and nonsenses it makes me think that some of you smoke tooooo much
    Google for Internet usage stats for 2011 ASIA / China uses 44% of all internet
    Another plus to that story, at once i know a guy that worked @******** according to his stories 30-40% of all supplied weapons for use @/in military bases was unaccounted for, meaning been stolen and nobody(maybe 1-5 people) knows where they went tooooo or still are.!

  • Berniece
  • http://essentialrelationships.com essentialrelationships.com
  • http://bit.ly/1G4sTfE free email verification software

    Signup free of cost email accounts verification API here and acquire 500 credits which you could utilise in web or desktop application or this zero cost JAVA based application here to validate and scrub
    your mailing lists