Feb 02 2008
2005: Titan RainThe U.S. government’s code name for a series of hacking incidents via Chinese websites which started in 2003. Targets included computer networks at the Department of Defense and other U.S agencies. Why significant: The first widely-suspected incident of nation-based espionage. But the details of Titan Rain are controversial. While some believe the Chinese government was involved in cyber espionage, others think that the attacks were the work of hackers using Chinese websites to cover their tracks.
This hits on a couple of points that Scott and I have made. The primary one is that it is possible and likely that these events are not being performed directly by the government but by independent hackers recruited by the government. The information collected is then exploited by the government. The top party officials may not know where this intelligence comes from. Another point is that people who suggest that Titan Rain isn’t necessarily government sponsored seem to always have the impression that the targets of Titan Rain simply went by the IP address as their only source of information to make the assumption by. Cyber adversaries make their collection requirements known every time their activity is detected (assuming the stolen data can be identified).