Cyber/Hacking/AI Part 2

Chinese firms hit by huge increase in cyber attacks: survey

Nov 29, 2016

  • Cyber attacks on Chinese companies have soared in the past two years, according to a survey, with new technologies that connect household items to the internet and allow them to receive and send data seen as particularly vulnerable. The average number of cyber attacks detected by companies in mainland China and Hong Kong grew 969 percent between 2014 and 2016. The number of attacks averaged more than 7 a day for each of the survey’s 440 China-based respondents – around half of the global average of 13.

China’s Courts Look to AI for Smarter Judgments

Nov 18, 2016

  • Smarter courts will take advantage of big data, cloud computing, neural networks, and machine learning, Zhou Qiang, the head of the Supreme People’s Court, announced at the 3rd World Internet Conference in Wuzhen Town, in China’s eastern Zhejiang province on Thursday, Sixth Tone’s sister publication The Paper reported. Big data refers to extremely large data sets that can be analyzed for trends and associations. China’s judicial system has already begun to harness the power of big data, with a national online database of millions of case rulings established in January 2014, as well as a rival open-source database created by Beijing law firm Tiantong.

China’s Baidu bets its future on AI


  • China’s leading search engine Baidu is investing time and money into artificial intelligence (AI), an area it considers central to its business growth, a company executive said. Zhang Yaqin, president of Baidu, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the third World Internet Conference (WIC) that the NASDAQ-listed firm invests more than 15 percent of its revenue into research and development every year, much of it related to AI.

China’s big Artificial Intelligence (AI) push

October 26, 2016

  • It took less than 5 mins for me to activate and transfer money from my China Merchant’s Bank account to a friend. Using facial recognition, the smartphone app directed me to tilt my head, blink my eyes and hold my face still to authenticate the transfer. Facial recognition is gaining traction at a startling pace in China. Real-world applications already range from verifying Uber drivers to identifying people seeking to withdraw cash from an ATM without a debt card. Chinese startups in this space have attracted serious funding: Face++ was most recently valued at $1B.

President Xi stresses int’l cooperation in cyberspace governance


  • Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for increased international cooperation in cyberspace governance and the building of a cyberspace community of common destiny. Noting that Internet development has no boundaries, Xi said China is willing to work with the international community for the common welfare for all people, to uphold the concept of cyberspace sovereignty and to make the global cyberspace governance system fairer and more reasonable.

Chinese security specialists flex muscles at international hackers carnival


  • White hats from Qihoo 360 Technology Co have showcased the latest bug-fixing improvements at an international hackers conference. They introduced the latest development in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) which can sense the driving environment and warn drivers of immediate dangerous situations. They also discussed Tesla Motors’ driverless technology.

China’s New Cybersecurity Law Rattles Foreign Tech Firms

Nov. 7, 2016

  • China’s government has approved a broad new cybersecurity law aimed at tightening and centralizing state control over information flows and technology equipment, raising concerns among foreign companies operating in the country. Lawmakers described the law as necessary to bolster its online security at a time of multiplying threats

Foreign hackers in China’s sights with proposed changes to cyber law

01 November, 2016

  • Beijing has proposed a revised internet law to punish foreigners who hack Chinese websites as it steps up its campaign against cyberattacks it blames on the West. The proposed cybersecurity law changes would let the government freeze assets of foreign individuals or groups if they damaged China’s key information infrastructure, Xinhua reported. Police would apply “other necessary punishment” to those outside the country who attacked, intruded, disrupted or harmed Chinese websites, according to the revised draft quoted in the report.

China repeatedly hacked US, stole data on nukes, FBI & war plans – security report

28 Oct, 2016

  • Chinese intelligence repeatedly targeted US national security agencies and email accounts of US officials, a soon-to-be-released report says, adding that Beijing spies targeted info on nuclear weapons, FBI investigations and war plans. “Chinese intelligence has repeatedly infiltrated US national security entities and extracted information with serious consequences for US national security, including information on the plans and operations of US military forces and the designs of US weapons and weapons systems,” a draft annual report for 2016 said, as cited by the Washington Free Beacon.

Ten Chinese Angel Firms Jointly Launch AI-Big Data Accelerator

28 October 2016

  • Ten Chinese angel and venture firms, including the Zhen Fund, Innovation Angel Funds and CAS Star, have jointly launched an accelerator focused on artificial intelligence and big data. The objective is to incubate the next great companies comparable to China’s current technology giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu.

How China Hopes to Shape the Future of AI

October 24, 2016

  • This past May, China announced its AI roadmap for the next three years: The National Development and Reform Commission expects their artificial intelligence sector will give them a market worth topping 100 billion yuan (that’s $15.26 billion) within that time period. “China has already got a great start in both research and business applications in AI — right behind the U.S. […] On the research side, the White House recently published a report showing that China has now surpassed the U.S. in total papers and citations published in Deep Learning or Neural Network, a crucial area in AI, but overall both the U.S. and China are way ahead of other countries. In fact, author’s names with Chinese-origin represent about 50 percent of the articles published yearly in Deep Learning. Of course, there are other keywords one can use to search, e.g. computer vision, autonomous cars, natural language processing, etc. but it’s very clear that the two leading countries in AI research are U.S. and China. This is actually very surprising to me, since China is not usually very strong in other fundamental sciences or computer science areas.”

Chinese hackers ‘targeted US aircraft carrier patrolling in South China Sea’ as legal battle raged over who should control the waters

21 October 2016

  • Chinese hackers tried to steal information from a US aircraft carrier patrolling in the South China Sea when the country was under pressure to withdraw its claim over the waters. USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was on patrol in July when a Chinese-based group launched the cyber-attack.

Chinese Hackers Targeting US DoD Contractor Linked to OPM Hack

Oct 20, 2016

  • Investigators have traced a series of malware infections on the systems of two European companies back to a Chinese threat actor, with clues linking the attacks to the same group that was behind the Anthem and OPM hacks. The targets of these two attacks are the US subsidiary of a French company that provides energy management services and a European-based drone maker.

In Contrast to Tay, Microsoft’s Chinese Chatbot, Xiaolce, Is Actually Pleasant

March 26, 2016

  • When you heard about Tay, Microsoft’s tweeting A.I., were you really surprised that a computer that learned about human nature from Twitter would become a raging racist in less than a day? Of course not. Poor Tay started out all “hellooooooo w🌎rld!!!” and quickly morphed into a Hitler-loving, genocide-encouraging piece of computer crap. Naturally, Microsoft apologized for the horrifying tweets by the chatbot with “zero chill.” In that apology, the company stressed that the Chinese version of Tay, Xiaoice or Xiaolce, provides a very positive experience for users in stark contrast to this experiment gone so very wrong. “In China, our Xiaolce chatbot is being used by some 40 million people, delighting with its stories and conversations. The great experience with XiaoIce led us to wonder: Would an AI like this be just as captivating in a radically different cultural environment? Tay – a chatbot created for 18- to 24- year-olds in the U.S. for entertainment purposes – is our first attempt to answer this question.”

China has now eclipsed us in AI research

October 13 2016

  • The chart above was published Wednesday by the Obama administration as part of a new strategic plan aimed at spurring U.S. development of artificial intelligence. What’s striking about it is that although the United States was an early leader on deep-learning research, China has effectively eclipsed it in terms of the number of papers published annually on the subject. The rate of increase is remarkably steep, reflecting how quickly China’s research priorities have shifted. The quality of China’s research is also striking. The chart below narrows the research to include only those papers that were cited at least once by other researchers, an indication that the papers were influential in the field. Compared with other countries, the United States and China are spending tremendous research attention on deep learning. But, according to the White House, the United States is not investing nearly enough in basic research.

Russia May Be Hacking Us More, But China Is Hacking Us Much Less

Oct 12 2016

  • In a rare bit of good cyber security news, Chinese hacking thefts of American corporate secrets have plummeted in the 13 months since China signed an agreement with the Obama administration to curb economic espionage, U.S. officials and outside experts say. Analysts say the success may hold lessons for how the U.S. should deal with Russia, which at the same time has stepped up a different sort of hacking campaign that officials says is aimed at undermining confidence in the American election.

Baidu launches medical chatbot to help Chinese doctors diagnose patients

Oct 11, 2016

  • Chinese search engine giant Baidu is launching a medical chatbot designed to make diagnosing illnesses easier. The conversational bot is named Melody and comes built into the company’s iOS and Android Baidu Doctor app, which launched in China in 2015. Baidu Doctor allows users to contact local doctors, book appointments, and ask questions, with the chatbot intended to speed up this process. “[Melody] asks those additional questions,” says Ng. “And as they’re generated by AI, they’re reactive, responding to what you’ve already said.” He stresses, though, that Melody is not a replacement for doctors — it’s merely intended to inform the advice that they offer. “By gathering more information for the doctor we believe it will help them make better diagnoses.”

New NATO report claims China’s cyber-space influence continues to grow

September 29, 2016

  • A new report by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) has detailed the evolving Chinese cyber-structures, showing developments in both internal governance of information and its self-named firewall and cyber-espionage activities. The report titled, “China and Cyber: Attitudes, Strategies, Organisation” is part of the NATO CCD COE series on national organisational models for ensuring cyber-security summarise national cyber-security strategy objectives and outline the division of cyber-security tasks and responsibilities between agencies. Despite being widely misunderstood by Western media as a Chinese plan to destroy the US, the report claims China stands out in its approach to internet governance, for reasons including extensive industrial espionage, and increasing military focus on cyber-operations.

China cyber espionage continues

September 28, 2016

  • U.S. Cyber Command recently reported within secret government channels that China is continuing aggressive cyber espionage against American companies. An intelligence report disseminated earlier this month stated that one of China’s biggest cyber spying operations involved the theft of 1.65 terabytes of sensitive proprietary data from a major U.S. software company, according to a defense official familiar with the report.

China says ‘aye’ to AI


  • Boom in artificial intelligence projects promises to energize Chinese startups. iFlytek Co Ltd, a Shenzhen-listed AI company, is developing a robot that will seek to beat 80 percent of Chinese students and become eligible, theoretically, for admission into a top-level university in 2020. “Our artificial intelligence system enables robots to accomplish tasks like reading and comprehension as intelligently as a 6-year-old,” Hu said. Baidu Inc, the Chinese internet search giant that has obtained a permit to test its self-driving cars in California earlier this month, said it would double down on its bet on a venture capital firm focusing on AI. Its initial investment fund will be $200 million. According to a report by Beijing-based research firm iResearch Consulting Group, there are roughly 100 AI startups in China. As of December 2015, 65 of them had received 2.9 billion yuan ($434 million) from venture capitalists.

Cybersecurity is threatening America’s military supremacy

Sep 21, 2016

  • A massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack knocked offline at least 68 Philippine government websites in July, apparently in response to an international court ruling that denied China’s territorial claims in the region. Just days later, Vietnam’s national airline and major airports were targeted in a series of attacks by the Chinese hacking group 1937CN. Those are just the latest examples of China’s years long cyber campaign related to the Spratly Islands. (In another attack, the website of the aforementioned international court was infected with malware and taken offline last year.) That 2015 instance appears to fit China’s public posturing on the ways it says it could use electronic GPS jamming to disrupt U.S. drone networks. One 2013 report in the Chinese journal Aerospace Electronic Warfare notes in technical detail how its military can “use network warfare to attack and even control America’s network” by disrupting the connection between satellites and aircraft. This sort of GPS jamming could be the largest electronic threat to the U.S. drone program. In fact, it has been widely speculated that Iran used a similar GPS “spoofing” technique to take control of a U.S. surveillance drone in 2011.

Security researchers from China remotely hacked a Tesla Model S

Sep 20, 2016

  • Following many months of research, security researchers out of China this week announced that they successfully managed to hack a Tesla Model S and assume control over many of the vehicle’s controls. The hack was disclosed by researchers from Keen Security Lab who noted that their remote exploit worked whether or not a targeted Model S was parked or driving. The researchers note that the exploit works by compromising the car’s CAN bus, a process which begins when a targeted Model S user connects to a malicious Wi-Fi network via the car’s built-in web browser. Following that, the researchers demonstrated how they were able to remotely control many aspects of a hacked Model S, including being able to open the trunk, the sunroof, and perhaps most worrisome, apply the brakes whiles the car is in motion. In another dangerous scenario, researchers were able to change the orientation of the Tesla’s side-view mirrors while it was changing lanes.

China launches cyber security talent training nationwide


  • Authorities from Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei Province on Monday pledged to increase the number of scholarships to attract students pursuing cyber security, and run special recruitment for “maverick geniuses,” which constitutes a part of nationwide efforts to train cyber security talent. Li Shuyong, Wuhan government publicity department head, told the Cybersecurity Technology Summit during China Cybersecurity Week that the city government will cooperate with companies to cultivate the world’s top cyber security talent.

China and Russia trump U.S. for the best developers in the world, says HackerRank

September 9, 2016

  • HackerRank, a platform that ranks engineers based on their coding skills and helps companies discover talent faster, has tried to answer this question based on coding challenges. According to HackerRank, China and Russia score as having the most talented developers. Chinese programmers outscore all other countries in mathematics, functional programming, and data structures challenges, while Russians dominate in algorithms, the most popular and most competitive arena.

Government computer networks breached in cyber attacks as experts warn of espionage threat

29 Aug 2016

  • Sensitive Australian Government and corporate computer networks — including those holding highly confidential plans for a privately financed geostationary communications satellite — have been penetrated by sophisticated cyber attacks, a Four Corners investigation has established. Austrade and the Defence Department’s elite research division, now named the Defence Science Technology Group, both suffered significant cyber infiltrations in the past five years by hackers based in China.

U.S. developers have the numbers, but China and Russia have the skills

Aug 29, 2016

  • While the United States and India may have lots of programmers, China and Russia have the most talented developers according to a study by HackerRank, which administers coding tests to developers worldwide. The study looked at the results of 1.4 million of HackerRank’s coding test submissions, called “challenges,” during the last few years. “According to our data, China and Russia score as the most talented developers. Chinese programmers outscore all other countries in mathematics, functional programming, and data structures challenges, while Russians dominate in algorithms, the most popular and most competitive arena,” said Ritika Trikha, a blogger at HackerRank.

China Opens Cybersecurity Discussion to Microsoft, Cisco, Other Firms

Aug 27, 2016

  • China is changing its way of dealing with tech companies outside the country as it now welcomes opinions and comments from them in drafting a new cybersecurity rule that covers foreign firms like Microsoft. A report from the Wall Street Journal revealed how China is setting a “new tone” that is more inclusive than ever as select foreign tech companies like Microsoft and Cisco are now given the chance to share their thoughts on standards of cybersecurity.

Russia More Prey Than Predator to Cyber Firm Wary of China

August 25, 2016

  • While the West sees Russia as a cyber predator, hackers in the East increasingly view it as prey, according to online security company Kaspersky Lab, which says there’s been a sharp spike in attacks from China. Cases of Chinese hacking of Russian industries including defense, nuclear, and aviation rose almost threefold to 194 in the first seven months of this year from 72 in the whole of 2015, according to Alexander Gostev, the Moscow-based company’s chief security expert. Proofpoint, a California-based cyber security company, also reported an increase in Chinese attacks on Russia.

China beefs up cyber security to prevent online frauds

August 25, 2016

  • China has clamped new regulations to beef up cyber security to address the growing complaints of online frauds and leakage of private information on the internet costing billions of dollars. Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China, and the Standardisation Administration of China (SAC) unveiled a document on Wednesday which contained new guidelines.

Chinese cyber spies may be watching you, experts warn

August 28, 2016

  • About a year ago, China and the United States formally agreed not to conduct or knowingly support the cyber theft of each other’s intellectual property. “Cyber operations from China are still targeting and exploiting US government, defense industry, academic and private computer networks,” Rogers said last April during testimony before a US Senate committee. China’s cyber tactics may be getting “more assertive,” but the number of China-based hacking instances against the US government and American companies has declined in the past two years, according to US cyber security firm FireEye.

Software maverick McAfee warns China of hacking weakness

August 16, 2016

  • China leads the world in connecting everyday devices to the internet, but is creating huge hacking vulnerabilities for itself and others by doing so, renegade American software pioneer John McAfee warned Tuesday. Hackers had already been able to gain control of devices such as safes and heating controls, and take over the computer systems of automobiles and aeroplanes, he said. “China is taking the lead in putting intelligence into devices, from refrigerators to smart thermostats, and this is our weakest link in cybersecurity,” he said in Beijing.

US Hackers’ Carnival Shows China’s Strength in Cyberspace Protection


  • Numerous members of China-based security teams and geeks’ groups showcased their latest tech improvements during the annual BlackHat and DEFCON conventions held in Las Vegas from July 30 to August 8.

How the Chinese Government Became the World’s Hacking Superpower

July 26, 2016

  • In January of 2010, Google made a shocking announcement: The Chinese government had broken into its systems to steal sensitive data. This was the first time an American company had the guts to publicly stand up and point the finger at the government of China. “We detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google,” the company wrote in a boringly titled blog post.

China’s Secret Weapon in the South China Sea: Cyber Attacks

July 22, 2016

  • Within hours of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s unanimous rebuke of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea last week, at least 68 national and local government websites in the Philippines were knocked offline in a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This is not the first time the landmark legal dispute over the South China Sea has flared up in cyberspace. Last summer, Chinese hackers allegedly breached the court’s servers during a hearing on the territorial dispute, leaving anyone interested in the landmark legal case at risk of data theft. In addition to the Philippines, Vietnam has been a popular target for Chinese cyber units; in 2014 it became the most targeted country in cyberspace. That year, two notable upticks occurred in Chinese cyber attacks: In May, following an international incident surrounding a Chinese oil rig in Vietnam-claimed waters that escalated into deadly anti-China protests around the country, Chinese hackers gained access to sensitive information about Vietnam’s diplomatic and military strategy by compromising an intelligence agency network. In October the same year, similar attacks were observed, a likely response to Vietnamese arms acquisitions boosting the country’s maritime security capabilities.

China probably hacked the FDIC for three years

July 13, 2016

  • It’s likely that China’s government compromised computers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) over a three-year period starting in 2010 and that employees at the banking regulator hid the hacking, according to an interim congressional report released on Wednesday. The congressional staff report accuses the FDIC of attempting to hide the security breaches as a means of not derailing congressional approval of Martin Gruenberg as agency chairman. The U.S. Senate confirmed Gruenberg in November 2012.

Chinese Hackers, Businesses and Government Coordinate Cyber Efforts

July 1, 2016

  • China likely will be one of the United States’ main adversaries—or perhaps more accurately, competitors—in the cyber realm for the foreseeable future. U.S. business leaders may not understand the extent to which attacks against their own corporate networks actually are coordinated efforts by Chinese hackers, Chinese business interests and elements of the Chinese government. Many of the tactics and schemes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is employing in cyberspace have their basis in history, and some of them are anchored in Chinese philosophy. In our own time, at least one Chinese academic has written of lessening distinctions between wars and nonwars and between military and nonmilitary specialists who are now players in operations such as information warfare (IW). Chinese strategists seem intent on pursuing their national interest in the cyber realm incrementally and continuously, without declaring or conducting a decisive, kinetic war.

China moves closer to approving controversial cyber law


  • China has taken another step toward implementing a controversial cybersecurity law that could have significant implications for foreign businesses operating in that lucrative market. The draft law would require companies to “comply with social and business ethics” and “accept supervision by both government and the public,” according to the state news agency Xinhua.

U.S. sees progress in latest cyber talks with China

Jun 14, 2016

  • The United States is pleased to see progress has been made with China on information sharing about cyber threats, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday during the latest round of cyber security talks between the two countries. China and the United States signed an anti-hacking accord in September last year, brokered during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Washington, including a pledge that neither country would knowingly carry out hacking for commercial advantages. The agreement marked an ongoing effort to repair relations after China withdrew from a working group in 2014 in response to the U.S. indictment of five members of its military on charges it hacked six U.S. companies.

Defence forces on alert after Chinese cyber attack

12th June 2016

  • A cyber attack on government and commercial organisations in India by Chinese military’s western headquarters, which oversees India, has raised alarm bells in the corridors of South Block. An alert has been issued to the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force that a Chinese Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) group called Suckfly, based in Chengdu region, is targeting Indian organisations. India’s defence establishment is its prime target.

China’s New Draft Cybersecurity Rule Becomes Part of Worldwide Effort to Limit American Tech Domination

Jun 05, 2016

  • China’s cybersecurity regulation is making it difficult for United States’ tech firms to pull through amid the expanding battle line where American companies are on one side and the rest of the world are on the other. According to a Wall Street Journal report, American technology product developers are finding ways of keeping their companies afloat after one of world’s biggest tech markets imposed more strict regulations on their products.