Thursday, June 19, 2014

Building a Shorter Kill Chain?

Chinese-made phones have been found to be pre-loaded with malware. Our Navy should be concerned.

This is not good:

A cheap brand of Chinese-made smartphones carried by major online retailers comes preinstalled with espionage software, a German security firm said Tuesday.

G Data Software said it found malicious code hidden deep in the propriety software of the Star N9500 when it ordered the handset from a website late last month. The find is the latest in a series of incidents where smartphones have appeared preloaded with malicious software.

Admit it. You thought I was being paranoid when I worried about China's ability to strike our carriers and mentioned this avenue of attack eight years ago:

Let me offer a non-Manhattan Project-style and unconventional solution to China's targeting problem. What if Chinese agents placed a signalling device on the keel of an American aircraft carrier while in port? Or a homing device in the galley's coffee machine before it is installed? Or buried in the storage bins of some bulk product? What if the Chinese maneuvering ballistic missiles were designed to home in on the signal of such a device and the Chinese had a means to turn on the device when needed?

A couple years later, I speculated about our sailors voluntarily bringing on to our aircraft carriers the devices, which opens up new avenues for transmitting that signal:

Could the Chinese slip something into our carrier systems that would function as a homing beacon for a missile attack, eliminating the need to deploy surveillance and targeting systems for tracking our carriers at sea? What if a compromised chip could make a silent-running carrier emit in every frequency by just turning equipment on? The Chinese would only need to know the general area of a carrier and shoot blind, counting on the carrier itself to bring the missiles home. Shoot, just infect every iPod sold to make sure sailors take them on board a carrier and put emitters in them.

And then China goes and mass produces devices our sailors want to bring on board our carriers for those long cruises.

Right now, our efforts to keep the Chinese from striking our carriers assume a much longer kill chain to break.

What if the kill chain is much shorter by relying on a single link between DF-21 and the homing signal on the target?