2017年7月20日 星期四

tail, impropriety, Corporate Espionage, undercover operatives

Ukraine has pulled its bank auditing rights for failing to identify alleged improprieties that led to a $5.5bn balance-sheet hole at the country’s largest lender.

Decision follows firm’s alleged failure to identify improprieties at PrivatBank

Practical Traveler

A guide to navigating a world of “opaque” Web sites like Priceline.com and Hotwire.com, where prices are undercover.

Morningstar was accused in a suit of using espionage to copy information for handling mutual-fund prospectuses.

Corporate Espionage Detailed in Documents

The Los Angeles Times leads a report on financial improprieties in the California governor's office; its top national story is a news feature on a veteran undercover CIA operative currently being tried for war crimes committed during the Balkan wars.

They scavenged through trash and tailed people for hours. They used undercover operatives to infiltrate private meetings. The targets were not agents of foreign powers but advocacy groups that had been critical of corporations.
(By Jenna Johnson, The Washington Post)

tail (FOLLOW)
verb [T]
to follow and watch someone very closely, especially in order to get information secretly:
That car has been tailing me for the last 10 minutes.

someone who follows another person to discover where the other person goes to, who they speak to, what they do, etc.
es·pi·o·nage (ĕs'pē-ə-näzh', -nĭj
n. 探索, スパイ行為[活動]; スパイを使うこと.
The act or practice of spying or of using spies to obtain secret information, as about another government or a business competitor.
[French espionnage, from espionner, to spy, from Old French espion, spy, from Old Italian spione, of Germanic origin.]

bbc《泰晤士報》說,英國的軍情五處就中國的網際網絡間諜威脅發出警告。 報道指出,300名商業領袖遭到"電子攻擊"和中國軍方針對英國的商業部門。

December 1, 2007

MI5 alert on China’s cyberspace spy threat

Exclusive: director-general of MI5 sends letter to British companies warning systems are under attack from China

The Government has openly accused China of carrying out state-sponsored espionage against vital parts of Britain’s economy, including the computer systems of big banks and financial services firms.
In an unprecedented alert, the Director-General of MI5 sent a confidential letter to 300 chief executives and security chiefs at banks, accountants and legal firms this week warning them that they were under attack from “Chinese state organisations”. It is believed to be the first time that the Government has directly accused China of involvement in web-based espionage. Such a blunt and explicit warning from Jonathan Evans could have serious diplomatic consequences and cast a shadow over Gordon Brown’s first official visit to China as Prime Minister early in the new year.
A summary of the MI5 warning, a copy of which has been seen by The Times, was posted on a secure government website. It says that Mr Evans wrote to business leaders “warning them of the electronic espionage attack”.
The summary, on the website of the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure, says: “The contents of the letter highlight the following: the Director-General’s concerns about the possible damage to UK business resulting from electronic attack sponsored by Chinese state organisations, and the fact that the attacks are designed to defeat best-practice IT security systems.”

It adds: “The letter acknowledges the strong economic and commercial reasons to do business with China, but the need to ensure management of the risks involved.”
Access to the site is limited to groups that form part of the country’s critical infrastructure, which include telecoms firms, banks and water and electricity companies. The document gives warning that British companies doing business in China are being targeted by the Chinese Army, which is using the internet to steal confidential commercial information. The Home Office refused to comment last night on what it called leaked private correspondence. A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in London said he was unaware of the allegations and that the embassy had not received any complaints from the British authorities.
Martin Jordan, a principal adviser at the accountants KPMG, who has seen the contents of the letter, said: “If the Chinese know that a British firm is trying to buy a company or other assets such as land in China then they are using every means at their disposal to discover details such as exactly how much money the British company is prepared to spend for that asset.”
Firms known to have been compromised recently by Chinese attacks are one of Europe’s largest engineering companies and a large oil company, The Times has learnt. Another source familiar with the MI5 warning said, however, that known attacks had not been limited to large firms based in the City of London. Law firms and other businesses in the regions that deal even with only small parts of Chinese-linked deals are being probed as potential weak spots, he said.
A security expert who has also seen the letter said that among the techniques used by Chinese groups were “custom Trojans”, software designed to hack into the network of a particular firm and feed back confidential data. The MI5 letter includes a list of known “signatures” that can be used to identify Chinese Trojans and a list of internet addresses known to have been used to launch attacks.
A big study gave warning this week that Government and military computer systems in Britain are coming under sustained attack from China and other countries. It followed a report presented to the US Congress last month describing Chinese espionage in the US as so extensive that it represented “the single greatest risk to the security of American technologies”.
Ian Brown, of Oxford University, one of the report’s authors, said that attacks traced back to China have been found attempting to crack Whitehall passwords. The report identified China as the country most active in internet-enabled spying operations and attacks but says that 120 other countries are using the same techniques.
The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, one of several British bodies charged with protecting the country’s computer systems, has described the threat posed by cyber attacks as enormous.
Defence departments across the globe are already rewriting manuals for a future of digital warfare. The US has recorded 37,000 attempted breaches of government and private systems this year and a new unit at the US Air Force, staffed by 40,000 people, has been set up to prepare for cyber-war.
The Virtual Criminology Report found that attacks had progressed from initial curiosity probes to well-funded and well-organised operations for political, military, economic and technical espionage.


plural noun: improprieties
  1. failure to observe standards of honesty or modesty; improper behaviour or character.

    "she was scandalized at the impropriety of the question"

adjective [before noun]

  1. Performed or occurring in secret: an undercover investigation.
  2. Engaged or employed in spying or secret investigation: undercover FBI agents.

\working secretly using a false appearance in order to get information for the police or government:
an undercover police operation
an undercover detective

He was working undercover at the time almost certainly for the British Secret Service.