Chinese Spying NSA/USA buying Cryptographic Equipment on Ebay

It’s amazing.

A chinese guy has been engaged within an espionage activity for the People’s Republic of China buying and exporting cryptographic equipments, radio and other secure hardware on eBay.

It’s unbelivable, read there, Chi Tong Kuok found on eBay:

  • 1 software for a VDC-300 airborne data controller, used for secure satellite communications from the American military aircraft
  • 1 GPS receiver with anti-spoofing defence (maybe there’s interested in understanding how this know that a packet is spoofed or not? Me too!)
  • 1 NSA developed AN/CYZ-10 crypto key management device
  • 2 PRC-148 handheld digital military radios
  • 1 KG-175 TACLAN, an NSA designed encryption device used to communicate with classified military computer networks, such as Defense Department’s SIPRNet (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network) .

It’s important to underline that good crypto should not require “secret methods” as the security methods should be secure even if revealed, like any cryptographic technology.

But chinese probably understood that this is not the approach of NSA that prefer using custom, self-made, self-analyzed cryptographic technologies that are probably a lot weaker than nowadays cryptographic standards.

So, why not buy some export restricted military secure technology on ebay?


One comment

  • 1
    20 July 2009 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I think there is nothing surprising. Every day such devices are stolen, bought and sold. The only new thing is that he managed to buy these at eBay (if he really did).

    Id doesn’t matter if you obtain just a device – can you read and disassemble the algorithms, code etc? I don’t know. Or it’s damn hard.

    Besides, Russians are experiencing the same issues. E.g. when it was Soviet Union, it was ok. But then it split into several countries (CIS countries). And many military RND enterprises are located in Ukraine.

    Now the Ukraine is friends with USA. So they just sold them a couple of Soviet-made military aircrafts with all documentation (e.g. drawings, schematics etc). So USA can make a full study of the technologies. That’s the real leakage!
    And they also sell such technologies to China (spare parts, documents etc). Russia stopped selling military aircrafts to China recently – because chinese are buying 2 aircrafts and make 50 copies instead of buying 50 more, that’s what really amazing!

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