• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 4:53pm
Edward Snowden

EXCLUSIVE: Snowden reveals more US cyberspying details

Text messages mined, while servers at Tsinghua University attacked

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 June, 2013, 8:52pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 June, 2013, 7:18pm

US spies are hacking into Chinese mobile phone companies to steal text messages and attacking the servers at Tsinghua University, Edward Snowden has told the Sunday Morning Post.

The latest explosive revelations about US National Security Agency cybersnooping in Hong Kong and on the mainland are based on further scrutiny and clarification of information Snowden provided on June 12.

The former technician for the US Central Intelligence Agency and contractor for the National Security Agency provided documents revealing attacks on computers over a four-year period.

The documents listed operational details of specific attacks on computers, including internet protocol (IP) addresses, dates of attacks and whether a computer was still being monitored remotely.

The Sunday Morning Post can now reveal Snowden's claims that the NSA is:

Pacnet, which recently signed major deals with the mainland's top mobile phone companies, owns more than 46,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cables. The cables connect its regional data centres across the Asia-Pacific region, including Hong Kong, the mainland, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. It also has offices in the US.

Snowden claims that data from Chinese mobile phone companies has been compromised, with millions of private text messages mined by the NSA.

Cybersecurity experts on the mainland have long feared mobile phone companies had fallen victim to back-door attacks because they were forced to go overseas to buy core technology for their networks. In recent years, those security concerns became more vocal and as a result domestic network equipment suppliers such as Huawai, Datang and ZTE started to close the technology gap, enabling the phone companies to reduce their reliance on foreign suppliers.

As for the attacks at Tsinghua University, the leaked information points to the NSA hacking into the institute's servers as recently as January.

Tsinghua is widely regarded as China's top education and research institute and carries out extensive work on next-generation web technologies.

It is home to one of the mainland's six major network backbones, the China Education and Research Network.

China's reaction to the new revelations will play a large part in the final outcome of the Snowden episode but so far Beijing is playing its cards close to its chest.

Mainland experts said last night they believed Beijing would neither go out of its way to help the US government or give protection to Snowden.

"In the bigger scale of things, Sino-US relations outweigh any information Snowden may have. It is also impractical for China to hope Snowden will co-operate with us. If he wanted to do that, he'd have flown to Beijing," said an expert in Shanghai who requested anonymity.

"On the other hand, the Chinese government will not do anything over-and-above to help the US speed up the extradition process. It will let Hong Kong handle the case according to the protocols and laws," the expert said.

Shi Yinhong, an international relations professor at Renmin University, said eventually the best solution for Beijing is to let Snowden leave Hong Kong. "It doesn't matter where he goes, as long as he is not in Hong Kong."

Shi said Beijing would react strongly if Washington tried to strong-arm Hong Kong into cooperating. He said China would insist that everything must be done according to the city's laws.


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This article is now closed to comments

California Kid
As an American, it saddens me when I realize just how uninformed our US citizens have become on issues of political corruption in the USA. In my 60 years on earth I have seen our country steadily become a very bad actor on the world stage. The vast majority of our actions are fueled by greed (both individuals and corporations) influencing policy behind the scenes. Political donations, lobbying and blackmail govern the life of successful politicians. Citizens are pawns in the game, manipulated by news corporations who are also misled and blackmailed by the power brokers. In other words, Americans are lied to for the sole purpose of keeping real power safely behind the scenes. And that power is active power. Every rotten apple is avaricious for more money and connections. It is a network of thieves. Evil people playing with the lives of humans around the world.
The saddest thing of all is that normal everyday citizens of other countries can see what America has become, even when Americans wave the flag of freedom while our leaders sell our integrity in horrible behind the scenes transactions. I won't bother to say "Wake up America" because the sleeping citizens don't want to wake up. I will simply say, "It is the end of the American Dream"
Louis Mackey
My fellow Americans - Ever heard of the notorious Big Brothers? The Big Five of CIA,NSA,DIA,NGA,NRO in coordination with satellite stations throughout the territories of five Anglo nations, known as Five Eyes, and their worldwide hacking has been a constant warning since last year in China Daily. [Google 'Sicko Uncle Sam' at the CD Forum for more]
China, Japan, Indonesia or South Korea did not attack US on 9/11. US is hacking into Chinese network to steal SMS data of average Chinese. What does that has to do with 9/11? Nothing! Stop using fear to justify your crimes against humanity. No one is buying the garbage you are selling.
Oh and nice try... NSA.
FACT: NSA are a bunch of fascist that spy on the rest of the world.
It is kind of ironic that we can post comments here by verifying though Facebook.
Facebook, Microsoft Hotmail, Skype, Yahoo, Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud, Intel, AMD -- the world cannot come up with alternatives to them fast enough !
business opportunity for anti hacking cyberspying US corporations.
Well said. But, don't fall completely into despair. There are still a great many thinking, loving people in the world who can see and who do understand. The evolution of human consciousness will not develop as an orderly progression, but in fits and starts - 2 steps forward and one step back. Thank you so much for taking the time to share well considered observations. It matters :-)
Why not, when Britain and the US have been the targets of terrorism since 911 and many innocent people were slaughtered in the process, who can blame them for being cautious and feisty, even adventurous in snooping. They have innocent citizens to protect like you and I. The information obtained is not aimed to invade any person's privacy. The sympathizers of Syria, the Taliban and the terrorist regimes in China and Russia who bully against their own people are the countries we should fear when thousands of civilians are dying innocently. If China and Russia are doing the same thing I would strongly object but not Britain and the US. Double standards also need moral ground.



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