Mar 9, 2018

U.S. firm accuses China of covering up espionage

Students sit an exam in a computer room at a technical school in Jinan, in China's eastern Shandong province. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Months after a U.S. cyber intelligence firm published research that the Chinese appeared to withhold publicly available cybersecurity warnings from a public database when they might interfere with its cyber espionage operations, the firm found evidence that China was trying to cover that up.

The details: In November, Recorded Future published a report that the Chinese public database of security vulnerabilities was far faster to update than its U.S. counterparts 97% percent of the time. But the 3% of the time they were slower appeared to correlate with the vulnerabilities believed Chinese espionage groups used to breach computers.

  • In a new report released Friday, Recorded Future notes that the dates on vulnerabilities they evaluated in their first report were altered to eliminate the lag in posting.
  • The database edited the dates on 267 out of 268 of the vulnerabilities analyzed for the first report and 72 out of 75 dates of additional vulnerabilities Recorded Future would have included in the first report, but were outside the timeframe of the study.

Why it matters: Recorded Future thinks the edits might be further evidence that the Chinese vulnerability database is being manipulated to aide its espionage operations. If true, that could be a way to predict which vulnerabilities are being used by the Chinese.

Go deeper

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

America's future looks a lot like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.