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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  June 16, 2015 1:30am-2:01am EDT

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magna carta. the queen was among those celebrating, and establish basic legal rinse mr s that no one is -- principles that no one is above the law you can go to our website for the latest news and lots more. thieves, and spies. plus, digital warfare. how the enemy half a world away lurks a click away from your family online. hackers have twisted the internet into a weapon that threatens the security of individuals, companies, and nations. the latest victims are current and former u.s. federal
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government workers. personal information was stolen from the office of personnel management. u.s. officials mostly speaking anonymously blame hackers in china. mostly people seeking security clearances. china denies any involvement in these hacks. i'll talk more about that with a former chinese diplomat later in the show. but first i want to give you a sense of the scope of the last by 2020 the cost of worldwide criminal data breaches will reach about 2.5
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$2.5 trillion. the reason is because more of the data the world relies on is moving online making us increasingly vulnerable to hackers who want to scam, steal, and spy. by now we know about the massive hack north korea is accused of launching last year against sony pictures in response to the movie "the interview." that exposed salary information belonging to sony employees. but that was just one of the many companies that were attacked. in all attacks exposed more than 85 85 million u.s. consumer records to hackers last year. about 15% of all americans have had personal information stolen by hackers. the question, of course, is what more can be done to fight people and forces that are hacking america. clearly the tens of billions of dollars spent on cyber security technology aren't enough.
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but the first step is for all of us to understand how hackers can steal and sell valuable information that belongs to you. barry snow has the story. >>reporter: it's almost like an ebay for stolen data. the site is sophisticated like amazon complete with reviews. but what's being sold is some of the most valuable information you possess. how much is my social security number worth? dollars. >> a couple of dollars? he's a former black hat hacker and he took us on a tour of the dark web. there, identities are hidden and whereabouts are largely invisible. >> they can actually sell access to your computer so that somebody can use the computer you own to order things with your stolen information. >> and how much does that go for? >> that goes anywhere from 20 to $50 maybe. >> that's it? >> that's it. >> and you can take over my computer and i have no idea you're doing it? >> that's right.
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>> and once they have access to your computer, everything on it is vulnerable. that vulnerability is sold for pennies on the dollar because it's so plentiful. it's the result of an increasing number of data breaches. only six months into 2015, there's been 107 million records breached. a 25% increase from all of 2014. credit card numbers, bank accounts, social security numbers. driver's licenses, pay pal accounts. so much information that hackers sell what they can't use. >> where are most of the hackers now? would you say? >> a lot of them are in russia, europe. a lot of the ones selling this information are outside the united states. >> experts say russia has been a safe haven for cyber thieves. that's according to james lewis, a cyber security expert at the center for strategic and international studies. he says there's little incentive
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in russia to police criminal hacker groups. >> in the former soviet union you had a lot of people with high-tech skill who is came out of some of the leading universities in the world and there were not any jobs for them and so no jobs they had to look for some way to earn money. cyber crime was a good way. for the russian government here's people who bring in a lot of money who otherwise might be trouble some and who do them political favors when they need it. why would they throw them into jail? >> it's not just the money that hackers are after. in the past two years, there's been an increase in state sponsoreds sponsored espionage hacks. >> this is a dedicated government effort where there's doing. >> she specializes in threat intelligence at cyber security firm fire opps. her team has traced some hacks
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to chinese military units. she says these groups are often stealing the most valuable company assets intellectual property. >> this is about taking the information to try to replicate the business models that are successful at major cooperations and put them in place elsewhere. >> they don't just target companies. in the most recent case, millions of u.s. government employees had their records breached at the office of personnel management. the u.s. has not officially laid blame but cyber security experts link it to china. officials in china deny it. the threat of cyber attacks led to the first ever cyber summit with every major tech ceo in silicone valley earlier this year. president obama spoke about the growing cyber threat that poses a challenge to economic and national security.
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>> the same information technology that has made our military the most advanced in the world are targeted by hackers who go after our defense contractors and systems built for our troops. >> he ended his speech by signing an executive order calling on tech companies to share cyber security threat information in hopes of preventing another attack like the sony hack that exposed everything from salaries to sensitive e-mails. >> hello north korea. >> it supposedly was in retaliation interview." >> you want us to kill the leader of north korea? >> yes. >> revenge is also the suspected motive behind an alleged iranian hack in 2014 at the sands casino. it's believed the target was a supporter of israel after he suggested bombing iraq. >> russia, china, iran, north
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korea have all felt like they could do cyber attacks against the u.s. and get away with it and that's what this administration is struggling to push back on. don't think you can cross that line again without consequences. >> mary snow joins us now. how easy was it to get access to these sites on the dark web that are selling this information for as little money as you were talking about? >> you know me well and you know that i am not a computer expert. so the fact that we were able to access these sites where this information is being sold of course we did this with the help of a former hacker we got there within minutes and that's what was really startling. what was alarming is just how much information is on there and the fact that there are ways to operate on these sites without going detected and that is the alarming part. >> so we've talked about in our story we talked about iran, north korea, russia, china. all countries with which the u.s. has some problem or other where they're trying to convince them to do something else. does the u.s. have any particular power to deal with this? >> that's the big question.
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and as one of the experts we spoke to framed the question this way, he said edward snowden let us all know that the u.s. is on the servers of other countries so that if the u.s. did use cyber force and damaged other networks, would it compromise this effort. so there's a tradeoff if the u.s. decides to act. >> so tensions with china are rising. in terms of these cyber attacks, people have pointed towards china. the u.s. government has not confirm teed it. the chinese has denied it. is the u.s. taking any action? >> not as yet. some of the options we awe after north korea the u.s. did impose financial sanctions. the question is how much teeth they really have is another question. with china the u.s. did indict five members of a chinese military unit. these were prosecutors in western pennsylvania charging them with cyber
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espionage on u.s. companies. no arrests were made which underscores the problem the u.s. has right now. up next, the u.s. and china security. >> the chinese have penetrated every consequence in the united states. >> protestors are gathering... >> there's an air of tension right now... >> the crowd chanting for democracy... >> this is another significant development...
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the latest victims are millions of current and former u.s. federal government workers. personal information including social security numbers were stolen in a cyber attack on the office of personnel management. u.s. officials mostly speaking anonymously blame hackers in china. the breach includes background checks on people seeking u.s. security clearance meaning highly sensitive information on sex lives, drug habits, and financial woes and psychological problems may be in the hands of a foreign government.
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china denies any involvement in the hacks. mike mcconnell served as within of the top intelligence officials for george w. bush and the senior president bush said in march, listen to this. >> the chinese have penetrated every major cooperation of any consequence in the united states. and taken information. we have never not found chinese malware in the system so they can extract it. >> so never in a corporate malwear incident have they not found evidence of the chinese. do you believe these cyber attacks that the united states says are coming from china
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including the most recent one on federal employees are being accomplished without the blessing or the knowledge of the chinese government? >> respectfully, i disagree with what was just said about the cyber attacks against u.s. targets. actually, in the past few years every since actually 2012, the chinese government and the military senior officials have said time and again that the chinese government and military have not engaged and are not -- and do not engage in cyber attacks against other targets in the united states. actually, china itself is a victim of cyber attacks. and millions of cyber attacks are
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traced to destinations targeted through regions in the united states. actually, the united states owes the world an explanation what mr. snowden has revealed by the massive, extensive cyber attacks -- cyber surveillance over targets in the world. actually, these cyber surveillance includes chinese targets, chinese government, universities, scientific research institutions, and also china's telecon giant. these accusations against china will lead nowhere. it will just create mistrust. these kind of accusations have led china to suspend the newly established dialogue on cyber security.
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so china has said to the united states time and again that the dialogue -- and cooperate is underway to deal with cyber security because both countries are concerned by cyber security. it's actually the country with the most advanced technology of cyber, you know, capabilities. it has both defensive and offensive capabilities which no other countries have any match with. >> and it's got the intellectual property that the united states thinks china is after. we're not sure our capabilities are greater than the chinese. but you know one thing for sure. you brought up this issue of mistrust between the countries that might be growing because of these accusations. here in the united states you remember that republicans and democrats don't agree much but
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they do agree the threat of state-sponsored chinese cyber attacks. that's what they call it. in the wake of last week's hack allegedly in the hands of the chinese, two senators wrote to the international monetary fund, the head of the monetary fund. let me read you what they wrote. they said we believe that china's most recent involvement in the cyber attacks that led to the breach of personal records of at least 4 million american government records provide another example of china's actions aimed at disrupting the global economy and undermining the stability of international market participants. china was also responsible for the data breach of personally identifiable information of over 90 million customers of two american healthcare firms just four months ago. so i'm going to take you at your word that the chinese government is not doing this. but if these hacks are coming
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from china, should the chinese government be doing more to make sure it's cracking down on hacking if for no other reason than to rebuild this trust and confidence? of course. of course. it's really hard to trace the origin of cyber attacks. and this is why all countries are concerned by cyber security and they're trying to increase their capabilities to crack down on cyber thefts and cyber attacks. china itself as i said earlier is a victim and china actually has asked for the united states to show evidence to establish the fact it is -- these attacks originated from china or even more to establish the links
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between these hackers and the chinese government. and actually it's useless to accuse the chinese government and military of being behind these kind of attacks because even in the first place you cannot approve convincing evidence that these attackers originate in china. that is why corporations provide evidence and work with the chinese side and the chinese side will work with the united states. they will actually engage in dialogue. and also they have established a mechanism for this type of dialogue. the question is the accusations from the united states have made it difficult to continue with this kind of dialogue. this is true again that accusations without convincing evidence will lead
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nowhere. they will only make the cooperation more difficult. so the two countries actually need to engage in constructive dialogue and also cooperation on cyber security fears. >> thank you for your time, sir, and for getting up so early to have a conversation with us from beijing. he is a former chinese diplomat. and he's a senior fellow at the chinese institute for american studies studies studies. coming up, hear from a former cia case officer to hear how isil is using social media to spread propaganda and recruit fighters.
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hospital >> is a crime that's under reported... >> what do you think... >> we're making history right now... >> al jazeera america an air campaign against isil for nearly a year now striking targets in both iraq and syria. the goal is to degrade and ultimately destroy the group but so far it's not been enough. so this month president obama boarded 450 more u.s. troops back to iraq to help train iraqi forces. the idea is to help them retake
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territory to isil conquer conquered. but isil appears to be winning the war on social media. here's a deeper look at what's become an important second battle front in the battle against isil. >>reporter: 2014, isil fighters are on the move. seizing mosul, iraq's second largest city and fallujah. a city u.s. marines once subdued after a brutal campaign of house to house fighting. but more than a year later both mosul and fallujah are still under isil control. part of territory including large swaths of both iraq and syria. one major reason, isil is adept
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at replenishing their ranks through social media. >> they can get the west to react simply by a tweet. >>reporter: patrick skinner is a former cia case offerser. now he tracks isil online. he says the group's online recruiting is like nothing the intelligence community has ever seen before. >> i think it's unprecedented. i mean, mostly because of the timing. they came along right when social media exploded. so if it had not been them, it might have been somebody else. >>reporter: last week an assessment first reported by the new york times times said isil propaganda and brutal videos and its thousands of twitter followers has so far trumped coalition efforts to present an alternative narrative.
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branding. >> they have an iconic isis look. then they've crowd sourced their propaganda. they set out some official imagery but the memes and the hashtags and key words, they leave up to the crowd. >>reporter: and that makes it especially to stop and especially dangerous as it reaches western audiences. about 18% of the group's twitter supporters indicate that english is their primary language raising broader questions about potential isil recruits in both the u.s. and u.k. sword. >> it gets the message out but messenger. people have radicalize in plain sight. you could watch them on the internet tweet about it. >>reporter: earlier this month an isil fighter took a selfie and posted it online. u.s. intelligence which scours social media accounts was then
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able to use that photo to locate what u.s. officials described as an isil command and control center and called in air strikes. within 22 hours of that posting, u.s. war planes had launched three missiles at the facility according to the navy. and while the military has touted this strike as a success, it comes weeks after isil fighters seize control of the capital of anbar province, ramadi. the fall of ramadi played big on social media and is now raising bigger questions about the coalitions ability to win a war that's become just as much about messaging as it has become about territory tomorrow, the high political cost of free trade. i'll speak to a democratic congresswoman who opposed president obama's massive trade initiative.
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why he continues to lose support from his party. that is our show for today. thank you for joining us. today florida's former governor officially entered the presidential race, a guy named john e bush. he's comfortable using his nickname jeb. over night. a big flashy presidential appearance was made in new york, her name is hillary, she's with respect known, with virtually 100% name recognition.


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