China Accused of ‘Black Magic’ Hardware Hack Affecting Defense Department, CIA

China Accused of ‘Black Magic’ Hardware Hack Affecting Defense Department, CIA

China appears to have perpetrated a major hack against United States companies. This comes at a pivotal time in the trade war with China and amidst increasing warnings about America’s vulnerability.

In its extensive report published on October 4, Bloomberg detailed the discovery of tiny microchips embedded in hardware bound for the U.S. and designed to infiltrate U.S. companies. The hack appears to have been conducted by China’s military.

U.S. authorities began the ongoing intelligence probe after Apple discovered malicious chips on its servers in 2015. The servers were supplied by Elemental Technologies, a firm that has also supplied servers to the cia, Navy warships and Department of Defense data centers.

Investigators discovered that the chips “allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines” (ibid).

A hardware hack such as this is one of the most difficult to pull off, yet it can be the most devastating. One hardware hacker said hardware is “so far off the radar, it’s almost treated like black magic.”

A feat like this could not be pulled off by a minor group of hackers. It is aimed at “the kind of long-term, stealth access that spy agencies are willing to invest millions of dollars and many years to get,” wrote Bloomberg.

Elemental was not the origin of these servers, however. They were made by a San Jose-based company, Super Micro Computer Inc., and Elemental was only one of Super Micro’s hundreds of customers. One former U.S. intelligence official said, “Attacking Super Micro motherboards is like attacking Windows. It’s like attacking the whole world.”

In 2014, before evidence of this attack emerged, U.S. intelligence was made aware that China’s military was preparing to place chips on Super Micro motherboards heading to the U.S. Evidence from Apple and Amazon began to emerge in 2015.

Intelligence affairs discovered that Super Micro’s three main manufacturers operated in Taiwan and Shanghai, and that the firms often sent their work to subcontractors. They discovered an intricate web of middlemen claiming to represent either Super Micro or the government. These men would go to the plant and request unusual changes to servers, using bribes or blackmail.

Bloomberg continued:

The investigators concluded that this intricate scheme was the work of a People’s Liberation Army unit specializing in hardware attacks, according to two people briefed on its activities. The existence of this group has never been revealed before, but one official says, “We’ve been tracking these guys for longer than we’d like to admit.” The unit is believed to focus on high-priority targets, including advanced commercial technology and the computers of rival militaries. In past attacks, it targeted the designs for high-performance computer chips and computing systems of large U.S. Internet providers.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the report with the statement that “China is a resolute defender of cybersecurity.”

Amazon denies that it ever knew of “‘servers containing malicious chips or modifications in data centers based in China,’ or that it ‘worked with the fbi to investigate or provide data about malicious hardware.’”

Apple stated: “On this, we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, ‘hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.”

Bloomberg’s extensive research and reporting indicates otherwise.

Within weeks of discovering the suspicious chips, Apple began replacing all 7,000 known infected servers. Less than a year later, in 2016, it severed all ties with Super Micro. February 2017 reports stated that Apple had cut ties with Super Micro due to security concerns.

In August 2016, after discovering chips in its own systems, Amazon transferred control of its data center to its local partner, Beijing Sinnet. Then, in November, it sold the center entirely to the company for about $300 million. This has been described by some as an attempt to “hack off a diseased limb.”

China is a rising superpower, and it has the power and motive to perpetuate a large-scale hack like the one Bloomberg reported. This kind of warfare has power beyond what most of us can even imagine.

China has performed many major hacks against the U.S. in recent years and at the rate that it is developing technology to challenge the West’s dominance, this will continue with more sophistication and greater potential for damage.

The Trumpet has long warned about the threat of cyberwarfare being used against the increasingly technologically reliant United States. In 1995, editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned of what we are witnessing today and saw that dependence on computer systems as the West’s “Achilles’ heel.”

This has proved true today like never before.

Mr. Flurry pointed to Ezekiel 7:14 as a terrifying warning about this subject: “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.” This likely refers to an attack on our military systems through cyberwarfare.

As advanced as its economy and military are, America could be brought to its knees in a kind of warfare that has never been seen in the history of the world. Whether this most recent microchip hacking report is true or not, we need to be aware of just how vulnerable the U.S. is. The time is coming when the warning of war will sound, but America will not respond.

To understand how the rise of China will hasten the most amazing and hope-filled event in world history—the return of Jesus Christ—please order our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.

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Elizabeth Warren’s Truth

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren’s Truth

Listen to the October 16, 2018, episode of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

For decades Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has defended her minority status as a Native American. Yesterday, she announced the results of her dna test, which proved she has less Indian heritage than the average white American. To the mainstream media, though, the test proved conclusively that Warren is a Native American and that President Donald Trump is absolutely wrong for doubting her. We’re living in an age where facts are flexible and truth is relative. On today’s show, I talk about why we must be grounded in the truth.

Subscribe to the Trumpet Daily Radio Show on iTunes, RSS or Stitcher.

Download past episodes here.

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China Gains Control of Israeli Ports

Cranes discharge containers from a cargo ship at Nantong Port.
Zhang Peng/LightRocket/Getty Images

China Gains Control of Israeli Ports

Is Israel helping forge the sabre of its own demise?

China has forked out billions of dollars to upgrade two Israeli port facilities as part of its maritime “silk road” infrastructure project. In doing so, Beijing has also secured a quarter-century lease. The security ramifications for Israel and its closest ally, the United States, are particularly important.

This is especially the case for a nation such as Israel. The Israelis rely on the three key ports at Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat for almost all imports and exports. Haifa is home to Israel’s nuclear submarine force—one of Israel’s primary second-strike capabilities in the event of nuclear war. The entrance to the port’s military facilities will now be monitored by China.

But the inherent risks of Chinese investment were ignored by Israel’s Transportation Ministry. As Haaretz reported, the decision to award the contracts to China was made with “zero involvement of the National Security Council, and without the Navy being in the picture at all.”

China’s efforts to establish the multitrillion-dollar trade route has drawn global suspicion. Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a “military-civilian integration” policy. This includes “all fields of national economic development and defense building.” As China acquires ports, the security ramifications cannot be ignored.

Paying the Price

The contracts were won by China after Israeli authorities decided to privatize aspects of the commercial ports. By allowing private port facilities to operate, the Israeli authorities are hoping to break up the monopoly of the two state-owned ports. This would make the industry more competitive and drive down prices.

But there is a far more dangerous price that must now be paid.

Take Haifa, for example. The Shanghai International Port Group (sipg) won the development contract. Signed on May 28, 2015, the contract grants Beijing control of the port for 25 years. It is set to be inaugurated in 2021.

To the south is Ashdod. Here at Israel’s busiest port, a subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd. won the mid-2014 contract. They will build an $876 million port.

The United States-Israel alliance may also pay a price. Espionage isn’t just a threat to Israel; American vessels frequent these ports too.

Retired U.S. Adm. Gary Roughead told the Jerusalem Post, “The Chinese port operators will be able to monitor closely U.S. ship movements, be aware of maintenance activity, and could have access to equipment moving to and from repair sites and interact freely with our crews over protracted periods.”

American forces will no longer feel secure using Haifa as an extended base of operations. America’s 6th Fleet, while based out of Naples, docks at Israeli ports. Its security is jeopardized by Chinese companies running the ports.

By controlling the port facilities, China can monitor both American and Israeli warships. It can also keep an eye on the technology on board. “It’s not just someone listening in,” Roughhead warned, “but what is the technology being used in commercial systems which can bleed into military systems? How vulnerable are they to interference? It’s not something that just Israel and the Port of Haifa should be concerned about. What is being tested on an Israeli warship and how easily can those signals be picked up? What are the mechanisms in place to prevent that?”

American policymakers will be upset that Israel was so quick to put the U.S. in such a compromised position. But neither Israel nor America truly realize what is taking place before their eyes. It is about much more than espionage. China’s takeover of port facilities is a means to an end—an astounding, prophetic, world-shaking end!

Connecting Power Blocs—Against America!

While the Mediterranean currently lacks the flashpoints of the South China Sea, it is by no means less important. China and Europe are connected via this seaway. The Mediterranean is the farthest reach of China’s maritime silk road. And as many are starting to see, this silk road will bring both economic and military power to China and Europe!

The Bible backs this up. In fact, God issues a startling warning to America and Israel about the two powers currently linked by these ports.

The book of Isaiah reveals a soon-coming relationship between Europe and China. It is a “mart of nations.” The new silk road is helping to connect these powers economically. Isaiah 23:1-2 reveal the biblical identities of the major nations involved: German-led Europe (Tyre), Japan (Tarshish) and China (Chittim). This prophecy discusses a European-Asian relationship, bound by trade and commerce. The greatest shock is that these powers will besiege nations like America and Israel.

This alliance is inevitable in light of the U.S.-China trade war. A Feb. 15, 2017, Politico article reported on the “peculiar alliance” forming between Germany and China: “The partnership is partly intended to signal to Washington, D.C., that, in the face of the White House’s rising economic nationalism, deals without the U.S. will become more important, shrinking its influence on the global stage.”

In a January 2017 interview with the New York Times, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup, discussed Europe’s shift in focus. “We’ve always said that America is our best friend,” he said, but if that is “no longer the case, if that’s what we need to understand from [U.S. President] Donald Trump, then of course Europe will look for new friends.”

China is reaching out through the maritime silk road. Already we see its consequences. Economically it bypasses America. Even militarily the U.S. is affected. From the Mediterranean to the Strait of Malacca, there are few places U.S. naval vessels can avoid the gaze of “commercial” Chinese port authorities.

If Israel understood Bible prophecy, it would be far less comfortable with joining China’s “string of pearls.” But God’s prophecies are repeatedly ignored by world leaders. Instead we see China investing in tunnel operations at Mt. Carmel, the light rail in Tel Aviv, and purchasing the Tnuva dairy farm. Israel doesn’t realize it, but it is aiding and abetting the rise of an economic power that will turn on it!

China and Europe are positioning themselves to undermine America, Britain and Israel. The foundations of the mart of nations are being laid.

God makes it plain in Isaiah 23. The mention of the sea (verses 2, 4, 11), oceans (“great waters,” verse 3), ships (verses 1 and 14), and seaborne merchant traffic (verse 8) indicates this is a trade alliance. Verse 3 calls it a “mart of nations.” Mart means emporium, trade or merchandise. Verse 13 mentions Italy (Chaldea) depicted in association with Germany, whose biblical identity is Assyria, or Asshur.

If you want to know more about the coming economic siege and the scriptures concerning it, read “Trade Wars Have Begun.” God gives us ample warning. And He also gives us plenty of good news that is to come from the fulfillment of these prophecies.

Notice what Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in his free booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision. These “two great trading blocs are positioning themselves to control the world. … But that trading partnership won’t last long. Soon they will clash, just before Jesus Christ returns and destroys both of them.”

At that time, the string of pearls will be broken. Christ will have new roads built that all nations will use. And these will lead to Jerusalem, the city of peace. From there, nations will be taught the right way to economic prosperity and how to live abundant, radiant, peaceful lives.

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Germany Resumes Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia

German exports ready for transport
Mohssen Assanimoghaddam/picture alliance via Getty Images

Germany Resumes Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia

After a year of frozen relations, friendship returns in the form of arms deals.

Despite an agreement in Germany’s governing coalition to stop exporting arms to nations fighting in Yemen, exports to the Gulf states are increasing.

Germany halted arms exports to Saudi Arabia and froze relations after a dispute over Yemen in March. Now, relations are returning to normal, thanks to the delivery of four new artillery radar systems to Saudi Arabia in early September.

Germany is one of the top five weapons exporters in the world. Its coalition government agreed in March that only arms orders already signed for would still be delivered. However, Berlin has not stopped a large, German-led weapons manufacturer from taking root in the Saudi kingdom, and it is proceeding with exports to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

Relations were frozen until recently, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas began seeking reconciliation with the Saudi government. The dispute centered on the war in Yemen, which is unpopular in Germany. This resulted in German companies being blocked from receiving Saudi contracts. Then, just last month, Germany resumed arms exports to Saudi Arabia by supplying four radars used to track and respond to enemy artillery fire. These exports are a major reason that relations have warmed again so quickly.

Maas said there had been “serious misunderstandings” between the two countries and that his government “deeply regrets that.” Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir responded warmly and encouraged Germany to forge “new strategic ties” with his nation.

One key tool is Saudi Arabian Military Industries (sami), which is a German-led company. sami was founded in May 2017. Its current ceo is Andreas Schwer, the former chairman and president of Rheinmetall. Schwer intends for sami “to be among the top 25 military industry ‎companies in the world by 2030.”

To conduct research and build its products, the company plans to partner with South African defense company Denel, Spain’s Navantia naval group and the United States’ Boeing.

Saudi Arabia is not the only country to benefit from German weaponry. The United Arab Emirates will receive 48 warheads and 91 homing warheads for use in ship-based air-defense systems. It is also preparing to import “tens of thousands of mortar and artillery shells” and “more than 12,000 bombs” from sami.

These recent deals fit into a broader trend of increasing German involvement throughout the Middle East. Germany is active in Iraq, has recently considered involvement in Syria, and has participated in talks with Russia and Turkey on the future of the Syrian conflict. What motivates Germany to expand its influence deep into the Middle East?

The Middle East in general, and radical Islam in Iran particularly, are areas of concern for Germany. By seeking to strengthen relations with the Saudis, Berlin is choosing to support what it sees as the lesser of two evils. The greater of those two evils, in Berlin’s view, is Iran.

What is Germany’s long-term strategy in the Middle East? Why watch German involvement in arming specific nations in that region? As our regular readers know, the Trumpet bases its geopolitical forecasts on specific Bible prophecies. One prophecy in Psalm 83 indicates that Assyria, the ancient name for Germany, will form alliances with Middle Eastern nations to oppose radical Islam. Among the peoples and nations listed in Psalm 83 are the ancestors of modern-day Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East may seem distant to you, but what transpires there will soon directly impact Western society in a way never before seen. To fully understand where the blooming alliance between Germany and Saudi Arabia is leading, order Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s free booklet The King of the South.

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Britain’s Future

Britain’s Future

What is about to happen to Britain?

The following is from the Trumpet Brief sent out yesterday. These daily e-mails contain personal messages from the Trumpet staff. Click here to join the over 20,000 members of our mailing list, so you don’t miss another message.

What will be Britain’s future? What will be its future with Europe? What will be its future with Islam? As society changes, the economy struggles, and enemies become bolder, we are facing a question that shouldn’t be so troubling—but it is: What is about to happen to Britain?

Across the Channel, the influx of migrants into Europe has caused many Europeans to support extreme far-right or far-left political parties. At the same time, anti-Semitism is surging. Europe’s most powerful nation, Germany, is becoming bolder politically, financially and militarily. Russia, Iran, the United States and other nations are becoming more unstable every week.

Why are these dangerous developments occuring? And where will they lead?

I would like to give you the answer, in person. On October 21-22, subscribers to the Philadelphia Trumpet magazine are invited to two nights of lectures in London that will face these questions head-on.

This will be a similar event to the campaigns my father, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry, has been conducting in the United States and Canada. In London, we will take a close look at the historic changes affecting Britain, and we will compare it to Bible prophecies written thousands of years ago. These Bible prophecies reveal that Britain’s immediate future is even more disastrous than you might think, but they also reveal that ultimately Britons can have tremendous hope.

We have sent invitation letters to Trumpet subscribers in the United Kingdom and Europe, and we have received more than 200 responses: I am happy to report that on October 21-22, we will have a full house. People from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and even Germany are planning to attend. I even received several personal letters from people apologizing that they are not able to make it: Thank you for those and for your expressions of support for the event. And for those who are able to attend, I look forward to meeting you after the lectures to speak with you about Bible prophecy and Britain.

Thank you to all of you who have responded regarding this important personal appearance campaign and who have voiced your support for the mission of the Trumpet. In print, in e-mail, in person, in whatever way we can, my father and the rest of us are trying to take God’s biblical warning to the largest audience possible: This weekend, it’s London. I appreciate your prayers for the logistics of the campaign, the delivery of the messages, and especially the number of people who are able to attend each night, our conversations, and each person’s receptiveness to what God is saying through the Bible. These prayers for God’s intervention make a huge difference in the work of the Trumpet.

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Brexit Day of Reckoning Nears

British Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to make a statement on Brexit negotiations with the EU on September 21 in London, England.
Getty Images

Brexit Day of Reckoning Nears

This week could sink hopes for a Brexit deal—and Britain’s government.

Britain is drawing ever closer to leaving the European Union without it and the EU agreeing to any kind of deal. This will be a big week for Brexit.

Britain’s Brexit minister visited the EU on Sunday to try to patch something together, but nothing came of it. The big day will be Wednesday, when the leaders of the other 27 EU nations will meet for what has been called a “moment of truth” for Brexit. But the whole week will be busy. Agence France-Presse wrote:

Sunday’s flurry of activity came as May prepared to face what one newspaper cartoon dubbed “hell week.”

On Tuesday, she will rake over the Irish border issue with her cabinet, amid speculation that more ministers could resign if she plows on with her proposals. …

Then on Wednesday, May goes to Brussels, still facing the issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Neither London, Dublin nor Brussels wants to see checks imposed on the border, but the problem persists of finding a way to square that aim with Britain’s decision to leave the European single market and the customs union.

Ms. May wants to find something that will satisfy the EU, the anti-EU parts of her party, and her coalition partners from Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party. That may not be possible, so her leadership is on shaky ground. The Democratic Unionists could quit her coalition. If just four more Conservative M.P.s write a letter saying they want a new leader, it will bring about a vote on the subject. With all this, many wonder if Ms. May can survive “hell week.”

“Of course Theresa May has found herself in very challenging situations before but with the prime minister all out of Brexit fudge, the next few days could be her most difficult yet,” wrote Kay Balls at the Spectator. “If events escalate and tempers flare, a confidence vote cannot be ruled out.”

None of this is to say that Brexit was a mistake and that the UK desperately needs a deal. The nonpartisan think tank Open Europe published a report today concluding that in the medium term, quitting the EU without some kind of deal in place would have only a “relatively small” effect on the country’s economy.

But it does show the tenuous leadership and divided politics afflicting the country at this crucial time. The ruling Conservatives lack a strong leader and can’t agree on anything. And waiting in the wings is Jeremy Corbyn and his band of Marxists, who would quickly ruin the country—economically and otherwise. I wrote over the summer:

Britain’s EU membership was not the root cause of the country’s problems.

“Britain is going to look back on Monday, Jan. 1, 1973, in all probability, as a most tragically historic date—a date fraught with ominous potentialities!” wrote Herbert W. Armstrong that same year. “For that date marked the United Kingdom’s entry into the European Community.”

He went on to describe how the EU would unite politically. For Britain this would be a “tragic situation” because it would be no part of this kind of superstate. …

But why join such a bad relationship in the first place? Many of Britain’s top leaders deceived the public about the EU’s true nature to get them to agree to enter the Union. They insisted it was merely a trade relationship—even though they knew it also involved more and more financial, political and even military unity.

Britain went in because we lacked self-confidence. We lacked leadership. We lacked a vision of what the nation’s role should be. We lacked willpower and imagination. Charting your own course in the world is hard. Following the rest of the Continent is easy.

Those same weaknesses still exist. Brexit hasn’t magically transformed the nation into a strong united people. The nation lacks leaders, direction and purpose—so even the Brexit negotiations have been rudderless, directionless and divided.

These weaknesses are all prophesied in the Bible. You can read more about them in Brad Macdonald’s article “Brexit Exposes UK’s Many Infirmities.”