Titan Rain

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Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Discussion

Titan Rain was the designation given by the federal government of the United States to a series of coordinated attacks on American computer systems since 2003; they were known to have been ongoing for at least three years.[1] The attacks originated in Guangdong, China [2] The activity known as "Titan Rain" is believed to be associated with a state-sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat.

Titan Rain hackers gained access to many United States defense contractor computer networks who were targeted for their sensitive information,[1] including those at Lockheed Martin, Sandia National Laboratories, Redstone Arsenal, and NASA.


The series of attacks are believed to be the actions of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unit 61398.[3] These hackers attacked both the American (Defense Intelligence Agency – DOD) and British Government Departments (Ministry of Defence – MOD). The British government had an incident in 2006 where a part of the House of Commons computer system was shut down by an “organised Chinese hacking group.”[4]

The Chinese government has denied responsibility.


‘Titan Rain’ has caused friction between the U.S. and Chinese governments, and the U.S. government has blamed the Chinese government for the attacks of 2004 on the unclassified, although potentially fatal information. Alan Paller, SANS Institute research director, stated that the attacks came from individuals with “intense discipline,” and that, “no other organisation could do this if they were not a military”. Such sophistication and evidence has pointed toward the Chinese military (People’s Liberation Army) as the attackers. [5]

‘Titan Rain’ reportedly attacked multiple high-end political systems, such as NASA and the FBI. Although no sensitive and classified information was reported stolen, the hackers were however able to steal unclassified information (e.g. information from a home computer). The fact that the information was classified or not was somewhat irrelevant; when it all comes together it could reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S., making such an attack very damaging.[6]

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington, D.C.

‘Titan Rain’ has caused distrust between other countries (such as the United Kingdom and Russia – other superpowers) and China. Such distrust has occurred because these countries were likely attacked, but either did not detect an attack or have not released statements that they were attacked. The United Kingdom have stated officially that their governmental offices were attacked by hackers of a Chinese source. The events of ‘Titan Rain’ have caused the rest of the world to be more cautious of attacks; not just from China, but from other countries as well, thereby causing, however small, a slight distrust between other countries. This distrust between them may affect future agreements and dealings and as such further affect their relationship with China.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bodmer, Sean; Kilger, Max; Carpenter, Gregory; Jones, Jade (July 24, 2012). Reverse Deception: Organized Cyber Threat Counter-Exploitation. New York: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media. ISBN 0071772499., ISBN 978-0071772495
  2. ^ https://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/csep590/05au/readings/titan.rain.htm
  3. ^ https://www.cfr.org/interactive/cyber-operations/titan-rain
  4. ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (September 5, 2007). "Titan Rain - how Chinese hackers targeted Whitehall". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  5. ^ "The lesson of Titan Rain: Articulate the dangers of cyber attack to upper management". Homeland Security News Wire. December 14, 2005. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  6. ^ "The 7 worst cyberattacks in history (that we know about)". Dvice. September 22, 2010. Archived from the original on November 12, 2014.

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