DailySA: China begins combat air patrols in East and South China Seas – Forward Observer

DailySA: China begins combat air patrols in East and South China Seas

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 15 April 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • China begins combat air patrols in East and South China Seas
  • Justice Department reveals equity plan
  • Multiple agencies warn of cyber utilities threat

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

CHINA BEGINS COMBAT AIR PATROLS IN EAST AND SOUTH CHINA SEAS: China started regular combat air patrols with its Chengdu-based J-20 stealth fighters in the East and South China seas. The patrols were announced in state-owned media by J-20 manufacturer Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The J-20 is one of China’s most advanced 5th Generation stealth fighters. General Kenneth Wilsbach, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said in March that U.S. F-35 jets had a recent encounter with Chinese J-20s over the East China Sea. (Analyst Comment: China is flexing its claims to territory in the East and South China seas. The J-20 was recently updated with more reliable, domestically produced engines making it more suitable for long overwater patrols. Additionally, China has produced a number of aerial-refueling Y-20 heavy lift aircraft, which give China better reach into its 9-dashed line territorial claims. Expect further air-to-air contacts between China and the U.S., and Japan. – M.M.)

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REVEALS EQUITY PLAN: The Justice Department (DOJ) announced its Equity Action Plan, with four major components to “increase equity, opportunity, and resources to our most vulnerable communities.” DOJ will “leverage” taxpayer money to “include equity considerations in the provision of federally funded services.” The Equity Action Plan will “improve funding opportunities for organizations that are led by, or primarily serve historically marginalized and underserved populations.” Addressing the influx of millions of illegal immigrants, the DOJ will “reduce language barriers” to “access programs, activities, communicate public safety concerns, or vindicate their rights.” (AC: Funding equity-focused groups with grants, prior to the midterm elections, is a blatant political move by the DOJ. This program will be exploited by government-friendly groups to launder grant and donation money, while claiming to help at-risk populations. Notably, the “engagement with stakeholders… to establish enduring relationships” is political doublespeak for persistent federal grifting under the guise of equity. – D.M.)

MULTIPLE AGENCIES WARN OF CYBER UTILITIES THREAT: The Department of Energy (DOE), FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and National Security Agency (NSA) warned malign cyber actors can “gain full system access to multiple industrial control system (ICS)/supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices using custom-made tools.” Active Persistent Threat (APT) groups can exploit Windows-based engineering workstations, motherboard drivers, and server architecture to gain and maintain access to ICS/SCADA utility controls. (AC: The U.S. didn’t name specific organizations being targeted, but local utilities providing electricity and water remain high-priority targets for Russian cyber actors. The U.S. is trying to “stay ahead” of Russia’s long-term cyber planning as relations continue to deteriorate. – D.M.)


Foreign APTs are targeting Supervision and Production Networks. Image: Trend Micro

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