Morning Joe | February 20, 2013
>> talk a little bit about this news overseas. this oscar pistorius story keeps getting more strange. he's back in a south african court this morning as prosecutors lay out their case in the alleged murder of his girlfriend. prosecutors revealed that witnesses heard screaming and fighting coming from the house for about an hour before the shooting. police say a key piece of forensic evidence will be the angle from which the bullets were fired at miss steenkamp. prosecutors say pistorius put on his prosthetic legs and walked about 20 feet before shooting and killing reason that steenkamp who was locked in his bathroom. pistorius said he was not wearing his prosthetic legs at the time. investigators say it looks like the bullets were fired the aa downward angle, putting that part of the track star's story in some question. pistorius who sobbed in court on tuesday says he thought an intruder managed to get into the house, and they had no intention to keel steenkamp who he says died in his arms. his defense team is asking for bail so pistorius can avoid what's been described as the brutal conditions of the south african prison where he's being held. there's also a report this morning from the prosecutor that there was testosterone and needles found in pistorius 's bedroom. this all starts to come together. and you try to make sense of what exactly happened. pistorius came out with a long story yesterday inside the courtroom, laid out in some detail what he says happened. he said he got up to close a window, to close a door on his balcony, noticed that there was somebody in the bathroom. he said he didn't look first to see that his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp, was not in bed. fired a couple shots at the door and then only afterward realized that she was not in the bed and that he perhaps had killed his girlfriend. so the story gets more strange.
>> i don't know whether it's -- the judicial system over there, i'm not sure whether it's going to be trial by jury . i think i read somewhere where it's just a trial by judge.
>> not by jury, just by judge.
>> i would think just on the face of it, given that there were just two of them there, proving premeditation's going to be a pretty tough hurdle.
>> but i mean, the forensics may bear out information that will be helpful.
>> i mean, there's no doubt it's completely -- the story's completely muddy. i mean, we hear one thing, and then this is a completely different narrative that is quite a detailed narrative. including she died in his arms.
>> she can't say. so they'll have to try to figure out where the truth lies. and i think it's going to be hard.
>> yeah. what about the bloody cricket bat ? was that an erroneous report?
>> no, there was a cricket bat found inside. i can't remember what he said --
>> to break down the door once he thought she was in there.
>> right, he said he use it had to bash down the door because the door was locked. he said he use it had to try to get to her and help her, he says. he's in court again this morning. and we keep learning more about it. we'll see where this goes. there's another story we wanted to jump on because we've got people here who can help us through it. just days after infiltrating computers at facebook , it appears sophisticated hackers have breached another high-profile target. apple confirmed yesterday a small number of employee computers were infected by the same malicious software that was used last week against facebook . nbc's chief foreign correspondent, andrea mitchell , reports on a looming threat that may have ties to the chinese military .
>> reporter: a seven-year internet hunt zeroed in on one neighborhood in shanghai and finally this 12-story building. the source of thousands of cyber attacks against 141 u.s. companies spanning 20 industries. whose building is it? according to a new report confirmed by u.s. intelligence , it's the headquarters of unit 61398.
>> i think it was time to let the world know, it's actually not just from china , it's the chinese government sanctioning these attacks.
>> reporter: among the targets, america's very infrastructure.
>> now our enemies are sabotaging our power grid , our financial institutions , our air traffic control systems.
>> reporter: other targets of chinese hackers familiar brand names like coca-cola, facebook , "the new york times," on " wash post " and " wall street journal ." and only today, apple. the hackers have user names like ugly gorilla and dota. according to this instructional video from mandiant.
>> here we see dota logging into one of his operational e-mail accounts. he's used it for spear phishing and generating additional accounts.
>> reporter: what is it? how hackers campaign access into a network by sending deceptive e-mails tricking users into clicking on a malicious link to a phony website. once the victims provide passwords, pnc.i.n. numbers, they're in. sometimes for years with no one noticing.
>> when these companies are engaging in business with china , they're going up against a full panoply of resources of the chinese government .
>> reporter: the president has himself complained about china 's cyber attacks, and officials say got nowhere. but the u.s. uses cyber war to sabotage iran's nuclear program. what do you say to people who say, wait a second. the u.s. does this, too?
>> our government's not going to hack for the benefit of the private sector. they'll hack for the benefit of american people 's security.
>> that was andrea mitchell reporting for us. leigh, i'll go to you on this. how widespread is this? we know that the united states government has approached the chinese government about this. the chinese government denies it, of course. how big a problem is this?
>> well, i think it's huge. i think this mandiant report, by the way, it's a good time to be in the business they're in. college graduates get into anti-cybersecurity consulting because this is huge. it's going to get bigger. this is one of the biggest threats against business right now. if you look at the companies, a couple months ago we saw "the new york times" got infiltrated, apple, facebook . this is, you know, the guts of our innovation, you know, innovative capabilities here. i mean, ceos are freaking out about this.
>> what are they typically going after? what's a chinese government hacker looking for when he goes into apple, for example?
>> it can be anything. secrets to how the iphone is made. it can be communications. it can be anything. that's the scary thing.
>> denial of service .
>> simply to disrupt it.
>> exactly. or to interfere with the communication with consumers.
>> i think you have to separate some of the hacking like "the new york times," which is the chip knees would say, in effect, was their national security , trying to find out what these "times" reporters were trying to find out. hacking apple which to me makes absolutely no sense for the chinese. maybe they're going to steal a trade secret or two. but they don't want to lose these companies as business partners.
>> it's the worst time for this to be happening.
>> that's the structural difference versus the cold war . the difference was american companies weren't trying to access, by and large, soviet markets at the time. so we knew we had an adversary. we were each trying to do things to one another. this situation's unique because we have this adversarial relationship on the one hand. on the other hand, companies like apple and facebook and others are every day trying to figure out their china strategy. they're trying to penetrate the chinese market. and yet now they have to worry about cyber terrorism from this market's government.
>> so what do we do about it? what's the defense? do we have defenses in place to stop this? it seems incredibly widespread.
>> the president has said he's going to sign some executive orders to increase cooperation internationally against this threat. obviously step up -- i hope he'll step up and sequestration doesn't shut down the government, step up efforts to block this kind of thing. i think for a company it you get to the point where you simply feel you can't function because you're in jeopardy, you're going to pull back, and that's bad for both sides of the equation.
>> i think this is a high, high priority right now for the intelligence community . i hear about this a lot.
>> you keep hearing anecdotally from businesspeople, when they go to china , do business in china , they don't use their own cell phones . they don't bring their own laptops.
>> i have been there. and that context, and yeah, you do feel like somebody is watching you at every moment. now, that may be complete paranoia, but that is how you peel when you go to china as a businessman.
>> you do that, too, barnicle, use a disposable phone?
>> i do it here.
>> he doesn't use a cell phone or device here. his transcends international sovereign boundaries.
>> i have a tablet that i write on.
>> only uses the burn phone.