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May 1, 2011 By Joseph P. Farrell

Just when we thought we were done with dots-that-might-be-connected to recent goings on in Asia, there's this:

FBI warns U.S. businesses of new Chinese cybercrime scheme

Now, you're probably thinking what I'm thinking: Sony (a Japanese company, ultimately), in its American branch, is hit with a massive hacking operation, by groups or individuals in China, with whom Japan is holding a regional summit later this month in the wake of the earthquake and nuclear disasters, to which Hillary Clinton has been recently invited. Now, something here smells, and I don't think it's China.

For one thing, such a blow at Japan would seem definitely to run counter to the publicly stated goals of the summit, and would be a political risk - should the Japanese government ever be able to pin it definitely on Beijing - to undertake. So initially I think we're looking at some more hidden player.

For another thing, the blow appears to be more of information-gathering, nature and directed toward the American branch of Sony, rather than the Japanese per se. What bothers me, then, is that again, my intuition tells me - and it's only intuition, nothing more - that we're looking at a story that is connected to all the other goings on in Asia, and possibly with the bearer bonds story.

But if it isn't the Chinese government, then who? One possibility is that China is simply being used, or perhaps even set up, as a shill here by someone else. If so, then ultimately, a clue will be provided by what the Chinese government does in response to this story. Rest assured, they will respond quickly, perhaps quietly, but they will respond. If their response is to shut it down, then in all likelihood the people in China responsible for the hacking were acting or working either for themselves out of pure greed, or for someone else. If, on the other hand, the operation is shut down and reemerges elsewhere in China, then I think, yes, that the case could be made that this was a covert operation on the part of that government.

But for now, my gut says, yes, something smells here, but it isn't China.