Return to Transcripts main page


Cyber Attacks Target South Korean TV, Banks; President Obama Visits Israel; U.S., Chinese Officials Meet To Discuss Cyber Security; Dominican Republic Wins WBC

Aired March 20, 2013 - 08:00:00   ET


KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. And welcome to News Stream where news and technology meet.

Now, a massive network crashed in one of the world's most wired countries. What is behind the cyber paralysis in South Korea.

Online attacks now a top issue for the world's top superpowers. And we will analyze this thorn in U.S.-China relations.

And the U.S. president pays his first visit to Israel. And his first stop, Tel Aviv's high tech missile defense system.

Now one of the most wired countries in the world is on heightened alert after a suspected cyber attack on major media outlets and banks. Three South Korean broadcasters began reporting computer problems at 2:00 pm local time. Now the system at Shinhan Bank was paralyzed for an hour- and-a-half, though the bank reporting a virus infecting some of its computers and a third had problems with some computers in banking machines.

Now the South Korean police have set up a cyber crisis team to investigate the outage. And the defense ministry has upgraded its information alert level.

So, with tensions between North and South Korea already running high, the big question is, was this a cyber attack launched by Pyongyang?

Now for the latest, I'm joined now live by our Matthew Chance in Seoul. And Matthew, was this a cyber attack from the north?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Well, it certainly looks that way, although the authorities here in South Korea say that they haven't concluded their investigations yet. They're looking into the possible culprits. And when they do, they're going to formulate a program of countermeasures. But, I mean, of course the suspicion is inevitably falling on North Korea, not least because it's carried out this kind of cyber attack against the south in the past, notably in 2009 and a couple of years ago in 2011 as well.

It doesn't have a great deal of, you know, exposure to the internet if you will in North Korea, but it has -- it is believed to have dedicated a large amount of its resources to, you know, training up, you know, kind of people within its community to take part in cyber warfare. And so this is one of the areas of expertise that the North Koreans have developed specifically to stage cyber warfare with countries like the south -- like South Korea that are much more technologically advanced and much more connected than the north.

And so again, you know, that's where the suspicion is falling, but at the moment the police investigation here in South Korea is not concluded.

LU STOUT: That's right, the investigation is underway. When will there be an answer?

CHANCE: Well, it could be anything from days to weeks. The way these things operate, of course, is that -- you know, the servers that initiate attacks like this are often hidden, sometimes very well hidden. So it can take a long time for the various experts that are taking part in this to get to the bottom of it.

In the meantime, what South Korea has said it will do, or has done, is raise its level of cyber threat alert to two stage three, one above to where it was previously. It's also formulated a committee comprising of military experts, government officials and representatives from the commercial world as well to try and look at the specific crisis to get to the bottom of it and to decide what action to take to prevent it from happening again, Kristie.

LU STOUT: All right. Matthew Chance joining us live from Seoul, thank you.

Now not a huge amount is known about North Korea's cyber arsenal. Last year, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea told a congressional hearing that Pyongyang has a, quote, "growing cyber warfare capability." He said then that such attacks had been increasingly employed against military, government, education, and commercial institutions.

And more recently, the chairman of Google Eric Schmidt, he returned from a visit to North Korea. And he reports that overall technology there is limited. There is a supervised internet, a Korean intranet, and a private intranet linking universities.

Now Schmidt says that North Korea's software and technology is based on open source technology, mostly Linux. But he says it was obvious that access was only for the government, military, and universities, not the general public.

Now some analysts say that the total number of internet users in North Korea may not even exceed 1,000 people.

So, what is it like to experience a computer outage that may, in fact, be a cyber attack? Now Luke Cleary, he works at the Korean Broadcasting System. He was among the first to tweet a screen grab of what the outage looked like. And Luke joins me now live from Seoul.

Luke, thank you for joining us here on News Stream.

And let's go back to around, what, 2:00 pm earlier today. When did you realize that something was wrong?


Yeah, it was right about 2:00 today. I was speaking with one of my co-workers and I noticed out of the corner of my eye that my computer was shutting down. It went to a blue shutdown screen and then before I knew it, it was that black screen, which I tweeted out earlier today with the boot disk not found, some kind of error message was coming through.

LU STOUT: Yeah, you got that error message. Were you able to restart your computer at all?

CLEARY: Of course, that was the first instinct, right? So we shut it down, started it back up. At first I thought it was just my computer, but then slowly we started realizing that other people in the office were being affected as well. And that's kind of when this realization started coming over us that this could be bigger than what we -- you know, each individually first thought.

LU STOUT: Yeah, indeed.

And what impact did it have on your work? I mean, you work at the television network KBS. Were you able to continue broadcasting the news?

CLEARY: Well, luckily I'm not working in production, but obviously a lot of my friends are. So, yes, it was a very serious situation for -- had a very disruptive impact on our news gathering. And, you know, people were -- at first there was some sense of panic. And then I think people were more concerned about how they could move forward, coming up with inventive ways to get by with what we could, salvage what we could, and try to get through with our broadcast.

LU STOUT: Yeah, of course.

Did the network outage also affect mobile banking for you?

CLEARY: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it was kind of like a double whammy for me, because I also bank through Shinhan, which is one of the banks that were affected here. Mobile banking was down. But luckily they were able to get their services back up after just about two hours of shutdown.

So we're hoping at KBS it will be able to have a similar situation.

LU STOUT: It's incredible. I mean, this is such a widespread network outage. We don't know if it was a cyber attack. A cyber attack perhaps perpetrated by North Koreans. The investigation is still underway.

But will the outage event itself affect the way you use the internet or mobile service where you're living there in South Korea. Are you going to think twice in the next couple of days?

CLEARY: Absolutely. I mean, of course the situation here very serious. No one is taking it lightly. And we're of course all concerned about what this means not only for us as an organization, but each of us personally, because we have a lot of personal data is compromised as well.

LU STOUT: Well, I thank you for joining us here and sharing your own personal account of what happened during this huge network outage earlier today in South Korea. Luke Cleary of KBS joining us live from Seoul, thank you and take care.

Now to the civil war in Syria where rebels and the government, they're accusing each other of using chemical weapons.

Now Russia's foreign ministry, citing information from Damascus, says that they were used by the armed opposition. But U.S. lawmakers say that there is a high probability that Syrian forces used them. And if true, the government crossed what the U.S. president calls a red line. And that could lead to U.S. military involvement.

Now Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence joins us now live. And Chris, a red line may have been crossed here, so how is the U.S. likely to respond?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONENT: That's going to be up to President Obama. But I can tell you, Kristie, that basically the U.S. military has been updating its option as the situation has changed on the ground. Sources tell us that the U.S. has plenty of firepower in the region both on land bases and from aircraft carriers. They also have warships in the area that can fire precision guided Tomahawk missiles.

The danger, though, is that striking any chemical weapons sites runs the risk of dispersing that agent out into the civilian areas of the Syrian people. So some of the other options that could possibly be considered would be bombing airfields. runways to prevent Syrian jets from taking off, or trying to disrupt the communications so that the orders from the Syrian regime do not get filtered down to the actual commanders who have to push the button, so to speak.

The senior U.S. military leader, the head of NATO in Europe actually recently said that several NATO nations are looking at options to intervene with their military, including an arms embargo, arming the rebels, even imposing a no-fly zone. But he said at this point those are being considered by individual nations, it has not been brought to NATO as a whole as of yet.

LU STOUT: OK, so NATO and the U.S. military right now just reviewing options out there.

Well, what about the claim itself? I mean, were chemical weapons used by the Syrian regime? I mean, we had earlier on CNN the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee telling Wolf Blitzer that there is a high probability, yes, but there at the Pentagon, is there more skepticism about the claim?

LAWRENCE: Well, they're looking at it. They're using several ways to do that. They're looking at satellite imagery. Some of the officials and intelligence officials will be speaking with contacts and Syrian rebels on the ground to see what they have seen and heard. But it's going to be difficult. It may come down to looking at some of the medical evidence.

Remember back in December where there was that claim that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons? They went in and looked at some of the medical evidence, looked at some of the patients who were experiencing this respiratory illnesses and things like that and found that, no, it wasn't chemical weapons, it was simply a misuse of riot control gas. That may be one way to determine if chemical weapons have actually been used.

LU STOUT: Chris Lawrence joining us live from the Pentagon, thank you very much indeed for that.

Now, U.S. President Barack Obama says that the alliance between the U.S. and Israel is, quote, "forever."

Now he arrived in Tel Aviv a short time ago. And the U.S. president just got a firsthand look at Israel's Iron Dome air defense missile system. Mr. Obama is also trying to shore up relations with both the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Now let's tell you more about Israel's high tech weapon the Iron Dome. Now it was deployed last November when fighting flared between Israel and Hamas. And Israel claims the sophisticated air defense system, it stopped up to 85 percent of Hamas rockets that were fired from Gaza. A longer range version can detect targets nearly 500 kilometers away. That is meant to defend against any ballistic missile attack from Iran. And each battery of missiles in the Iron Dome, it costs about $37 million. And it's been paid for largely by the U.S.

Now let's bring in Sara Sidner for more now on President Obama's Middle East trip. And she joins us now live from Jerusalem. And Sara, first, why is Mr. Obama there? What is this trip really about?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, it's about reassurances, initially. What we were seeing today was very warm welcome by the prime minister and the president of Israel and a return of that welcome, a greeting from the president reassuring Israel that it believes the U.S. is firm in its stance that it will help with Israel's security, firm in its stance that it believes that there should be -- that Israel should exist, there should be a Jewish state, and that is really what we saw today from the speeches from President Obama and from the prime minister as well. But you also mentioned the Iron Dome, security a very big issue, not just dealing with security with Gaza as an enemy, but also dealing with Syria.

We were talking about chemical weapons just now. And that issue is high on the agenda. We know that it was going to be brought up. We know that from a senior Israeli official that perhaps Israel will be asking the United States to consider a strike in Syria if there are things such as missiles being moved over the border to Lebanon, to Hezbollah, a group that both the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization.

But when you're dealing with chemical weapons, you have a real difficulty there, because you can't just strike them from the air, experts say, that could be disastrous, cause death and injury. You would have to go in on the ground and try to secure it.

Israel has said very clearly that it knows where the chemical weapons are and it is watching the weaponry in Syria very closely and reserves the right to do what it must. We heard that just yesterday.

So we know this is part of the agenda, also of course Iran and the accusation that they are working on -- towards a nuclear weapon, something that Iran denies. We do know that that is also on the agenda as well as, of course, the peace process.

This is something that the president and the administration, I think, really want to get kick started again. It has been stalled for years now. And there's a hope there will be some kind of movement when it comes to that. We're hearing now that Secretary of State Kerry will actually head back here on Saturday to meet privately with Prime Minister Netanyahu to try to figure out what needs to be done to get that peace process back in running, back in order.

LU STOUT: A number of issues on the agenda, but as you said Syria looming very large here. Sara Sidner joining us live from Jerusalem, thank you.

Now you're watching News Stream. And still to come, Cyprus rejects the terms of an EU bailout after strong public opposition. So what now for the island nation and for the EuroZone?

China and the U.S., they blame each other for hack attacks. And we ask just how serious the problem is.

And CNN's Freedom Project, a look at forced labor in Asia and India in particular.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

And you are look at a video rundown of all the stories in this show. And if you check out the top row, we've already told you about the cyber outage in South Korea as well as the U.S. president's Mideast trip. And now I want to take you to Cyprus where the government is trying to figure out its next move in getting out of a major debt crisis after angry public protests.

Now on Tuesday, the parliament overwhelmingly rejected a 10 billion euro bailout offer from the EU because of a plan to tax people's bank deposits. Now some 36 MPs, they flat out voted no. And the other 19, including members of the president's own party, abstained.

But, the Cypriot president warned that rejecting the bailout would end up with bankruptcy, exiting the euro and devaluation.

Now Jim Boulden is watching developments from the Cypriot capital Nicosia.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNAITONAL CORRESPONDENT: Cypriots woke up yesterday about what will be plan B to help save their banks and allow them to go to their banks come Thursday, if indeed that can happen?

On Tuesday evening, the Cypriot parliament rejected EuroZone plans to allow money to be taken from Cypriot bank accounts in order to help recapitalize the banks. That deal is dead. The president has met with leaders of other parties on Wednesday to decide if they can come up with a plan B. The finance minister is in Moscow to see if Russia could give a loan to Cyprus to help its banks. A lot of Russians have money in Cypriot banks, so there is a vested interest in Moscow to help save the banking system here in Cyprus.

Original plans were for the banks to open on Thursday to allow people to do normal banking and even come and take their money out if they wish to. Up to now, they can only take money out of ATMs if they can find money in those ATMs. The banking sector has been closed all week. We can't even say for sure that they will reopen Thursday morning unless and until a deal is struck and the EuroZone agrees to that deal and Cyprus has a plan in place to somehow save its banking system from collapse.

Jim Boulden, CNN, Nicosia, Cyprus.


LU STOUT: Coming up right here on News Stream, as the sun sets, Hong Kong becomes the city of neon. But now its bright lights have earned it a dubious international distinction. We'll have more on that after the break.


LU STOUT: It is a spectacular view, isn't it? Hong Kong, a city of lights lit up at night, but looking up is a different story, you're not likely to see the stars above at all. In fact, a new report has found that Hong Kong is one of the worst cities in the world for light pollution.

Now scientists at Hong Kong University found that the light level here is up to 1,200 times brighter than a normal night sky. And that report says that there was excessive brightness on Hong Kong island, Kowloon, and the new territories. And conservationists are worried that light pollution will affect animal behavior. And like other major cities, Hong Kong does not have any laws to control light pollution.

Now let's keep our focus on the region here and check in on the snow in Beijing this morning. Samantha Moore is at the world weather center. She joins us with that -- Samantha.


And it is the first day of spring, spring has sprung in the northern hemisphere. And we have pictures of snow in Beijing. In fact, pictures pretty impressive, too, as the snow is accumulating on the tree tops and on the sidewalks across much of the city. In fact, we had reports of some seven to eight centimeters of snow as we wrapped up winter and headed into the first day of spring. So that made the roadways rather slick here and coated all of the surfaces with a nice fresh surface of white here.

So interestingly enough, you can see it on the satellite picture too. So these beautiful pictures as we head into this new spring season. And as we take a look at the satellite picture this is actually a visible satellite image coming from Modus (ph). and we can see that we do have snow accumulating here on the mountains west of Beijing pretty densely, very bright white, and then even a little bit of smog here just to the south, a little bit of that haze. But definitely ending the season on a very wintry note.

Now it did help out the air quality, at least for awhile, but we are back up now to 165 particles per cubic meter, so that is in the unhealthy range, unfortunately, even though we did get a little bit of atmospheric mixing as that frontal system moves through.

And some decent rainfall amounts as well here in southeastern China. You can see some of these amounts up to around 77 millimeters here as we saw some very heavy downpours at times. So a very good soaking across southeastern China with the snow further to the north.

So there's the frontal system as it moves through. It did help mix out the atmosphere a little bit. But now as we head into the next couple of days high pressure is going to be building in. Of course, that's going to clear out the rain. High pressure causes the air to sink. And it creates a more stagnant air mass. So it makes for poor air quality, but it does bring back the sunshine if you can see it through the smog itself.

Now, as that system moves through, Japan brought in some of the rain here, but then behind it we are seeing some improving conditions. In fact, it looks like it's going to be pretty darned nice once we get towards the end of the work week with a return of the sunshine here. A few clouds on our Wednesday, however.

But very beautiful pictures coming out of Tokyo as the cherry blossom season has begun here. Take a look at this, the beautiful blossoms just exploding here in white and that pink color, all across Tokyo, some two weeks ahead of schedule, two weeks ahead of average. So a lot of folks out enjoying the nice break in the weather here and the beautiful blossoms that had just been exploding all across Tokyo.

And the reason why is the temperatures have been well above average here. The March average high for Tokyo is 13 degrees. And so far this month we've been running at around 17 with 16 of our days in March so far have been above average. So very mild temperatures. In fact, we did make it up to 25 degrees Celsius earlier in the month.

So a very warm pattern has contributed to these beautiful cherry blossoms well ahead of schedule. And you can see here much of the island of Japan -- this is the average, this is the average time we should see the onset of the blooms. So it is nice that we're getting this spring treat a little earlier than normal -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: Yes, Samantha. And thank you for explaining why we're experiencing Sakura two weeks early this year. Samantha Moore there, thank you.

Now, some of Britain's royals have headed underground. Queen Elizabeth, husband Prince Phillip and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, they arrived at London's Baker Street Station a short time ago. And they are there, they're helping to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground known as The Tube. And the royals are viewing a restored Underground coach that dates back to 1892. And they will walk through a new train which is being named after the queen.

Now she had to cancel some appearances last week, because she was experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Now, playing friendly -- officials from China and the U.S. make nice with each other despite rising tension over cyber spying. We have more on that ahead right here on News Stream.

Plus, back in class -- a Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban has recovered from her injuries and is attending a new school.


LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.

Now the South Korean government has set up a cyber crisis team after computer servers at banks and media outlets shut down. Shinhan Bank says it is back online after systems went down for 90 minutes. Now a number of broadcasters say that they also lost the use of computers. The military has raised its information alert level. And the president's office is looking at whether North Korea is behind the attack.

The finance minister of Cyprus is in Moscow to ask Russia to prop up his country's banking system. It comes after the Cypriot Parliament overwhelmingly rejected an EU bailout proposal because it required a tax on bank deposits. In Nicosia, political parties have dispatched a team of experts to the central bank to look at options.

An al Qaeda affiliate in Iraq says it carried out a series of deadly attacks in and around Baghdad on Tuesday. Some 61 people were killed and more than 200 were wounded. And the group, calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq, says the 24 bombings and two gun attacks were retaliation against Shiite members in the government.

And media in Bangladesh report that the president has died in a Singapore hospital. (inaudible) official news agency says 85-year-old Zillur Rahman passed away as he was being treated for a lung infection. Rahman was installed as head of state in Bangladesh in 2009.

Now, U.S. President Barack Obama is in Israel on a three day visit. And arriving in Tel Aviv to a red carpet welcome, Mr. Obama said the U.S. is proud to stand with Israel as its, quote, "strongest ally and greatest friend." We got a first-hand look at Israel's high tech missile defense system.

Mr. Obama is to hold separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Now China and the U.S. are presenting a united front despite the tensions between the two. Now cyber espionage was on the agenda in Beijing as Chinese premier Li Keqiang met with the U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Now hacking also came up with Lew met China's new president Xi Jinping. And that meeting came on the same day a Chinese report said that the U.S. was responsible for more than 80 percent of phishing attacks against it.

Now Christopher Johnson joins us now. He's a senior adviser at the U.S. based Center for Strategic and International Studies. And he used to work as a China analyst for the CIA. Chris, good to see you here in Hong Kong. Thanks for joining.

And first, how big is the cyber threat from the U.S. perspective? And I've got to ask you this question, because what we know is from the U.S. government. They're not giving a lot of information. Or from Mandiant, and they are a for profit security group. So how big is the threat?

CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON, ENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Well, I think it's a huge problem. And it's getting worse by the day. And I think we're seeing how important it is in the fact that it's becoming a bigger and bigger discussion bilaterally. So even a treasury secretary who historically wouldn't cover such issues, this is now talking point number one for him and his meetings in Beijing.

LU STOUT: Yeah, it's only coming to the fore in a big way. Why is China launching these hack attacks against the U.S.?

JOHNSON: There's a number of reasons. And it's important to understand I think as well that, you know, not all of these attacks are government sponsored. And it's difficult to understand the attribution process in China. There is the so-called patriot hackers, there are all kinds of different organizations in China doing this activity. So it's important to understand that not all of it is directed by the Chinese government.

That said, it is a very pervasive situation and it's sort of affecting all aspects of American life.

LU STOUT: So it could be military espionage, it could also be corporate espionage as well. So Chinese companies could be standing to benefit from these hack attacks?

JOHNSON: Absolutely, yes. And in fact sometimes the two are blending in that it appears from the Mandiant report and other things that it is indeed the Chinese military that's engaging in some of the economic espionage.

LU STOUT: Yeah, and I want to get more thoughts from you about that, about who is doing the actual hacking, because -- and we'll bring up the video that we have of that PLA hacking center in Shanghai identified by the Mandiant report. This is where like the Chinese military hackers are staging their attacks.

Is it mainly PLA military hackers, or private guns for hire as well?

JOHNSON: It's a combination of both. And obviously the PLA is playing a large role in this process, but these patriot hackers and then there are other ministerial organizations inside China as well that are also doing this. So it's a very broad and pervasive program on China's part.

LU STOUT: Now these alleged hacking attacks, they're taking place on both sides, both U.S. and China. What's going to be done about it? We've heard a lot of talk about there needs to be dialogue, rules and regulations set up. Will there be talks between U.S. and China on this issue?

JOHNSON: I think there definitely will be. I think that the amount of attention that's been generated from these stories that have been coming out and so on have made it that both sides feel that they need to have a broader dialogue on this. And most importantly, I think what we're going to look for is the U.S. will insist, I think, going forward that the Chinese People's Liberation Army be part of those discussions. And that's going to be good for stabilizing the bilateral relationship.

LU STOUT: Will the PLA be willing to play ball and Chinese military will engage in these talks?

JOHNSON: I think they probably will. I think they'll understand that, you know, this is something that's going to have to be resolved between the two sides. Their role has now been put out in a very public way. And I think the Chinese leadership, frankly, if it's going to have credibility on the issue will want to ensure that they're participating in the discussions.

LU STOUT: And we've heard a call on both sides for rules and regulations in cyber hacking, in cyber attacks. And I'm just trying to figure this out. How do you establish a rule for cyber attacks? You know, you could attack me, but don't hack the hospital? I mean, how do you set these rules and regulations?

JOHNSON: It's a very difficult process, because we're dealing with something, obviously, that touches across borders and is, you know, largely focused on the internet. And so it's going to be very difficult to come up with this, but I think what we're looking for between the two sides in these negotiations is a general set of rules of the road so that for example things like critical infrastructure are red lines for both sides and therefore off the table.

LU STOUT: You've been meeting your sources in Beijing for the last couple of days. And the issue of cyber attacks definitely at the forefront, a thorn in the side for U.S.-China rleations as well as intellectual property theft and trade and currency, et cetera. What is the tone of U.S.-China relations? Where does it stand right now?

JOHNSON: I think it's actually improving. And Secretary Lew's is important. And we now have a clear sign as well that Secretary Kerry will followup. So high level diplomacy is increasing now that the leadership transition is over and also the presidential election in the United States is over. We've had a period of drift over the last 12 to 18 months. And I think both leaderships are showing very strong signals that they want to reengage and that's good the relationship.

LU STOUT: All right, well Chris your insight always appreciated here on News Stream, thank you so much. Chris Johnson of CSIS there.

Now cyber espionage, it isn't the only way that the two countries may be gathering information. Brian Todd reports on a so-called honey trap case in the U.S.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's an Army reservist who had top-secret clearance doing contract work for the U.S. military's Pacific Command in Hawaii. Benjamin Bishop now stands accused of leaking military secrets, including information on nuclear weapons, war plans, early- warning radar systems. U.S. officials say he gave them to a Chinese woman 32 years younger who he was having a relationship with.

Bishop has been arrested and is in custody. His attorney says this.

BIRNEY BERVAR, BENJAMIN BISHOP'S ATTORNEY: He served his country honorably for 29 years. He maintains he would never do anything to intentionally harm the United States.

TODD: Is the woman a Chinese spy? Court documents identify her as Person 1, 27 years old, a Chinese national. The documents say she met Bishop at a defense conference and, quote, "may have been at the conference in order to target individuals such as Bishop who work with and have access to U.S. classified information regarding Person 1's purported interests."


TODD: Eric O'Neill, former FBI counterintelligence officer, says that's when a spy master sends an attractive person to lure a target with sex or blackmail to give up information. O'Neill took down FBI agent Robert Hansen, who spied for the Russians. O'Neill's portrayed by Ryan Philippe in the Hollywood movie, "Breach." On spies who use honey traps...

(on camera): When they're in the compromising situations, how do they actually get the information from them?

O'NEILL: They can use a couple of different things. If it's a prostitute, for example, pillow talk. You know, pillow talk comes from this, from the honey trap, from spies. You talk to someone. You get them to talk after you're done and you're very relaxed and all the endorphins are flowing and the happy things are going on in your brain, and people's tongues loosen.

TODD: It's not exactly a new phenomenon. One of the most famous cases of a honey trap was the Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who during World War I was accused of seducing military officers and diplomats into giving up their secrets. She was eventually executed by the French for spying for the Germans.

Peter Earnest, a former CIA officer who runs the International Spy Museum, says it's not always female spies approaching male targets.

PETER EARNEST, FORMER CIA OFFICER: During the Cold War, these Germans through Marcus Wolf (ph) had a very active program of sending Romeos, as they were called, into West Germany. Seeing who they could meet and develop relationships with them if they had access to intelligence.

TODD: A program that Earnest says worked very well for the East Germans. We tried to get the Chinese embassy in Washington to respond to the documents indicating the woman in Benjamin Bishop's case is likely a Chinese spy. They haven't responded to our calls and emails. U.S. officials have not yet charged the woman with a crime.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


LU STOUT: You're watching News Stream. And coming up next, rescued from slavery, bonded workers tell CNN how they were forced to work for up to 22 hours a day. Their punishment if they didn't, no food, no water. We'll have that story next.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Coming to you live from Hong Kong, you are watching News Stream. And we have this just into CNN. Our French affiliate BFM reports that French police have been searching the Paris home of the international monetary fund managing director Christine Legarde. It is believed that the search is part of an ongoing investigation of her handling of an arbitration payout to a French tycoon turned politician Bernard Tapie. Any more movement on the story, we'll bring it to you right here on CNN.

Now, let's turn to the CNN Freedom Project and we are turning the spotlight on modern day slavery. In the past few months, we've told you how refugees are being held for ransom in Egypt's Sinai Desert and what's being done to stop it. And we've also told you about gangs that kidnapped poor children in Bangladesh and forced them to beg in the streets. And we brought you the story of chocolate's child slaves, youngsters who work long hours in the cocoa fields.

Now according to the international labor organizations, three out of every 1,000 people in the world are the victims of forced labor. The vast majority are in Asia with nearly 12 million victims of trafficking. There are close to 4 million in Africa, nearly 2 million in Latin America.

Now outside Hyderbad, India 149 people have been rescued from forced labor at a brick kiln. And among those rescued, children and toddler who were born into extreme poverty.

Mallika Kapur has the story. She joins us now live -- Mallika.

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, that's right. There were toddlers involved, very young children. There were also, you know, men, women, pregnant women. The sad reality is that bonded labor does exist widely in India, even though it was banned back in 1976. It does exist. It's very hard to put a number on it, a figure on it, because very often it affects migrant population, you know, people who keep moving, looking for jobs. But some estimates say that there are still as many as 14 million people involved in bonded labor in India. And most times you'll find them in rural, agricultural areas.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going that side? Can I go?

KAPUR: 500 people rescued during a raid on a brick kiln in southern India, bonded laborers toiling under brutal, oppressive conditions, brought home to their village in Odisha State. We reported on their new found freedom a year-and-a-half ago. Now we're on the road again to report on a similar case in another village close by.

Here, more than 140 bonded laborers have just returned from a different brick kiln. Lucky Singh was one of them. He normally earns $18 dollars a week weaving baskets, not enough to feed a family of six. That's why he was willing to listen when an agent visited his village.

LUCKY SINGH, RESCUED BONDED LABORER (through translator): He said come with me we will give you work. You'll have food, water, all sorts of conveniences. And he gave us 22,000 rupees in advance.

KAPUR: Lured by the money, about 400 U.S. dollars, Singh and several other villagers followed the agent to a brick kiln like the one we reported on in 2011.

SINGH (through translator): We didn't get time to eat or to bathe. One day I dozed off, then the boss came and beat me with a stick, see.

KAPUR: Other laborers say they also faced brutal conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They used to say you won't get food or water if you don't work. We'll beat you. See what happened to my finger while working?

ANU GEORGE, INTERANATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION : There are tens of millions of people trapped under the bonded labor system.

KAPUR: Anu George works for the International Justice Mission, a human rights group fighting bonded labor, an illegal practice in which workers pay back an advance with manual labor, not money.

Acting on a tip from an escaped worker, IGM (ph) and the local government raided the brick kiln in January. They rescued 149 people. Of those, 34 were children.

What are they doing here?

GEORGE: They're actually tossing the bricks even so that the moisture gets dried up evenly.

Children as small as two-and-a-half years old, they recall from the muscle memory. So if you ask them to explain what they did, they will not be able to say. And that's the reason why they were unable to find out at the time of release that these are also bonded child laborers.

KAPUR: So all these children here are bonded child laborers.

GEORGE: All of them here are bonded child laborers. And all of them, even if they're not able to communicate how exactly they work...

KAPUR: They can show you.

GEORGE: They can show you.

KAPUR: Though bonded labor was banned in India in 1976, it's still widely practiced in the countryside, though the government has employment schemes for rural India, they don't reach areas this remote, leaving these people with no choice but to go back to basket weaving and making saris, or else take their chances with the next recruiter who comes to the village.


KAPUR: So, Kristie, you know, these people, these bonded laborers are enjoying their freedom for now, but a lot of people -- you know, charities, NGOs who worked in that area say that this freedom may not last very long. And very often they'll find that people go back to being bonded laborers again simply because they have no choice, even though they know that they are going to face abuse, you know, live in slave-like conditions, the fact that they're going to get money to feed their families, that's what's going to make them go back -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: You know, you do have to fear for their future, the future of everyone who was rescued at this brick kiln. I mean, 34 children also rescued, including toddlers. Bonded labor, we know that it's banned in India, you mentioned that in your report, but why does it continue to thrive there today?

KAPUR: That's a really good point, Kristie. And I think there are two reasons that keep coming up. One is simply the lack of an alternative. These people need money. And, you know, we talked earlier about how this affect migrant labor. So very often you'll find this affecting people in the same part of the country. One of them is this Odisha State where I went to. And over here in these rural areas, in the summer months the temperatures soar to about 50 degrees Centigrade. It's really hot, which makes agriculture very difficult.

So agriculture isn't a viable option. So people can't live off the land. They really need employment. And even though the Indian government has employment schemes in place -- you know, I traveled to this village. I can tell you it's really far, it's really remote. It takes hours to get there. And there's nothing around it. So these people really don't have another way of earning a livelihood. That's one very important reason, the lack of an alternative.

Another very important reason is that the government needs to become much more aggressive when it comes to enforcing the law. We know that bonded labor has been banned in India, yet the conviction rate is very low.

I want to quickly tell you just examples of the raids that I've just reported on. The case I reported on back in 2011, the brick kiln owner, he's free at the moment. There have been some technical problems in the case against him. And he's not in jail at the moment. And this particular one I reported on, the one that you just saw, the one with the toddlers, the brick kiln owner, he's out on bail. And the alleged middle man, he hasn't been arrested yet, even though there is an arrest warrant out for him. He's a very influential man locally, so at the moment he's still free.

So the government has to become more aggressive to enforce the law so that people are scared about the consequences if they do go ahead and recruit people to be bonded laborers.

LU STOUT: Yeah, I can't believe what you just told me. No justice here and no support for the victims. Something has got to be done.

Mallika Kapur, thank you so much for your reporting. Keep it up. Mallika Kapur, joining us live from New Delhi, thank you.

And you can follow the CNN Freedom Project on our website. Just go to You'll find more of Mallika's reporting and her past stories. Plus, we have links to reputable charities if you want to help.

Now you're watching News Stream. And coming up next, Alex Thomas, he has all the latest sports news, including guess who is the new ambassador for football in China? That, up next.


LU STOUT: Welcome back.

Now the Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban last October has finally returned to the classroom. Malala Youfuszai was targeted because she stood up for girl's education. And she has since become an international symbol for women's rights and won a nomination for the Nobel Peace Price. Rupert Evelyn has more.


RUPERT EVELYN, ITN CORRESPONDENT: The education campaigner is herself learning again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) by yourself, then you will be independent.

EVELYN: Anxious and escorted by her father, Malala Yousufzai heads towards her first day at a new school, swapping the classroom of Pakistan's Swat Valley for the private halls of Birmingham's Edgbaston High School.

MALALA YOUSUFZAI, SHOT BY TALIBAN: I think this is the heaviest moment that I am going back to my school. And today, I held my books, my bag, and I will learn, I will talk to my friends, I will talk to my teacher.

EVELYN: This is five months since the Taliban attempted to assassinate Malala, her life saved in Pakistan, her skull rebuilt in Birmingham, she has defied the odds. And with these images released by her and her family, she defies her enemies' attempts to silence her.

Her return to school is a symbol of the simple yet powerful message Malala conveys. Her campaign for women's education will not be stopped either by a change of country or by a bullet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We aim that once she's in school she'll be a normal girl, she'll follow the normal rules, she'll be taught along with everyone else. And we will support her.

EVELYN: Her new school motto translates as "Faithfully, Bravely, and Successfully."

Her new classmates will not have to look far to find someone who encapsulates those characteristics.

Rupert Evelyn, ITV News, Birmingham.


LU STOUT: It is so wonderful to see Malala back at school.

Now David Beckham has arrived in China as the country's new football ambassador, although his new role is not without controversy. Let's join Alex Thomas in London for more -- Alex.


David Beckham is denying that his near flawless global image could be damaged by his new role as China's football ambassador. Beckham was forced to defend himself after flying in to Beijing to make his first appearance since accepting the position. The Paris Saint Germain midfielder and former England captain says he's there to promote football development. And he insists he's not getting paid despite reports to the contrary.

China's Super League has been dogged by controversy and corruption, but Becks says that has nothing to do with him.


DAVID BECKHAM, PARIS SAINT GERMAIN MIDFIELDER: I don't think there will be any damage to my reputation simply because I'm not a politician and I'm not involved in any scandals and corruption that has gone on in the past. I'm here for the future. I'm here to be an ambassador for the grass roots football and for the, you know, the continued success of the game leading forward. You know, whatever has gone on in the past, like I said, I'm not a politician, so nothing to do with me.


THOMAS: The head coach of Australia's swimming team has quit a month after a damning report into their dismal London 2012 performance. Aussie swimmers, normally so strong at the Olympics, only claimed one relay gold and no individual titles for the first time since 1976. An independent review claimed there was a toxic culture within the team which allowed bullying, harassment and misuse of alcohol and prescription drugs.

Now Leigh Nugent has stepped down, although his boss said the coach could return.


BARCLAY NETTLEFOLD, SWIMMING AUSTRALIA PRESIDENT: He was convinced that he needed to move on, allow them -- he was tired, he's exhausted from the process that he's been through over the last, you know, four years. And he just needs to regroup himself and give him some time out. And come back to a role with Swimming Australia.


THOMAS: Finally, in an all Caribbean clash, the Dominican Republic became only the second winners of the fledgling World Baseball Classic succeeding Japan as champions after a 3-0 win over Puerto Rico. Yankees player Robinson Cano was one of the MLB stars on show for only the third ever WBC final. It was Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays that put the Dominican Republic ahead at the bottom of the first with a double to deep center. Cano, one of the two runners getting to home plate.

Puerto Rico tried hard to get back into the game, but Dominican pitcher Samuel Deduno was on top form. And at the top of the fourth and fifth innings, he snuffed out the threat from their opponents striking out Angel Pagan after a 3-6-3 double play that you saw just before that.

The Dominican Republic added a third run before Fernando Rodney struck out Luis Figeroa at the top of the Ninth to seal victory and spark wild Usain Bolt style celebrations.

Kristie, I don't know why they were doing that, but it's great to see them so happy. That's all the sport for now.

LU STOUT: Yeah, you know, it looked like someone started it, it kind of went viral. They just went with it.

But look they have a good reason to celebrate. Alex Thomas there. Thank you.

Now, the story up next, it's been in the news. It's been a big talking point. I'm talking about the risk of a large asteroid hitting earth. And the U.S. congress heard potential options that could protect the Earth, but there was a huge pricetag. Chris Lawrence has more.


LAWRENCE: The Russians saw a flash of light and heard the sonic boom. The meteor exploded with the force of a nuclear bomb. It did $30 million in damage and injured 1,000 people and no one saw it coming.

REP. LAMAR SMITH, (R) TEXAS: We were fortunate that the events of last month were simply an interesting coincidence rather than a catastrophe.

LAWRENCE: The nation's top science officials were called before congress Tuesday to explain what they're doing to detect similar threats from space.

CHARLES BOLDEN, FRM. NASA ADMINISTRATOR: And objects as large as a car arrive about once per week.

LAWRENCE: The bigger concern is, well, the bigger ones.

Using a football field for perspective, the size of that meteor over Russia would only take you to the seven yard line. Congress has ordered NASA to track objects that are significantly bigger than the entire field, big enough to wipe out a city.

In the film Deep Impact, astronauts set off a nuke to deflect an asteroid and the U.S. navy successfully shot down an old spy satellite in 2008 before it could crash to earth and release toxic gas.

But blasting a large asteroid is not in the cards.

JOHN HOLDREN, NASA: It would not be practical to have a laser powerful enough to split it in half.

LAWRENCE: Conjuring up images of the film Armageddon, NASA is pushing ahead with plans to land astronauts on an asteroid by 2025 and improve early detection.

HOLDREN: The most important single thing we could do to improve our capacity to see any asteroid of potentially damaging size coming would be an orbiting infrared telescope.

LAWRENCE: You see, asteroids like the one over Russia can't be seen from the ground, because they get lost in the sun's glare. Science officials say they need to put a special telescope into orbit. It's being developed right now, but the cost up to three-quarters of a billion dollars.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.


LU STOUT: That is News Stream. World Business Today is next.