Part 1 of this article addressed the fact that the Chinese had hacked into major US news agencies. At the time of that writing it was alleged that the Chinese military was behind those attacks. Proving such a thing is very complicated and one of the reasons that the US has done so little in the face of mounting Chinese attacks on US companies. For their part, the Chinese steadfastly deny any state-sponsored hacking. Unfortunately for Beijing, Mandiant, a computer security firm, has strong evidence “proving” that China’s military has been attacking the US and its companies for years. Mandiant concluded that the Chinese military Unit 61398, located in Shanghai, was one such military hacking unit. As a matter of fact it was even uncovered that in 2004 that unit was actively recruiting hackers to join Unit 61398. This shows that Beijing has been updating its cyber army for quite some time now. The Mandiant report (1) also states that: Mandiant has been tracking security breaches or hacking since 2004. They claim that advanced threat actors “Advanced Persistent Threat” (APT) account for the majority of those breaches. Mandiant initially believed that the Chinese government authorized such groups but had no way to determine the extent of government involvement.
Browsing china cyberwar
This fall, the country was hit with a digital pandemic known as the Zeroaccess Botnet. This sophisticated malware actually has the ability to “learn” and evolve, to become one of the most infectious computer viruses to hit the globe. It also seems that no country is safe from the virus. No country, that is, except for China. The United States, Canada, and Great Britain were hit the hardest, with the rest of the European countries trailing closely behind. However, for reasons unknown, it appears that China is emerging almost completely unscathed from the viral attack. China’s overall lack of infection has not gone unnoticed, and has left many wondering, was China itself responsible for the Zeroaccess Botnet pandemic?
“The danger is pronounced,’ warns Charles Viar, chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Intelligence Studies. ‘In my view, no one is really doing enough to deal with the Chinese threat. It is too large, and by Western standards, too unconventional.” On November 9th, before leaving his post, China’s Hu Jintao announced that China is speeding up its full military Internet technology IT applications and development, including new weapons and equipment. With China being the world’s worst perpetrator of cyber-espionage and theft, this is a worrying prospect. All nations have the right to protect themselves in all spheres of engagement, but the Chinese have taken it too far. They are recognized as the worst perpetrators of cyber-theft, and present the biggest threat to US national security. Hu Jintao’s pronouncement should be a concern for all Western nations. “Irrespective of sophistication, the volume of exploitation attempts yielded enough successful breaches to make China the most threatening actor in cyberspace, ” -US Congressional Report on China