France blames China for hack attacks
Updated Three more western nations have blamed China for an upsurge in hacking attacks against government computers.
Germany, the USA and the UK have all become the subject of targeted attacks originating from China, with many observers pointing the finger of blame towards China's Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). France, Australia and New Zealand joined the growing list this week.
The Chinese government has denied any involvement in the attacks, with officials painting the Asian giant as a victim of unidentified hackers.
Earlier this week, Francis Delon, the secretary general of France's National Defence Office, confirmed that France had recently become the target of similar attacks.
Delon said Chinese hackers had "penetrated outer levels" of state computer systems. "We have proof that there is involvement with China. But I am prudent. When I say China, this does not mean the Chinese government. We don't have any indication now that it it was done by the Chinese People's Liberation Army," he added, France 24 reports.
Cyber door rattling
Targets of the attack against France reportedly include the French defence ministry's internet site. French sources are portraying that attacks, described as more of a reconnaissance effort than the frontal assault, as a nuisance rather than a threat.
Australian news wire reports suggest the Chinese also attempted to hack into systems run by the Australian and New Zealand governments. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said that "foreign intelligence agencies" had attempted to hack into its systems. "What I can stress is that absolutely no classified information has ever been penetrated by these attacks," She added.
Although the Austrlian government is neither confirming or denying the reports unnamed government sources told ANI that the country was indeed under cyberattack from China.
China denies involvement
Chinese government has denied that its army was involved in the attacks. "Saying that the Chinese military has made cyber attacks on the networks of foreign governments is groundless and irresponsible and are a result of ulterior motives," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.
Senior Chinese officials are suggesting it is even more of victim of cyberespionage than western nations. China has sustained "massive" and "shocking" losses of state and military secrets via the internet, according to Lou Qinjian, Vice Minister of Information Industry.
"The Internet has become the main technological channel for external espionage activities against our core, vital departments," he wrote in the magazine Chinese Cadres Tribune, Reuters reports
Security observers reckon it's very difficult to trace cyber attacks back to government agencies in foreign countries with any certainty.
Giacomo Paoni, CTO of WSLabi, which runs an online auction site for security vulnerabilities, said part of the difficulty is that China is famous for offering so-called "bulletproof hosting". The availability of gray-market services, popular with online ne'er do wells, creates a rogues gallery of potential suspects, Paoni argues.
"Internet service providers offering bulletproof hosting - aka bulk-friendly hosting - have a high degree of tolerance as to what actions their customers can carry out, therefore they are usually used by attackers and spammers from all over the world as a good way to hide their tracks."
Whether or not the Chinese Government itself is behind the attacks one thing is sure: western governments are under attack by organised groups of malicious hackers based in China. Paoni suggests that, at minimum, the Chinese Government is tolerant of this activity. "Regardless of who is really responsible for the hacker attacks being processed via the Chinese servers, the level of sophistication involved is quite high," he added. ®
Want to take control of your keyboard
About a year ago, an earlier version of MEPIS (Debian derivitive) would report that a URL wanted to take control of my keyboard and mouse. All I had to do was give permission. This happened often enough that I used reverse DNS to trace this request to China. I conclude that China is a major source of hacking.
First, any half-decent "hacker" would be able to cover their tracks. Or are going on bad Hollywood movies?
Second, the US and many of those countries are the biggest employers of hackers.
"Def Con" should be renamed "Recruit a hacker", all the US agencies have in they payroll several hackers and I'm sure they are not just advising them on how to defend.
Do we need to remind the US and friends of Echelon/Carnivore?
And your point is ? Aside from describing a rather interesting life story, what exactly are you trying to undermine ? Alain Delon's reputation - that has nothing to do with the current subject, or, by some obscure relation induced by same name similarities, are you trying to sully Francis Delon by associating him with an actor ?
Frankly, I'd think that his being French would be enough sullying for you.
Also, if you want to shovel dirt around, you could do a bit of research. Alain Delon did not WANT to be a butcher, he studied the subject because his stepfather had a butchery and he was more or less obliged to follow suit. Finally, Alain Delon is a single child, and although he has had quite a few wives and children, none of them are named Francis.