Feeds

Now CHINA complains of surge in cyber-attacks

MASSIVE pot calls kettle black

Mobile application security vulnerability report

China is claiming attacks on public and private organisations from outside of its borders have rocketed in the past year - from five million computers affected in 2010 to 8.9m in 2011.

State-run newspaper China Daily reported the figures from (deep breath) the government’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team and Coordination Center.

They revealed that machines behind 11,851 IP addresses from overseas took control of 10,593 Chinese websites during 2011. Other attacks involved the destruction of servers and stealing of personal data from web users in the People’s Republic.

Some 1,116 sites were defaced by overseas attackers, and just under half of those government sites, Wang Minghua, deputy director at the centre, told a news conference on Monday.

“This shows that Chinese websites still face a serious problem from being maliciously attacked by foreign hackers or IP addresses," he is quoted as saying.

Surprisingly, Japan is alleged to be the source of most attacks on China, supposedly landing 22.8 per cent, followed by the US with 20.4 per cent and then the Republic of Korea with 7.1 per cent.

The attacks were both financially motivated and targeted at stealing sensitive information from government departments, according to the report, although tellingly there is no breakdown for each.

China has swung from being a country frequently accused of launching cyber-attacks on Western nations to one finding itself on the business end of hackers' keyboards. Although it has been frustratingly difficult for investigators and politicians to prove, everyone from Hillary Clinton to William Hague and Google’s Eric Schmidt has pointed accusing fingers at the Asian nation as a source of malicious net traffic.

Most recently, a detailed report from US defence contractor Northrop Grumman revealed that the People’s Liberation Army is tooling up with advanced information warfare capabilities, and warned that academia and commercial technology firms are helping to provide it with significant R&D resources.

However, despite the threat that Western governments believe Chinese hackers pose, it’s also likely that as China increasingly becomes an affluent web-connected nation, international cyber-criminals will look to target its web users. There are after all more than 500m users online in the People’s Republic, and almost one billion mobile subscribers, while a growing middle class is spending increasing amounts of cash online - China’s internet GDP will grow at a CAGR of over 17 per cent through to 2016, according to new research.

It would be naïve to think that the US, UK and other nations are snoozing while China-sponsored attackers target their data. The UK’s Cyber Security Strategy announced in November explained that a Cyber Defence Operations Group will be installed at the Ministry of Defence next month, for example.

Overseen by Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the group will have a mission to develop "new tactics, techniques and plans to develop military cyber capabilities”.

The latest stats from the Chinese government may be slightly exaggerated but shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.