• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 2:38am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 March, 2013, 7:37am

China unfairly cast as the villain in global cyberwar

Are we seriously to think that cyberattacks only go one way, with PLA-sponsored hackers going after American targets? Come on, both sides are waging an intense cyberwar involving many free agents whose loyalties and political allegiances are murky.

Chinese companies and governments departments are as much targets of foreign hackers as their counterparts in the West.

According to China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Co-ordination Centre, 2,194 servers in the US hacked into and controlled about 1.29 million servers on the mainland in the first two months of this year. More than 3,500 mainland websites were attacked by hackers who were traced back to the US in the same period.

The People's Daily website was attacked for nearly two hours on January 28. The websites of more than 85 government agencies were breached between September 2012 and February this year. The e-mail server of Tibet.cn was hacked and planted with a Trojan virus last month. Almost half of these attacks originated from US servers.

But, hey, the centre is a government body, you say, so it can't be trusted. You may be right, but it seems to be no more untrustworthy than Mandiant, the US web security firm that traced many global cyberattacks to a crack team of Chinese hackers sponsored by the People's Liberation Army. Before we sink into my-country-is-holier-than-yours mode, let's face it - it's not just the US and China.

In the cyberworld, it's a Hobbesian state of nature - a war of all against all. China, the US and Russia happen to be the bigger players. And why not? It's far less lethal than a physical war. In a highly integrated world economy, it will be too costly for them to start a shooting war. Confining their struggle for supremacy in commerce, technology and cyberspace seems more civilised.

Making China the cyber bogeyman also fits a long tradition of the US making self-righteous and often false accusations to create an enemy, then going to war (Iraq, Panama, Vietnam; the War on Terror, the War on Drugs).

The US is the only one that has openly acknowledged having waged an act of cyberwarfare against another country. Now, it looks set to wage a cyberwar again - and it needs a villain.


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This article is now closed to comments

A derivative of Alexander Gerschenkron’s idea of economic advantage of technological backwardness:
More and more valuable things to steal from the US than from China
Once technological parity is attained, the US will have little complaint about unfair competition in cyberwar
Yes, the US is likely hacking into Chinese servers and monitoring Chinese goings-on, but what is there to steal? China does not possess technology that the US would want. No, the theft is one-way, from the US and other developed nations to China. Your article defends the thieves and is a bit too patriotic.
Breaking and entering is a criminal offence in most countries, but if you had theft of many hundreds billions of dollars, it is much larger crime.
Just because they dont need it, doesnt mean they dont want to know it "brainwash".
What is there in Iran that the US want? Yet the constant hacking from US and Israel is for the sake of disrupting Iran is and should not be illegal? You know its breaking and entering too, and it cost hundreds of billions in damage as well. Your ignorance is astonishing.
Sure there is not much tech for the US to steal from China, but not details of multi bullion dollar business deals or investments from China with other countries, espicially when they involve in purchasing resources, or information regarding the Military that the Chinese or any sane nation will not release to the public. So no the theft is certainly not one way.
How is this "patriotic" when it simply presenting a common sense view that a bunch of brainwashed by the western media ignorant fools like yourself will forever fail to see?
hard times !
Of course,everyone with sense and common knowledge knows that both America and Mainland China stage cyberattacks at each other's vital organistions or even individuals.Yet recently one of the computers at our prestigious Hong Kong University of Science and Technology was found to have been used as a tool in PLAs cyberattacks against America.The suspected computer has been hauled away by Hong Kong police but I wonder why no one was said to have been arrested for wrongly using the computer or being a hacker---which is illegal according to the law of Hong Kong.Recently the nasty guy who attacked H.K.U.'s Survey on All Hongkongers' referendum on the candidates of the Chief Executive election was found guilty and duly punished.
hard times !
if one is really a villian and a geniune villian by any terms or criteria, then how can he/she denies it.Right ? Several years ago, I read an article with many proofs that the PRC made every effort to get the commercial secrets from France---not just using beauties but could tip their ties into certain liquid and brought them home for further examination while visiting French factories or labs.I told my younger brother and his wife(both are Chinese Americans) that if they could try their best to grab French commercial secrets, they might probably make their efforts to get American military and technological secrets as well.They both agreed with me while my sis (whose boyfriend was/is a blind loyalist of the autocratic Red China) remained silent and looked unhappy at what I said.
"if one is really a villian and a geniune villian by any terms or criteria, then how can he/she denies it.Right ? "
I couldn't agree more.
hmm let see. A country that fabricated evidence and ignore the international community and invaded a country and controled it for 10 years in the good name of democracy & ousting a dictator, costing 1 million or more lives in these 10 years in the country they invaded, while the people responsible for this mess is left untouch and the only punishment they got is a small slap on the hand and the dictator they ousted is now consider a hero in his home country? O and implanting a computer bug in a certain country nuclear facilities which could potentially cause a nuclear accident in the host country which the "villian" does not like? Does using drones to attack targets in other countries in the name of killing 'terrorist" which they have no proof what so ever of, and calling anyone who got killed in the lawless attack as long as they are over 18 a "combatant" counts as a villian? So far 6000 or more lives have been killed with no trial or evidence ever presented against them, but of course how could a nobel peace prize holder be wrong when he decides who to exterminate or not. His judgement is so flawless he now thinks that he should be given the right to use it in his home country.
If only the world is as black and white as your sis boyfriend and yours I will certainly have a easier time knowing who the geniune villian is.
Look, if you want to infiltrate and topple someone or suspect someone, you hack (like a modern ninja spy) to get info. You can also steal from PLA and Pentagon. I want to Julian Assange and his cronies to get more coverage on this.


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