Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chinese Hackers

I think everyone has heard about Google pulling out of China. Part of the story is the rise of hacking from China and whether it is sanctioned by the communist government.

From the March 2010 MessageLabs report (part of Symantec), it appears that most of the hacking does come from China.

I'm not sure what period this covers (either all 2009 or just March 2010) but ~28% of cyber-attacks originate from China, followed closely by Romania (what's with Cameroon?). Sure, there are a lot of people in China and they all need something to do. However, looking at the target of these attacks, there is an interesting pattern.

I thought most of the hacks were for economic gain, similar to the infamous Nigerian scams; I still get a lot of emails for all sorts of advanced-fee and phishing scams. The first six categories above do not look like your "typical" target of financial scams but more like industrial/political espionage. This may not mean that the CCP is actively sponsoring cyber-attacks but it sure looks suspicious. Similar to the 50-cent (wumiao) army used to generate fake grassroots opinions, I think the CCP fosters this type of behavior from individuals through nationalistic propaganda and financial/political rewards.

No comments: