Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

Summary: Security analysts and experts suggest only a small number of groups in China are responsible for high-profile cyberattacks on U.S. targets.

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TOPICS: Security, CXO
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U.S. cybersecurity analysts believe that as few as 12 different Chinese groups could be responsible for the majority of cyberattacks on the United States.

Experts suggest that this 'select' set of hacking groups may be backed, or directed by the Chinese government itself.

The theories understand that these groups are given 'orders' to go after specific companies or technologies -- and that sometimes they even compete with one another.

There have been several intrusions traced back to Beijing, but there was insufficient proof to confirm these fears.

U.S. officials are nevertheless reluctant to make any links without concrete evidence.

There have been several high profile cyberattacks linked back to China in the past few years. Operation Aurora famously targeted Google and several other organisations between 2009 and 2010, which eventually led to Google's withdrawal from China.

Although it would be largely impossible and politically inflammatory for the U.S. to prosecute hackers in China, some are urging the U.S. government to take a stronger stand against the potential threat.

Jon Ramsey, Dell SecureWorks' counter-threat chief said: "There is not deterrent not to attack the U.S.", adding that the government "needs to do more to increase the risk."

"Industry is already feeling that they are at war," James Cartwright, former vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. "Right now we have the worst of worlds. If you want to attack me you can do it all you want, because I can't do anything about it."

Many companies are feeling frustrated that the U.S. government is not putting enough pressure on China to stop attacks. With counterfeit products, from fake iPhones to fake PlayStation Vita's appearing in China, it is no wonder that businesses feel as though their intellectual property is being attacked.

China has rejected allegations of cyber-spying, stating that it is also the victim of attacks, and without any solid evidence it would be extremely difficult to prove any allegations at all.

The analysts however suggest that they are able to trace attacks back to Chinese hackers through digital fingerprints left by the attacks. It may be that evidence will be found to directly trace the alleged hackers, strengthening the U.S. government's case further.

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Topics: Security, CXO

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14 comments
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  • RE: Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

    And how is this any different than any other hackers, it always a few.
    mrlinux
  • Marxism 101

    When you jump in bed with the Reds, you basically play by their rules.
    klumper
  • RE: Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

    Yeah this is becoming more and more common these days. I recently had something called Vista Antivirus 2012 and it was an actual virus! I do a lot of importing from Chona and spend time on alibaba.com to look for purchases and I'm guessing that where I got the infection. I had to visit the Best Antivirus in order to find some way to protect my computers from these attacks. What does the US plan on doing about this? Oh yeah forgot, Obama is in office so probably nothing....
    reviewsgirl
    • Warning: New Nasty Win 7 Antispyware 2012 on Microsoft Windows 7

      @reviewsgirl <br>Warning: My laptop just got hit with a new "nasty Win 7 Antispyware 2012" today. After spent 5 hours, there is no solution and I forced to re-format and re-install from the beginning. These cunning people has a ligilitmate web site as well and thousand people affecting by it. <br>Where is our enforcement? I hope our U.S. Dept. of Justice or FBI will send these people to jail for a very long time so they do not commit these heinous crimes again. Now that is what we can do.
      Netteligent
      • RE: Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

        @reviewsgirl , and @Netteligent

        What you two seem to forget is that these attackers are [b]outside[/b] of our jurisdiction. The Feds can file all of the charges they want, but, to expect the Chinese to "hand over" their citizens for trial is 'wishful thinking'. Even more so, if these 'hackers' are performing the hacks at the 'request' of Chinese officials. And, also remember, don't you think [b]we[/b] do the same thing? Are you willing to 'hand over' Americans to the Chinese because [b]they say[/b] that they have been hacked? I doubt it!

        (shakes head!)
        fatman65536
      • RE: Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

        @Netteligent
        5 hours? I'm guessing you Googled it right?

        Simple. Download one or the other. Microsoft Safety Scanner from Microsoft or Microsoft Defender Offline Scanner from Microsoft. The better would be the offline scanner. Download and burn it to CD/DVD or select USB which will image your USB flash stick to be bootable. Start your PC and press F12 repeatedly and you should get a boot menu, if you don't see one try rebooting and pressing the Del or Delete key repeatedly for the boot menu. You should see several boot options two of which should be CD/DVD rom and USB. Whatever method you chose to use either burn > CD/DVD or USB Flash stick > USB and press any key to boot from device. It will take some time to load everything into memory off the device but once loaded it will show you a scanner. Do a quick scan or full scan (Recommended) and it should pick up the threats and then remove/delete/clean it. Reboot and it is gone! Sounds simple because it is simple. All free as well. When done download install Microsoft Security Essentials (Free Anti-Virus from Microsoft) to protect yourself.

        On another note, I do agree the government should be doing more but then again you never know what they are doing behind closed doors as we speak ;)
        audidiablo
    • RE: Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

      @reviewsgirl

      So you want Obama to go to war with China over some hackers?

      And for the record Bush and Obama have identical policies here....
      SlithyTove
  • RE: Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

    No matter if it is a few or a lot all of it is government sanctioned. Make it clear these attacks are an act of war. Doing nothing is not an option. It is time to hit back with a lot more than cyber-attacks. We know exactly where the attacks originate in China. Give them 24 hours to stop and knowing they won???t and then drop a couple of cruise missiles down their throats. They need to learn we are serious and while we are at it charge them for everything they have stolen since 1947. The value of all of these things exceeds our entire national debt.
    pacomj60@...
    • RE: Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

      @pacomj60@...

      /Facepalm

      "We know exactly where the attacks originate in China."

      Given that it is doubtful China has given us access to their systems to find out, I highly doubt that we know exactly where they are.

      "Give them 24 hours to stop and knowing they won???t and then drop a couple of cruise missiles down their throats."

      While we are at it, we should probably send a cruise missile to Kevin Mitnick and DVD John's houses too amirite?

      "The value of all of these things exceeds our entire national debt."

      So, basically, talk them out of us having to pay back the loans they gave us?


      Are you familiar with the term mutually-assured-destruction? Let me explain that. See, when two countries have significant amounts of nuclear weapons on intercontinental ballistic missiles, they possess the ability to wipe each other out entirely. So they mostly play nice and occasionally spar in indirect ways like, for example, hacking each other or peering at each other's territory via satellites and spy planes. What they DON'T do is openly kill each other.

      Not to mention that China has proven capability to destroy satellites and our aircraft carriers so even before exercising a nuclear option they can make things very, very expensive for us. Quite aside from the fact that it would wreck both our countries economies.

      If we can keep it to this sort of mild sparring, that would be fantastic.
      SlithyTove
  • Stop Whinnings and Talks are Cheap

    America must stop wasting our time and resource on these subjects about job outsource, counterfeits, copyrights, human rights, religion freedom, currency devaluation, cyberattacks, etc. from China. Nothing will ever change.<br>Our lawyers, politicans, and law enforcement are only good enough to harras Occupy, students, and other American victims with force in our own soils. Dare to take on China your own size.<br>Christmas and New Year 2012 are good to start new year. Let focus on something we can do to fix and improve America from further destruction.
    Netteligent
  • Right - The U.S. will Bite the Hand that Feeds it

    China practically owns the US. They hold more of our debt than any other country. On top of that, America has allowed our corporations to offshore much of our manufacturing and many, many jobs to China in exchange for higher profit margins. Shame on us. It is only a matter of time before our Chinese Overlords take over. Sad.
    jpr75_z
  • Makes sense

    It's easier to exert control over a small number of individuals or groups, than over a large number of individuals or groups directly. If anyone could be a "patriotic hacker", things could easily get out of hand.
    John L. Ries
  • RE: Most China-based hacking carried out by 'select few'

    so not everyone has hacking skills!!! that is surprising!
    runnerup
  • Paradox

    I don't think that hackers only exist in China.
    That said, we're dealing with a paradox; a highly organized communist state that at the same time refines and practices capitalism at an unimaginable level.
    Throw in a total disregard for the rules and you end up with a formidable adversary.
    da philster