Friday, July 25, 2008

The Truth About Chinese Hackers

Here another article on China and its hackers. Written by Bruce Schneier, it gives a different perspective on the many statements appeared recently on China and its Cyber activities. Unfortunately Schneier does not provide any reference to support his theory.
The scoop: Last week, Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, said four of his government computers had been hacked by sources working out of China. Bruce Schneier, an internationally renowned security technologist, gives us his take on what went down.
The popular media concept is that there is a coordinated attempt by the Chinese government to hack into U.S. computers -- military, government corporate -- and steal secrets. The truth is a lot more complicated.
There certainly is a lot of hacking coming out of China. Any company that does security monitoring sees it all the time.
These hacker groups seem not to be working for the Chinese government. They don't seem to be coordinated by the Chinese military. They're basically young, male, patriotic Chinese citizens, trying to demonstrate that they're just as good as everyone else. As well as the American networks the media likes to talk about, their targets also include pro-Tibet, pro-Taiwan, Falun Gong and pro-Uyghur sites.
The hackers are in this for two reasons: fame and glory, and an attempt to make a living. The fame and glory comes from their nationalistic goals. Some of these hackers are heroes in China. They're upholding the country's honor against both anti-Chinese forces like the pro-Tibet movement and larger forces like the United States.
And the money comes from several sources. The groups sell owned computers, malware services, and data they steal on the black market. They sell hacker tools and videos to others wanting to play. They even sell T-shirts, hats and other merchandise on their Web sites.

No comments: