Bad year for China: 500 000 cyber attacks in 2010

China, in a recently released statement, said that it had been the target of close to 500 000 cyber attacks during 2010.

Many of the attacks came from foreign countries such as India (8 percent based on IP activity) and the US (14.7 percent based on IP activity); this was according to a government report issued from the port city of Dalian where the National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Centre is located. The bulk of these attacks came from Trojan applications which are used by hackers to gain access to specifically targeted computers.

China has, in the past, been blamed for organising cyber-attacks and cyber-spying campaigns.

Analysts have cited a recently released report by McAfee which brought light to what the security firm referred to as a “five-year targeted operation” as proof of China’s cyber-criminality.

The Chinese government responded by saying that it being linked to the “Shady Rat” cyber-spying campaign, “[did] not hold water” and that “it is irresponsible to link China to internet hackers”, PCMag reported.

Following this statement, McAfee reiterated that though it could surmise a single nation-state was behind the attack, it had no direct evidence which could finger a particular nation directly of being behind a global cyber-attack.

In March, the computers of the Australian prime minister as well as the defence and foreign ministers were under suspicion of being hacked, with China being labelled as the main culprit.

In June, China was fingered by Google for being behind “campaign to collect user passwords” aimed at the personal Gmail accounts of “senior US government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists.

The online population of China is 485-million users, making it the largest in the world.



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