We were shocked today to read a CBS News report that reveals that only a handful of hacker teams are responsible for most China-based data theft. And the worst part? The Chinese government is backing them.
Most of the attacks are against the U.S. government, but private companies are also at risk. Defense companies and other critical industries, including energy and finance, have seen a huge uptick in hacking attempts in the last few year, CBS found.
While most attacks that seek to steal credit card of financial information originate in Eastern Europe or Russia, analysts say those that are after intellectual property or classified data usually come from China.
According to CBS, examples of specific attacks linked to China include:
— Two sophisticated attacks against Google's systems stole some of the Internet giant's intellectual property and broke into the Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including senior U.S. government officials, military personnel and political activists.
— Last year, computer security firm Mandiant reported that data was stolen from a Fortune 500 manufacturing company during business negotiations when the company was trying to buy a Chinese company.
— Earlier this year, McAfee traced an intrusion to an Internet protocol address in China and said intruders took data from global oil, energy and petrochemical companies.
Although industry experts and analysts have been calling for increased attention to the problem, the current system offers no punishment for Chinese hackers who attack the U.S. Even when a specific IP address -- or individual -- is known to have been involved in a cyberattack, officials have no power or authority to file charges.
In the meantime, China is privy to a staggering amount of information that affects every level of our lives. Hopefully, policymakers will begin working to stop this information-drain sooner rather than later.
Read the rest of the fascinating article here.