People's Daily Online
February 24, 2010
The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and some
other newspapers have published articles indicating that cyber attacks
targeting Google and several other U.S. companies were from China. Such
allegations are arbitrary and biased.
These articles take as evidence that hackers' IP addresses could be
traced back to two schools in China. However, it is common sense that
hackers can attack by hijacking computers from anywhere in the world.
This fact also explains why hackers are hard to be tracked down.
Computers in China are easy to be hijacked by hackers as internet
security technology and services are still underdeveloped in China. The
majority of Chinese internet users also lack security awareness and
adequate protection measures.
The hackers' IP addresses could by no means vindicate the newspapers'
allegations that the attacks were carried out by Chinese citizens or
from within China.
Certain newspapers went even further by indicating that the Chinese
government and the military might have supported those cyber attacks.
The New York Times says the Lanxiang vocational school in eastern
Shandong province, one of the schools from which the cyber attacks were
said to originate, has military support. Another school, the Shanghai
Jiaotong University, "has received financing from a high-level
government science and technology project."
The New York Times went to great lengths to mention that "graduates of
the (Lanxiang) school's computer science department are recruited by the
local military garrison each year."
The paper, however, did not care to tell its readers that a school in
China does not need to have any special relationship with the military
to have its graduates in uniform. It is also true in the United States,
where the New York Times is based.
China's attitude toward cyber attacks has been unequivocal and has
adopted laws against such crimes, as China is one of the countries that
bear the brunt of cyber attacks. It is way far-fetched to say that cyber
attacks -- even if they were to originate from China or were to be
carried out by Chinese citizens -- would have the support of the Chinese
The U.S. government, on the other hand, takes a dubious attitude toward
According to media reports, the U.S. Homeland Security and Defense
departments have both openly recruited hackers.
People with a "blackhat perspective" and know how to "do threat
modelling" are the best choices, said Philip Reitinger, Department of
Homeland Security deputy undersecretary, at an information security
conference last October.
Cyber crimes could cause immense losses for individuals, enterprises and
nation-states. Effective supervision and closer international
cooperation are ways to boost cyber security. Finger pointing is not.
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