In a move that has some very interesting parallel’s to China’s attacks on Cisco following a US investigation of Huawei and ZTE, China has responded to the news of the hacking at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal by saying that it’s actually the United States that’s doing all the hacking. In a Xinhua report that was subsequently picked up by numerous Chinese state media outlets, the National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Center of China (CNCERT/CC) claims that the United States is the number one perpetrator of hacks against China. From the China Daily:
In 2012, according to CNCERT, 73,286 overseas IPs were involved in hacking China’s 14.19 million IPs, among which 10.5 million received attacks from US-based servers [and there were] up to 7,370 US-based IPs (about 22.9% of all attacking IPs) [that] controlled 10,037 websites in China.
The China Daily article also says the foreign press has been “hyping” the New York Times hacking story, and that “China has become the biggest victim of Internet hacking,” a dubious assertion that it does not offer any evidence for. Even so, in this day and age, perhaps both this story and the New York Times one are a bit like reporting that the sky is blue. Everyone, it seems, is hacking everyone else all the time.
But if China is seriously threatened by overseas hacking, it ought to do more to train regular people about how to protect their data online. It ought to permit — nay, encourage — the use of security enhancing VPNs. And it ought to be keeping a much closer eye on China’s web security industry, which is a little out of control.