Posts Tagged ‘Media


Indifference, uncertainty cloud Google’s China threat

Indifference, uncertainty cloud Google’s China threat

Monday, March 22, 2010

••• As the world’s largest search engine Google has been reported to announce its plan of leaving China on Monday, most Chinese Internet users believe they will be ok with a no-Google Internet despite all predictable inconvenience.

In a survey conducted by, the official website of the Global Times newspaper, an affiliate of the People’s Daily, Internet users were asked “What’s your opinion of Google’s pulling out of China?”

Up to 84 percent of more than 27,000 respondents answered the “Don’t care” option.

“If Google wants to leave, just do it, and I will turn to Baidu. For sure we can survive without Google,” said an anonymous comment from Shandong Province on the news portal

Google stirred up controversy in the world’s media and on the Internet in January when the company’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, said in a blog that Google might shut down and its China office due to disputes with the Chinese government and unidentified cyber attacks against its Chinese users.

The drama has continued for more than two months, during which its senior executives reiterated the company’s threat to stop “censoring search results in China,” while at the same time revealing the company was “negotiating with the Chinese government.”

The Chinese government has insisted that it maintains its regulation of the Internet and that foreign companies must abide by Chinese laws and regulations.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said earlier in mid March that the company’s course of action would be announced “soon”.

“At first I felt sorry for Google, but after so many disputes, many of us get sick of it,” said a posting by “Caidao Rouqing” on the popular Tianya website.

Google has had problems in other countries too, ranging from lawsuits to disputes with governments in Germany, Britain, France, the Republic of Korea and its homeland, the United States.

However, Chinese users fear they will be unable to use the English-language and other Google services, such as Gmail and Gtalk, if Google shuts down

The worst but also likely scenario would be “an absolute pulling out” of all Google services, said Peter M. Herford, former producer of the U.S. current events show, “60 Minutes,” and journalism professor with Shantou University in south China’s Guangdong Province.

“Chinese searchers have Baidu and a few minor search engines, and English searchers will have Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo,” Herford said, who is a long-term Google user and Internet observer.

“Google search in China is a minor player, and China is a very small part of Google’s search business. This is not the end of the world by any means,” Herford said.

Still, some netizens do regret the loss of services tailored for Chinese users on, such as maps, videos, music and translation.

Chinese blogger Ding Wenqiang said people would feel uncomfortable using alternative services at first, but would soon get over it.

“It’s like breaking up with boyfriends or girlfriends. People will find new ones soon,” Ding said.

Internet users in China who rely on Google for business also have their own worries.

Although Google’s threat to pull out did not mention its Internet advertisement businesses in China such as Google AdWords and AdSense, website operators who profit from the business-to-business tools still worry about the uncertainty.

“Google’s advertising services have created a lot of job opportunities in the Chinese Internet market, which has not been noticed by ordinary Internet users,” said Huang Haowen, an I.T. blogger who proclaims to be a loyal google fan.

Li Zhi, an analyst with Analysys International, said that AdSense was the main source of Google’s profit in China and a major competitor among tailor-made advertisement publishing tools in China’s market.

“If Google also pulls out AdSense, Baidu will be more dominant in online advertising business, and that might raise the costs for Chinese advertisers,” Li said.

As of 7 p.m. Monday, Google has yet to make any announcement on its plan of quiting China.
• Source(s): Xinhua News Agency (China)



Chinese official media slams Google withdrawal threat as ‘arrogant’

Chinese official media slams Google withdrawal threat as ‘arrogant’

Sunday, March 21, 2010

••• China’s official media on Saturday slammed U.S. Internet giant Google Inc. as “arrogant” for threatening to pull out of the Chinese market if the government doesn’t compromise on its Internet regulations.

“Maybe Google is preparing to retreat, and maybe it is still hesitating. But one thing is clear: China won’t let its regulations or laws bend to any companies’ threats,” said a commentary carried by the China Daily.

“It is ridiculous and arrogant for an American company to attempt to change China’s laws. The country doesn’t need a politicized Google or Google’s politics.” it said.

The strongly worded attack came after Google, the world’s largest Internet search engine, said in January it was contemplating a withdrawal on account of China’s attempts to further limit free speech in cyberspace and China-based cyber attacks and surveillance activities.

It declared it was “no longer willing to continue censoring” its search results on and said it would enter into discussions with the Chinese government on “the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all.”

Google CEO Eric Schmidt was recently quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying at a media summit in Abu Dhabi that the company remained in “active negotiations” with Beijing and that “something will happen soon.”

Reports appearing in Chinese media this week cited sources as saying Google may announce early next week its plans to close all or part of its operations in China in April.

Amid dimming hope for a compromise, Saturday’s commentary suggested China is far from willing to concede by allowing unfiltered search engines to operate in the country.

“No country will allow information about subversion, separation, racialism and terrorism to circulate in it through the Internet.” it said. “Sovereignty and borders also exist in cyberspace, which will need to be watched by each country’s laws and regulations.” is the second most popular search engine in China with 338 million users, after, a local search engine commonly said to be China’s answer to the search engine giant.

Together, the two companies account for 96.3 percent of an online search engine industry estimated at 6.95 billion Chinese yuan (about $1 billion) in 2009, although Google lags far behind with only about a third of the total market.

The commentary said Google “must know that it should abide by laws and regulations in each country if it wants to do business there. Only by doing this can it become localized and win good market share as well as gain profits.”

Prior to its January declaration, Google had been criticized by free speech advocates for cooperating with the government in censoring search results with politically sensitive content.

It had maintained that the benefits of its presence, including increased access to information for Chinese users, outweighed the cost of censoring some results.

The commentary appeared to suggest that Google’s recent change of heart has less to do with alleged Chinese government support for hacking attacks against it, for which it said Google has no evidence, and more to do with its becoming politicized under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.

“Google’s relations with the U.S. government cannot be deeper,” it said, noting that Google was the fourth-largest supporter of Obama in his election campaign and that former Google executives are now serving in positions in his government.

“Google’s actions show that the world’s biggest search engine company has abandoned its business principles and instead shows the world a face that is totally politicized,” it said.

“How can people believe that the company’s search results are without any bias when it lacks independence as well as business ethics?”

With or without Google, the commentary said, “China’s Internet market with 400 million users can only and will grow stronger.”
• Source(s): Xinhua News Agency (China) & Japanese Press


Google ‘may announce China plans on Monday’

Google ‘may announce China plans on Monday’

Friday, 19 March 2010

••• Google Inc. may pull out of China on April 10, China Business News reported Friday, citing an unidentified Chinese sales agent for the company.

The search engine may announce its exit Monday , the Shanghai-based newspaper reported, citing an unidentified Google China employee. It may reveal plans for its China work force on the same day, according to the report.

The company hasn’t confirmed the April 10 date for its pullout, although CEO Eric Schmidt said last week that something should happen soon.

A Tokyo-based spokeswoman for the company, Jessica Powell, declined to comment on the newspaper report.

In January, Google challenged the government of the world’s most populous country by threatening to allow all search results to be shown on its Chinese-language Web, including references to Tibet and the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

The Chinese government, which restricts Internet content, said the company had to obey its rules. The two sides have since been in talks to resolve the issue.

Google told its China employees after the January announcement that, should a pullout occur, they would have the option of moving to the company’s U.S. headquarters or working for its Asia-Pacific operations, the report said.

That suggests an exit from the Chinese market would only include the closure of, rather than a complete end to Google’s business in China, the report said. Google has about 35 percent of the Chinese search market.

A pullout by the U.S. company would mean it would probably be unable to return to the world’s biggest Internet market, said Peter Lui, formerly the company’s financial controller for the Asia Pacific region.

The public manner in which Google announced its intention means it may have “burnt bridges, and they’ve burnt the Google brand in China,” Lui said. “There is no way Google can ever come back.”

The company said it decided to stop censoring content after discovering its computers had been hacked from within China. Google said its systems had been targeted by highly sophisticated attacks aimed at obtaining proprietary information, as well as personal data belonging to Chinese human rights activists who use the company’s Gmail service.

At least 20 other international companies were similarly targeted, Google said.

The New York Times reported last month that the origins of the attacks had been traced to Shanghai Jiaotong University and Lanxiang Vocational School in eastern China’s Shandong province. The reports are “totally groundless,” said Qin Gang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry.

McAfee Inc., the second-largest maker of computer security software that has been exploring the attacks with larger rival Symantec Corp., said this month it had discovered at least six incidents in which the computer systems that companies use to house valuable intellectual property had been accessed. Security research firm ISEC Partners Inc. said the attacks that Google reported employed skills that were “much greater than most enterprises are equipped to deal with.”

Speculation that negotiations had faltered intensified after the government said last week the plan to stop filtering at its site was irresponsible. Some Google advertisers in China have been advised to switch to rivals, including Baidu Inc.

China censors online content it deems critical of the government by shutting down Web sites based in the nation and blocking access to overseas sites, including those of Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and YouTube. The Chinese service started by Google in 2006 limits search results to comply with government restrictions, such as blocking access to sites that discuss Taiwan or Tibetan independence, the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement and the Tiananmen Square military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

China has 384 million Internet users, according to government data, more than the total U.S. population.
• Source(s): AFP, Cox Media & CNN


Google: Viacom wanted to buy YouTube

Google: Viacom wanted to buy YouTube

Friday, March 19, 2010

Court filings released on Thursday in the bitter $1 billion copyright fight between Viacom and Google’s YouTube show just how far apart the companies remain, as the 3-year-old case winds through federal court.

Viacom, in 108 pages of court documents, portrays YouTube’s founders as reckless copyright violators who were far more concerned with increasing traffic to their site than obeying the law. Even executives at Google, which acquired YouTube for $1.7 billion in October 2006, questioned the ethics of building a site through questionable copyright practices, according to the Viacom filings.

But in the 100-page document filed by Google, perhaps not surprisingly, the search engine tells a different story. Viacom is painted as a media giant trying to play it both ways: demanding that YouTube take down videos even while third parties were uploading Viacom content on the entertainment giant’s behalf. More intriguingly, the parent company of MTV and Paramount Pictures was at one point interested in acquiring the video-sharing site, according to the documents.

“We believe YouTube would make a transformative acquisition for MTV Networks/Viacom that would immediately make us the leading deliverer of video online, globally,” according to an internal Viacom slide that Google filed with the court.

Interesting as the documents may be, it’s not clear which side will benefit most from the disclosures. Google argues that it is protected by the safe-harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which says, in short, that if a Web site acts in good faith to take down copyrighted content as soon as it learns of it, and it has not benefited financially through advertising or other means, it is protected from a lawsuit. Viacom is attempting to pierce that protection by proving that YouTube employees, at the very least, knew of rampant copyright violations on their site and did little about it.

U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton, in the Southern District of New York, set March 5 as the deadline for filing for summary judgment and gave the parties until April 30 to file opposing arguments to each other’s motions. All the arguments should be completed sometime in June. If the case proceeds to trial, it should occur sometime this year.

Legal scholars believe that the outcome of this landmark suit could well determine who gets to profit the most from content: the people who pay for its creation, or the people who help disseminate it over the Web. It could also determine whether YouTube, by far the most popular video site, suffers from an original sin of rampant copyright violation before Google took over.

Ill-gotten rewards, destroyed e-mail?
While there are still questions as to how much money Google is or is not making from YouTube, there is little doubt that YouTube’s founders profited handsomely from selling their company less than two years after building the site. According to court records, YouTube founders Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim walked away with $334 million, $301 million, and $66 million, respectively.

According to Viacom, those were ill-gotten rewards. The three young men had already planned to look the other way, as far as copyright violations were concerned, court documents claim. Their intent was to create the online-video equivalent of Napster and then sell it. To do that, Viacom claims that the team sought ways “to avoid the copyright bastards.”

Viacom said in one e-mail that Chen urged associates to “concentrate all our efforts in building up our numbers as aggressively as we can through whatever tactics, however evil.”

Viacom suggests that it may not have been given the benefit of finding out the whole story at YouTube, whose managers did not turn over some e-mails belonging to Hurley. The reason Google gave for any missing correspondence was that Hurley’s e-mails were accidentally destroyed when his computer suffered a malfunction sometime before the Google acquisition. Viacom said, however, that it was able to retrieve some of Hurley’s e-mails from Karim.

Those e-mails show that YouTube managers knew that employees uploaded unauthorized content and applauded such moves, Viacom claimed.

Google argues that Viacom has distorted and taken out of context many of the statements from YouTube’s e-mails while doing a sloppy cut-and-paste job on some of the YouTube e-mails. In one e-mail from Chen to Karim, it said, Viacom omitted the word “stop” from this passage: “In other news, Jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site.”

Google provides several e-mails showing that from the earliest days of YouTube’s existence, the founders sought to protect copyright. In one April 25, 2005, e-mail, Chen tells the other co-founders that videos would be rejected that violated one of the following rules: “video must be about you, must be appropriate for all audiences, cannot contain contact information, no copyrighted material.”

In an apparent attempt to underscore YouTube’s usefulness and to suggest that Viacom is being hypocritical, Google noted that Viacom continues to do business on YouTube.

Even after waging the court battle against Google and YouTube, Viacom continues to permit some of its materials to be posted there, according to a statement entered into the record by David King, who oversees YouTube’s Content Identification System, the technology designed to filter out copyrighted materials and block them from being reposted to the site.

“For some of its reference files, Viacom has instructed the site to block, which means take it down and prevent it from going up again,” King wrote. “But on others, Viacom has instructed YouTube to leave the clips up and provide the company with information “about how YouTube users are engaging with the matching videos.”

Viacom’s attempt to buy YouTube
According to Google, Viacom “thought so highly of YouTube that it tried, unsuccessfully, to buy it” in 2005, the search company wrote. After Viacom’s negotiations to buy YouTube fell through, it took a “strong-arm approach” in talks with Google as the new owner and at that time “deliberately allowed its content to remain on YouTube” to boost the ratings of TV shows.

Viacom, according to Google, was serious enough about acquiring YouTube that it extended an offer. What Viacom suggested to YouTube was that Viacom and Google buy it and operate the service together.

“So the idea would be Viacom and Google buy YouTube,” Adam Cahan, a former executive vice president at Viacom-owned MTV Networks and now the CEO of Auditude, wrote in a cited e-mail. “Viacom legitimizes the content on the site by providing content and developing a business model.”

Some YouTube supporters are bound to wonder whether Viacom’s lawsuit was just retaliation for being outbid by Google.

On the other side, Viacom argues that it was always the intent of YouTube’s founders to draw an audience by piggybacking on the popularity of professionally made clips. But first, Viacom claims that the team tried to come up with ways “to avoid the copyright bastards.”

Google says Viacom has distorted and taken out of context many of the statements from YouTube’s e-mails.

While some of the accusations that each of the parties are flinging at the other are intriguing, many of them will have little or no bearing on the relevant issues. What’s most important now is the judge’s reading of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

Google’s legal defense rests on the wording of the DMCA, whose safe-harbor provision says that as long as the Web site does not have knowledge of “apparent” infringing activity, and as long as it does not receive a “financial benefit”–such as displaying advertisements on the page–it will generally be immune from lawsuits.

Viacom insists that Google doesn’t qualify for the safe harbor because it not only profited by selling ads on the site, but it also built up a large fan base that was drawn by the unauthorized copies of films and TV shows. In addition, Viacom argues that Google had knowledge of copyright violations, as is evidenced in the e-mails from YouTube’s founders.

Whichever way Stanton rules, the losing party will probably appeal. The final outcome of the case will likely help clarify whether protecting intellectual-property rights on the Internet is the responsibility of a copyright owner or a Web site operator.

Regardless, it’s fun reading, if you’re into this kind of thing. Note the concern among Viacom executives that News Corp. would end up owning YouTube instead of them.

Viacom’s statement of undisputed facts

Google’s statement of undisputed facts



Google ‘99.9 percent’ sure to shutter

Google ‘99.9 percent’ sure to shutter

Saturday, March 13, 2010

••• Google, seemingly torn between Chinese censorship and Chinese opportunity, is now “99.9 percent” certain that it will shut down its Chinese search engine,

According to a Financial Times source “familiar with the company’s thinking,” the search giant, having reached an apparent impasse with the Chinese government officials, has drafted detailed plans to close the Chinese search business, though it remains optimistic about finding a way to maintain its overall operations in China.

For Google, which, amid an investigation into alleged Chinese hacking of prominent U.S. Web properties, expressed in January that it no longer intends to run a censored search engine in China, staying in China after shuttering could involve enabling its Chinese sales, software development, and research operations to remain intact.

Throughout the first quarter of 2010, it has appeared very unlikely that the Chinese government would revise its Internet censorship laws for Google–or any other company wishing to operate in China, for that matter. Its public message–that these companies are subject to Chinese law, regardless of their internal ethical codes–has not wavered.

“If [Google] takes steps that violate Chinese laws, that would be unfriendly, that would be irresponsible, they would have to bear the consequences,” Li Yizhong, China’s minister for industry and information technology, said Friday, according to the Financial Times report.

Despite those stern words, Li encouraged Google, which he said has “taken 30 percent of the Chinese search market,” to continue its operations in the country, employing its people. To Google, he said, “If you don’t leave, China will welcome that; if you don’t leave, it will be beneficial for the development of the Internet in China.”



China warns Google as Internet row deal seen soon

China warns Google as Internet row deal seen soon

Friday, March 12, 2010

••• China warned Google, the world’s largest search engine, against flouting the country’s laws on Friday, as expectations grow for a resolution to a public battle over censorship and cyber-security.

The chief executive of Google, Eric E. Schmidt, said this week he hoped to announce soon a result to talks with Chinese authorities on offering an uncensored search engine in China.

“Google has made its case, both publicly and privately,” China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Li Yizhong, said, but did not confirm directly that his ministry was in talks with Google.

Google in January threatened to pull out of China if it could not offer an unfiltered Chinese search engine, after cyber attacks originating from China on it and about 30 other firms.

“If you don’t respect Chinese laws, you are unfriendly and irresponsible, and the consequences will be on you,” Li told reporters, in answer to a question on what China would do if simply stopped filtering search results.

Li complimented Google on having reached about 30 percent market share in the Chinese market since it launched about three years ago, and said it was welcome to expand market share further if it abided by Chinese law.

It was up to Google whether to stay in China’s market or not, he added.

Ministry officials have wavered between confirming and denying that talks are happening at all, in response to repeated media questions during China’s annual legislative session.

“This is really a hot topic, it’s easy and yet not easy to respond. A lot of these matters don’t fall under my ministry, ” Li said.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shares oversight of the Chinese Internet with a number of other bodies, while still more bureaucracies are involved in matters of foreign investment, complicating the Chinese government’s response to Google’s challenge.

Related: Chinese Minister Insists Google Obey The Law GO


Chinese Minister Insists Google Obey The Law

Chinese Minister Insists Google Obey The Law

Friday, March 12, 2010

••• There’s no sign of a compromise between Google and China in their dispute over censorship and hacking.

China’s top Internet regulator says Google must obey its laws or “pay the consequences.”

He gave no details today of Beijing’s talks with Google over its January announcement that it planned to stop complying with Chinese Internet censorship rules and might close its China-based site.

Beijing encourages Internet use for education and business but tries to block access to material deemed subversive or pornographic, including websites abroad run by human rights and pro-democracy activists.

The Chinese official says it’s up to Google whether it leaves or not. But he says “if they leave, China’s Internet market is still going to develop.”

China has the world’s most populous Internet market, with 384 million people online. Google has about 35% of the Chinese search market.

Related: China warns Google as Internet row deal seen soon GO


Cyberwar declared as China hunts for the West’s intelligence secrets

Cyberwar declared as China hunts for the West’s intelligence secrets

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Warning Title Urgent warnings have been circulated throughout Nato and the European Union for secret intelligence material to be protected from a recent surge in cyberwar attacks originating in China.

The attacks have also hit government and military institutions in the United States, where analysts said that the West had no effective response and that EU systems were especially vulnerable because most cyber security efforts were left to member states.

Nato diplomatic sources told The Times: “Everyone has been made aware that the Chinese have become very active with cyber-attacks and we’re now getting regular warnings from the office for internal security.” The sources said that the number of attacks had increased significantly over the past 12 months, with China among the most active players.

In the US, an official report released on Friday said the number of attacks on Congress and other government agencies had risen exponentially in the past year to an estimated 1.6 billion every month.

The Chinese cyber-penetration of key offices in both Nato and the EU has led to restrictions in the normal flow of intelligence because there are concerns that secret intelligence reports might be vulnerable.

Sources at the Office for Cyber Security at the Cabinet Office in London, set up last year, said there were two forms of attack: those focusing on disrupting computer systems and others involving “fishing trips” for sensitive information. A special team has been set up at GCHQ, the government communications headquarters in Gloucestershire, to counter the growing cyber-threat affecting intelligence material. The team becomes operational this month.

British and American cyber defences are among the most sophisticated in the world, but “the EU is less competent”, James Lewis, of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said. “The porousness of the European institutions makes them a good target for penetration. They are of interest to the Chinese on issues from arms sales and nuclear non-proliferation to Tibet and energy.”

The lack of routine intelligencesharing between the US and the EU also contributes to the vulnerability of European systems, another analyst said. “Because of Britain’s intelligence-sharing relationship with America our systems have to be up to their standards in a way that some of the European systems don’t,” he explained.

Jonathan Evans, Director-General of MI5, warned in 2007 that several states were actively involved in large-scale cyber-attacks. Although he did not specify which states were involved, security officials have indicated that China now poses the gravest threat. Beijing has denied making such attacks.

Robert Mueller, FBI Director, has warned that, in addition to the danger of foreign states making cyber-attacks, al-Qaeda could in the future pose a similar threat. In a speech to a security conference last week, Mr Mueller said terrorist groups had used the internet to recruit members and to plan attacks, but added: “Terrorists have \ shown a clear interest in pursuing hacking skills and they will either train their own recruits or hire outsiders with an eye towards combining physical attacks with cyber-attacks.”

He said that a cyber-attack could have the same impact as a “well-placed bomb”. Mr Mueller also accused “nation-state hackers” of seeking out US technology, intelligence, intellectual property and even military weapons and strategies.To help to fight the growing threat, the Office of Cyber Security, set up last year as part of the Government’s national security strategy, liaises with America’s so-called cyber czar, Howard Schmidt, who was appointed by President Obama to protect sensitive government computers.

British officials said that everyone in sensitive jobs had been warned to be especially cautious about disseminating intelligence and other classified information. Whether British intelligence is involved in retaliatory attacks is never confirmed. However, officials said that there was a significant difference between being part of an information war and indulging in aggressive attacks to disrupt another country’s computer systems.

Dr Lewis said that neither the US nor any of its Western allies had formed an effective response to the Chinese threat, which has its origins in a massive boost to Chinese technology ordered by Deng Xiaoping, the late Chinese leader, in 1986. The West’s own cyber offensives have so far been directed largely at terrorists rather than nation states, giving China virtually free rein to penetrate Western systems with its own world-class hackers and increasingly popular Chinese-made components. “You almost have to admire them,” Dr Lewis said. “They have been very consistent in their goals.”

Related: Urgent warnings over China cyber attacks GO
Related: Cyber Attacks Becoming More Sophisticated GO



Cyber Attacks Becoming More Sophisticated

Cyber Attacks Becoming More Sophisticated

March 8, 2010

••• Cyber attacks cost businesses an estimated $226 billion annually, according to a Congressional Research Service study.

The attacks are also becoming an increasing threat to national security. FBI Director Robert Mueller said on March 5 that hackers are not only stealing government data, but are also corrupting data.

“If hackers made subtle, undetected changes to your code, they could have a permanent window into everything you do,” Mueller said, IDG News Service reported.

“Some in industry have likened this to death by 1,000 cuts. We are bleeding data, intellectual property, information, source code, bit by bit, and in some cases terabyte by terabyte,” Mueller said.

Interrupting the online information flows is becoming the new way hackers are stealing from the world’s pockets, according to a white paper from Bloor Research. Everything including voice, data, and videos sent online are susceptible to intrusion by hackers looking for personal information or vital data.

Worms, viruses, and phishing attacks on computer systems are just a part of the methods being used. Due to more advanced virus protection programs being used on computers, the attacks are becoming “increasingly sophisticated in order to challenge the defenses,” says the report.

The paper cites figures from Webroot that 85 percent of new malware infections are from Web-based exploitation. The key difference between how attacks used to be carried out, and how they are done now, is that they are more targeted. Many hackers are not just blindly sending malware into the Web.

The attacks are “becoming increasingly targeted in order to evade defenses that are primarily based on preventing known vulnerabilities from being exploited,” according to the paper.

Some hackers are turning to more mainstream means. “Criminal enterprises have created entire Internet service providers dedicated to sending spam, phishing messages, or spreading viruses,” said Craig Shue of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Computational Sciences and Engineering Division.

“These other Internet service providers have customers whose machines become infected and can be used to launch attacks or steal the customer’s data,” Shue said.

Although some hackers have been caught in this trick, many others have been able to avoid detection, according to ORNL.

Related: Urgent warnings over China cyber attacks GO
Related: Cyberwar declared as China hunts for the West’s intelligence secrets GO



Urgent warnings over China cyber attacks

Urgent warnings over China cyber attacks

March 8, 2010

••• Warnings about China waging a cyber war on the West to grab intelligence material have been circulated throughout Nato and the European Union.

“Everyone has been made aware that the Chinese have become very active with cyber-attacks and we’re now getting regular warnings from the office for internal security,” Nato diplomatic sources told The Times.

A recent US report declared that attacks from China on Congress and other government agencies have risen to a staggering 1.6 billion every month.

Despite cyber defences in Britain being among the most sophisticated in the world, the threat is so severe that a special team has been established at the government communications headquarters in Gloucestershire, GCHQ, to counter the onslaught.

EU states are less able to defend attacks through the internet according to James Lewis of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

He said: “The porousness of the European institutions makes them a good target for penetration. They are of interest to the Chinese on issues from arms sales and nuclear non-proliferation to Tibet and energy.”

Jonathan Evans, Director-General of MI5, flagged up in 2007 the issue of states waging cyber-warfare on a large scale.

China has always vigorously denied making any such attacks.

Related: Cyberwar declared as China hunts for the West’s intelligence secrets GO
Related: Cyber Attacks Becoming More Sophisticated GO



July 2020


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