Overseas rivals increase cyber attacks on China

Cyber attacks on China from its overseas rivals rose from five million in 2010 to 8.9 million in 2011.

Security experts have said that the country “only has itself to blame”.  

According to a report by China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team and Coordination Centre, around 11,851 IP addresses from overseas countries were found to have hacked and controlled 10,593 Chinese websites last year.

Around 1,116 Chinese sites, including 404 government ones had also been altered by three main attacking countries. 

This included Japan, which was listed as hosting 22.8 percent of the attacks, the US, which hit around 20.4 percent and the Republic of Korea with 7.1 percent of attacks.

According to one security expert these attacks will get worse before they get better.

Under conditions of anonymity, he told TechEye: “China has been the king of cyber attacks for many years now, but this report shows that its enemies are taking a leaf out of this country’s book and fighting it with its own weapons.

“It was of course a matter of time before China’s rivals went for an attack of this kind, and in some ways China only has itself to blame.

“It created the monster, which is now attacking its master. Although many of the hacks from these countries have been to steal state secrets, the other part is just to show China that it’s not the only one that can attack and cause havoc in this way.

“In a way these countries will probably be more intent on carrying out heavier attacks to show China that not only can they do it, but also they can do it better. Of course this is bad news for China as it will be hit harder than many other countries. 

“Although China is great at attacking, protecting its sites is still a weak point. There are many holes in its government sites – presumably because the country didn’t ever think it would fall victim to these attacks, and got above its station. “

He also questioned  the part in the report, which said that China had established arrangements with 40 countries and 79 organisations to tackle cyber attacks, claiming that this would not be enough.

“Officials must go right back to the beginning and concentrate on protection rather than creating the next malicious program and partnerships. Only then will it be able to resume its reign as the key cyber king,” he added.  

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has launched several investigations since June, and authorities prevented the spread of online viruses 14 times last year, the report said.