World War III has been playing out with the Chinese taking on everyone.
The latest outfit to be attacked has been iBahn which provides broadband business and entertainment access to guests of Marriott International and other hotel chains, including multinational companies that hold meetings on site.
This has made it a target for Chinese hackers who have broken into it to try and see millions of confidential e-mails, even encrypted ones, ranging between executives from Dubai to New York.
In an extensive report into Chinese hacking, Business Week has recorded that 760 companies, research universities, internet service providers and government agencies have been hit by the same elite group of China-based cyber spies. Companies have included RIM and Boston Scientific to some of the largest corporations, to niche innovators in sectors like aerospace, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
The US is not too happy about that.
Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who is chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which we would have thought was a tricky job, was complaining that the Chinese were nicking everything that was not bolted down and were getting exponentially worse.
Last month an intelligence report claimed the Chinese had made industrial espionage an integral part of its economic policy.
While the US cyber warriors go after foreign governments and foreign military, the Chinese go after corporates, which American politicians don’t think is fair. After all, the Land of the Free is a corporate oligarchy pretending to be Republican.
A report by 14 US intelligence agencies fingered China as the No. 1 hacking threat to U.S. firms.
The difficulty is that the US can’t really counter attack against Chinese businesses because they don’t have anything it needs. And if they get too angry, China might just stop exporting to the US for a couple of weeks and its economy would collapse.