USA vs China: Who Is Attacking Who?

With all the recent hacking attacks in the news, from The New York Times to Apple, you may be forgiven for thinking that it is a forgone conclusion that the only bad guys in the cyber world reside in a building in Shanghai, China. But is that really the case? The Chinese government certainly don’t think so.

Chinese-MoD

In a statement released by their Ministry of Defence they say that,

“Chinese law forbids hacker attacks, any breach of Internet security, the Chinese government has always resolutely crack down on criminal activities, the Chinese army has never supported any hacking.”
news.mod.gov.cn

The statement then goes on to somewhat rubbish the recent report from Mandiant by saying that there is no certainty in their findings and that IP addresses can, and are, often stolen or spoofed. Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng also goes on to say that such a report is not the right way forward –

“Third, cyber attacks have transnational anonymity and deceptive attack the source of great uncertainty, irresponsible to publish information, and is not conducive to problem solve.”

Furthermore, and this may be surprising to you, or not depending upon your already held point of view, China also claims to be one of the biggest victims of cyber attacks. Whilst making a point of not pointing fingers quite as sternly as those of us in the west may have done they are rather clear on where they think such attacks may be originating from –

“China is one of the main victims of cyber attacks. According to statistics, the Chinese armed forces access to the Internet user terminal suffered a large number of foreign attack, according to the IP address of the display, in which a considerable number of attack sources from the United States, but we did not as a pretext to accuse the U.S. side. Every country should be dealt with in a professional and responsible attitude towards the issue of network security.”

Now, how true this assertion is could be highly debatable but I for one can well believe that China is also attacked on a regular basis be it by the US or other foreign governments. So, the question is, who is attacking who? Are the US the victims or are they just being given a taste of their own medicine?

What do you think?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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