Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×

132 comments

Cyber war (0, Offtopic)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957120)

first to post, wins!

Re:Cyber war (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35959126)

So what you mean roundeye, pirated XP machines no good security?

Yu Dum.

Re:Cyber war (0)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35959412)

On that topic, I ran a vanilla XP (no service packs) until 2008. Zero virii.

Firewall + anti-virus + only 3 users, all of whom weren't computer illiterate.

Often it's not the OS, it's the users or admin. That said, on an office machine, updates would be pretty much mandatory. But then, with huge amount of machines, wouldn't it be more sensible for China to fork their own linux distro for government usage?

So, we can put pee pee in *their* coke? (-1, Offtopic)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957130)

Take THAT joke, China!

And this is why... (0)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957134)

...the US government is keeping mostly mum about the threats coming over from China. That and they want to keep getting their money.

Re:And this is why... (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957180)

What the 6% of our debt they own?
About the same amount the Japanese own.
Where does this "The Chinese own the US" myth come from?

Re:And this is why... (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957212)

From the interpretation that sensationalist news services give to the words of scaremonger politicians.

Re:And this is why... (2)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958164)

And if people stopped being scared for a moment and thought (which they won't), they'd realize exactly who has whom by the proverbial short hairs on the debt issue. China doesn't want to undermine our ability to pay, say by totally cutting off cash to fund our *deficit* (a different but obviously related issue). They can turn down the cash spigot and make us hurt, but not *too* much, and it'd probably be for our own long term good.

Re:And this is why... (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#35959368)

It's get harder each day to find posts like this one that leaves out the ideological dogma when evaluating China.

Re:And this is why... (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957252)

oooo... major ownage...

Re:And this is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957300)

We need an enemy and they are dirty yellow commies!

Re:And this is why... (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957342)

It might be the rate at which they're acquiring our debts.

Re:And this is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35958008)

Parent's post is [first] derivative.

Re:And this is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957344)

Citation please? Not trying to be a jerk, just genuinely curious... will be google'ing this soon...

Re:And this is why... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957474)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt#Foreign_ownership [wikipedia.org]

Is a good starting point. Basically 25% of our debt is in foreign hands, 23% of that the Chinese own. This means they own about 6% of the total US federal debt.

Re:And this is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957542)

They now buy most of the new debt issued.

Re:And this is why... (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957592)

Anonymous coward with a "fact" and no source.

Quick someone needs to mod this guy informative.

Sure about that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957584)

Basically 25% of our debt is in foreign hands, 23% of that the Chinese own. This means they own about 6% of the total US federal debt.

Err..

As of January 2011, foreigners owned $4.45 trillion of U.S. debt, or approximately 47% of the debt held by the public [...] rising from 25% of the public debt in 2007.

Re:Sure about that? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957848)

I honestly had not seen that addition.
I only knew the 2007 numbers.

Re:And this is why... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957688)

Funny. I looked at the same article.
1,160.1, estimated, as of December 2010.

The debt end 2010 was listed as 13,529.

Divide one into the other and you get 8.6%

A bit larger than 6%.

Re:And this is why... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957892)

Seems to be correct sir.
Of course if you don't want higher taxes on the wealthy this is the price you pay. Either we tax them or we devalue the currency, when they are the ones making the campaign contributions this is what you see.

Re:And this is why... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957914)

The trend [wikipedia.org] of China's holdings is amazing though - from a distant second (less than half of Japan's) to first, in a mere 5 years.

Re:And this is why... (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957418)

Where does this "The Chinese own the US" myth come from?

From the same place that "The Japanese own the US" myth came from in the 80's... Ironically the British owned the most US assets followed by the Dutch then the Japanese in the 80's... I have no idea who owns what in what capacity these days.

Re:And this is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35958114)

According to the treasury [treasury.gov] , China is in fact in the lead, followed by Japan, then U.K. Those 3 together hold 52% of treasury securities (or maybe the total there is total foreign held, I'm not sure).

Re:And this is why... (3, Informative)

CaptainLard (1902452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958240)

Here you go:

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Documents/mfh.txt

I'd say the amount china owns is substantial. I'm against sensationalism as much as the next guy but a trillion dollars held by a foreign country is a shitload no matter how you slice it. Sure Japan has over 75% as much as china but there is a HUGE drop off after that. If we're going to say Japan owns almost as much as China to downplay foreign debt, we should also say Japan and China hold almost as much US debt as the rest of the world combined. You can't totally brush that off to a fox news ratings grab.

Re:And this is why... (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#35959458)

Owning foreign debt is a slight misnomer. China's purchase of government debt instruments is an investment for them. And when you invest you want to chose the most stable and the most likely to fulfill the terms of the investment. In essence they are placing their trust in the US economy. Should they attempt to weaken the US economy it will most likely hurt them worse than the US. A big part of Chinese economy is the US market. Without access to that market they stand to lose big time. Also remember that China does not provide a single product that the US could not supply internally or purchase from another country unlike energy needs. There really is no reason for the US and China not to cooperate with one another.

Re:And this is why... (3, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958296)

Well, they own all your factories.

Re:And this is why... (1)

econolog (2081738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958380)

It's not 6%... http://www.usdebtclock.org/ [usdebtclock.org] Quotes US national debt at ~14 trillion. China holds ~3 trillion in US bonds. That is ~21% of our national debt. Citation:http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-04/23/c_13842843.htm [xinhuanet.com] Also, bonds aren't the only form of obligations the US sells to cover its debts. I think its safe to assume China likely owns a larger chunk of US debt than the bonds alone. In a world of nuclear weapons, economic domination is king. You may also want to look at the alliances China is trying to form with the many enemies (or barely neutral parties) the US has acquired over the years. Most recently that includes Afghanistan, though this is a work in progress. tl;dr China owns roughly 21% of US national debt through bonds alone.

Re:And this is why... (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35959210)

Probably from their currency manipulation schemes that lower the value of their currency (and, in turn, lower the cost to buy their goods). That scheme subsidizes Americans more than any debt ownership. Still, we're mutually dependent, I'm not worried about them.

Re:And this is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957260)

To me, it seems like the US propaganda machine is humming along pretty nicely. I keep getting a disproportional amount of negative news about China, and they all seem to originate from somewhere within the US. This piece of news? Originated from an American company whose partners are mostly active in the US, including some government connections (granted it is an American company so it's more likely to have American partners, but that also means their researchers are likely to be affected by the American propaganda (heck, it seems like they've managed to turn even the usually critical Slashdot crowd)).

Yes, China has done and continue to do really bad things, but to just buy the US propaganda seems stupid. Of course the US needs something for their fear mongering, and China is just the new terrorist.

Re:And this is why... (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957390)

$11 million is pretty much chump change in this day and age when it comes to corps.. whether the story is "propoganda" or not, who knows, but it'd be on the same level as saying a story about China counterfeiting goods is a propaganda story. Actually the counterfeiting of goods would be a bigger story. Basically, nothing to see here.. move along.

Re:And this is why... (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957632)

I disagree about it being US propaganda, because the US can royally lose and lose big in a pissing contest these days. China can do three things in less than 24 hours to royally fsck the US and her economy:

1: Allow the yuan to trade freely.

2: Push for a "currency basket", or have oil be traded by the yuan.

3: Start arming countries or factions that don't like the US. For example, if the Taliban started getting access to UCAVs from a mysterious source. Or Ahmadinejad showing off his new technology of ICBMs that isn't enhanced by Photoshop skills.

Any of these three would cripple the US economy quickly. #3 is farfetched in today's dynamics, but if push came to shove, can be done. #1 and #2 would easily push the US dollar into hyperinflation.

Re:And this is why... (2)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957784)

I disagree about it being US propaganda, because the US can royally lose and lose big in a pissing contest these days. China can do three things in less than 24 hours to royally fsck the US and her economy:

1: Allow the yuan to trade freely.

And price Chinese manufactured goods out of reach? Yeah, that would fsck the US economy. It would fsck the Chinese economy a whole lot more.

2: Push for a "currency basket", or have oil be traded by the yuan.

#1 is a precondition to this.

3: Start arming countries or factions that don't like the US. For example, if the Taliban started getting access to UCAVs from a mysterious source. Or Ahmadinejad showing off his new technology of ICBMs that isn't enhanced by Photoshop skills.

Been there and done that, during the Cold War. That wouldn't royally fsck the US economy by any means.

Re:And this is why... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957804)

The Chinese can't allow the yuan to trade freely. Their economy is heavily dependent upon exports, if they were to allow the yuan to strengthen they'd have to completely redo their economic policy, hence why they refuse to do it. Remember that even with the growth of their economy, they still don't have enough to go around, and that's assuming that they allowed the rural workers to get a piece of it.

Re:And this is why... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957392)

Americans need a bad guy so they can still pretend they are the good guy.

Re:And this is why... (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957468)

... because, God knows, the Chinese government is trustworthy.

Re:And this is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957564)

And God knows just how trustworthy the US government is.

Really? (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957146)

The official line in Washington D.C. is that there's a new Cold War brewing

Since when?

Revised story (4, Funny)

Biff Stu (654099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957414)

The official line in Washington D.C. is that there's a new Cold War brewing

The official line from Fox News is that there's a new Cold War brewing

Re:Revised story (1)

tater86 (628389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958002)

Yeah, but it's the fox news office with the white house in the background.

Big talker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35959166)

The communist Chinese are good at one thing - talking big.

They can't even keep their own system safe.

Re:Revised story (1)

quenda (644621) | more than 3 years ago | (#35959602)

The official line from Fox News is that there's a new Cold War brewing

The official line from Fox is we have always had a cold war with Eastasia.

Re:Really? (1)

unjedai (966274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957716)

The official line in Washington D.C. is that there's a new Cold War brewing

Citation needed. Oh wait. It's in the summary. You can make up whatever bullsh#t you like. Nevermind.

Retaliation? (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957154)

I wonder why China never thought of securing their systems more tightly. Surely they must have realized that retaliation would come their way at some point, no? I mean, aside from the fact secure systems are usually preferably to ones that are not...

Re:Retaliation? (4, Interesting)

Ancantus (1926920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957204)

TFA answers your question:

A lot of what is running in China is developed in-house by Chinese firms. They're not using Western products or open source platforms, because they don't trust them or they're worried that someone might put a back door into them.

So they are rebuilding from the ground up without taking advice from other people who have tried it. Eliminates back doors (unless your own coders are putting them in) but it seems the front door is wide open...

Re:Retaliation? (3, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957350)

I wonder why China never thought of securing their systems more tightly. Surely they must have realized that retaliation would come their way at some point, no? I mean, aside from the fact secure systems are usually preferably to ones that are not...

Quite so. It is also worth noting that we have never actually seen anything that looks like evidence for the Chinese state organising "cyberattacks" on the US - all we have to go on is allegations spread on places like /. in the form of rumours.

Can it really have escaped anybody's attention that it is extremely easy to spread false rumours, especially on the internet, and it is extremely easy to spoof the origins of any attack?

And how can anybody credit a tall tale about some anonymous source "knowing" that some "Chinese secret service" is orchestrating hacker attacks? It that really all that likely - a guy sits in his parents' garage and just knows this? What happened to simple, common sense and critical thinking? I mean, with Wikileaks you have documents - mr Assange doesn't go around saying "somebody told me ...", does he?

Until this kind of accusations are accompanied by sound references, I can't regard it as more than an attempt to poison the well.

Re:Retaliation? (0)

Hultis (1969080) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957588)

What happened to simple, common sense and critical thinking?

Amen to this. And naturally, I used my last mod point less than an hour ago...

Re:Retaliation? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958042)

Cyber attacks are real. The Advanced Persistent Threat has been targeting government contractors for some time now with varying degrees of success. The reason it works is because the APT is very smart and very good at what they do, and the people on the defense are mostly just wage slaves that don't really understand security. That's also how a country can be so good at attack and so poor at defense at the same time. It is of no surprise at all to me that random government ministries in China are vulnerable to attack, because that's true of pretty much every country in the world. The Department of Parks and Recreation doesn't patch zero-day vulnerabilities as fast as they should, and have administrators that are likely to fall victim to social engineering attacks. It's just not something they're good at.

If you're curious what hackers can do given (likely) state sponsorship and (probably) good people working in a team, just read the report on Stuxnet. That's the sort of thing countries all around the world are doing or trying to do to one another right now. The only problem I have with the "Cold war" characterization is that it's really more of a hot war. People are actively attacking and being attacked.

Re:Retaliation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35958648)

> What happened to simple, common sense and critical thinking?

When you have enough indications that a thing is happening, that thing eventually becomes the sensible assumption, and the burden of proof switches to those who want to deny it.

When you put together basic building blocks... like generals saying the US technical security is weak and future wars will be cyberwars. Like the top-down nature of how so much else in China happens. Like the corporate espionage stuff (ample opportunities to have learned the techniques, there). Like the hacks against South Korea and Japan sites in earlier years.

Then it gets really silly for the Chinese government to simultaneously boast about its great firewall while simultaneously claiming it has no actual control over what goes on in its network and that those are all simply good patriotic Chinese citizens acting completely independently and conveniently never getting caught. It's sort of a similar pattern to other things that China and other countries have done and denied (and then got caught at later). Making things happen while claiming plausible deniability are pretty standard techniques nations use against each other.

Re:Retaliation? (2)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957370)

I wonder why China never thought of securing their systems more tightly. Surely they must have realized that retaliation would come their way at some point, no? I mean, aside from the fact secure systems are usually preferably to ones that are not...

That might be related to their lack of confidence in their enemies' ability to attack. Alternatively, they might be considering it like nuclear warfare, in that there's no way to do a perfect job, so the threat of retaliation is more potent. Therefore, they're focusing all resources on aggression.

Additionally, everything is built in-house (for a very large "house"), so they have some security-through-obscurity for the items that aren't just forked F/OSS projects. If I were them, I'd lull other nations into a false sense of my security systems; utilizing the Great Firewall, I'd make all border systems look only marginally secured but then add a second level behind that which features the full spectrum of security.

Re:Retaliation? (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957810)

I wonder why China never thought of securing their systems more tightly.

More tightly than what? The article says the US is as bad or worse. There are no large, well-secured networks. It has never been demonstrated that it is even remotely feasible to do such a thing. Day after day we see these articles about security issues, and eveybody saying, "how could this happen?" as if vulnerabilities were avoidable and abnormal, in the absence of any evidence that this is the case.

Re:Retaliation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957954)

Except the entire DoD secret-level network:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIPRNET

Re:Retaliation? (2)

gnick (1211984) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958094)

There are no large, well-secured networks.

Actually we have multiple large VERY well secured networks. The drawback is that they're only used by government agencies for transmission of classified data and not by our general infrastructure/industry. To my knowledge those have never been victim to attack except by insiders. It would be nice if we had kind of a "yellow" network in between the "green wild west level and "red" classified networks for use on power grids and the like.

Because the best defense is a good offense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957878)

"Because the best defense is a good offense. Do you know who said that? Mel the cook on Alice."

Lessons from football (1)

Mr Krinkle (112489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957176)

"Best defense is a good offense"

If you can attack them quick and well enough, they won't have any non compromised systems left to come back at you. :)

Re:Lessons from football (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957186)

But "Defense wins Championships."

Re:Lessons from football (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957280)

Tell that to Real Madrid who are busy being beaten 2-0 by Barcelona...

Re:Lessons from football (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958248)

Yeah well, but the Referee System seems to have been compromised... :P

Re:Lessons from football (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957302)

I vaguely remember a super bowl from the early 2000's where the Baltimore Ravens defense pretty much -was- the game. They did their job and the offense's job and won the Superbowl all by themselves.

Wikipedia says it was superbowl XXXV, and Ray Lewis (a linebacker!) was named superbowl MVP, if you want an idea just how dominate that D was. All 16 of the Giants possessions ended with punts or interceptions.

Re:Lessons from football (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957712)

Hey Biff, this is Slashdot. Take your football yawnfest elsewhere.

Re:Lessons from football (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35959138)

spend some time with one of the head coach games. You can get head coach 09 used for like $5 now, and it's a tremendous game. it will tickle all your favorite nerd micromanagement strategy places, while simultaneously giving you an appreciation for football.

Re:Lessons from football (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957880)

It was an almost-total shutdown in that game. In fact, the only score the Giants had was a touchdown on a kickoff return. Which was immediately answered by another kickoff return from the Ravens, putting an immediate stop to any momentum.

You may also remember that, although Ray Lewis was MVP in that game... he wasn't the one that got to go to Disneyland.

Re:Lessons from football (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957646)

Offense wins games, defense loses them.

Re:Lessons from football (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35958402)

are we forgetting the 2007 superbowl where the giants defense beat the unstoppable patriots?

Re:Lessons from football (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957830)

Which is fine when you're playing football. Oddly enough, every situation in life is not football. Football involves two set teams with a set roster on a defined playing field attempting to achieve limited and directly contradictory goals through the application of a defined set of rules (as well as fundamental undefined rules - the laws of physics) over a limited and defined period of time. What we're dealing with is the exact opposite on every single point. There are not set teams. There are not set rosters (heck - its hard to even pin down any given action on any given possible actor). There is no defined playing field. The goals can vary greatly depending on the individual actors. There are no rules. And while the laws of physics apply to some extent as all this is eventually rooted in the physical world, much of it involves a digital environment who's laws of interaction can be rewritten with a few lines of code or the adoption of a new protocol.

Don't be too sure (1)

microcentillion (942039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957188)

Did he hit a bunch of honeypots? If China is better defended than he though, he'll dead by morning.

and then the us can bill china 1B for his death (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957270)

and then the usa can bill china 1B for his death.

Re:and then the us can bill china 1B for his death (1)

lolcutusofbong (2041610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958036)

At that point why not just charge them $50 trillion and wipe out the national debt?

I miss the cold war (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957230)

Fear over a the cold war kept jobs in the United States... Maybe if I had enough $$$ to be 'global' I'd be happier, but as it stands I'm stuck here locally...

Re:I miss the cold war (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957312)

I hope you're joking. The Cold War sucked ass. I direct your attention to the history of the Cuban missile crisis. For all intents and purposes, nuclear war should have happened, but (thankfully) didn't happen. I'm still gobsmacked that it didn't!

Re:I miss the cold war (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35959560)

Nope, not joking. If you look into it, there really never was much, if any danger. The USSR was a broken country with few, if any, missiles that could reach us. Hell, after WWII they didn't have enough gas to get their tanks back home. They pulled them with horses & mules (look it up). The entire thing was an invention of Eisenhower. He thought w/o a credible threat our entire economy would collapse. There are quotes floating around where he talks about regretting the decisions; he basically created the Military Industrial Complex (can't remember if he coined the term though).

Anyway, start by reading "A People's History of the United States" and go from there. You'll find we live in a pretty screwed and screwed up country (unless you're one of the haves).

Visit China, and you will know. (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957256)

Most of the hacking and spam that come from China can be directly traced to compromised pirated version of Windows. Just walk down the street, pirated software is but a block away in many cases. Unfortunately for them, their compromised machines can be turned against them.

You know the ol saying. Live by the sword, die by the sword (or some such).

Re:Visit China, and you will know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35958714)

"Don't throw stones out of your own Windows"

"everything on the server was running as root" (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957288)

Holy shit.

Another example is China's National University of Defense Technology. They had a bunch of Web servers that weren't using SSL or HTTPS

This is basic stuff...good lord are they bad.

I'd estimate that 40% of logins are user name and either all numerical or all lowercase passwords. There are no hash or space characters.

I'm just going to stop here.

MicroSoft Security is US gift to the world (3, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957334)

Everyone copied it illegally to save a buck.

Re:MicroSoft Security is US gift to the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957726)

well, not really. i know people who paid for it.

China doesn't need as much defense as the West... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957360)

This sounds crazy, but why does China need to put effort into as much defense as other places?

If one thinks about it, they really don't have much to lose, compared to American or European businesses. Militarily, China may have trade rivals, but no true enemies. They have no terrorist groups wanting to level Shanghai, there is no such thing as an Al-Qaeda like threat to the PRC in any shape or form.

Because China really has no world enemies, combined with the fact that their IP is already known to others, and any secrets they do have is basically evolution of other ideas, they really don't need as good a defense of their IT assets.

Realistically, who can play ball with them in the espionage department? The US? After Operation Sun Devil, any blackhats make themselves really scarce. Europe and Russia? Far easier targets in the US. The Middle east? Arab nations and Iran [1] are more interested in cutting deals with China than actually hacking them.

This isn't to say China does not do R&D. However, the level of security they need is far less than the level of security needed by other countries, because they are not as big a target for extremists, and they have no real rival in the espionage department.

[1]: Iran != Arab.

Re:China doesn't need as much defense as the West. (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957538)

They have no terrorist groups wanting to level Shanghai, there is no such thing as an Al-Qaeda like threat to the PRC in any shape or form.

The Uyghurs are trying. They aren't half the threat that the PRC makes them out to be (the same could be said for Al-Qaeda), but they are still a threat and they still do blow stuff up and kill people.

Re:China doesn't need as much defense as the West. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957922)

"The Uyghurs" are trying? As an entire race? Really?

If anyone here says something along the lines of "the Muslims are trying to level NYC" they'd be buried. Rightfully.

Re:China doesn't need as much defense as the West. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957802)

Al-Qaeda is not that big a deal. It never was a real threat. The US has used it as an excuse. I wouldn't be one bit surprised if someone besides Al-Qaeda masterminded the operation. Just like Perl Harbor. While stupidity is most often attributed it is hard to believe that politicians and other leaders in the US whom are motivated by factors other than US interests did not plan this attack. The most important people were even kept from the twin towers on 9/11. Once again this isn't evidence of a cover up. It is at best suspicious.

None the less. It is surprising how few people actually are willing to take hostile action (including Americans) against the US government. We lost some 2,000 - 3,000 lives that day. That is nothing. We actually did more damage to ourselves than Al-Qaeda did by responding to 9/11. We've blown billions of dollars and killed a million people and for what? 4,450 soldiers have died in Iraq and 1,561 in Afghanistan so far. Then you have civilian casualties. Any idea how many? We've hit about a million now. That is over 300x the number of people whom have died because of Al-Qaeda on 9/11. What kills more people is not war. None the less what kills more people every year is uncured disease and other accidents. Our investment should be in curing these ills rather than fighting wars and population control. China has done one thing 'right' and this is population control. I'm not saying that the policies are correct in how they keep the numbers down. Only that population control is a growing concern in the world and that they have managed to resolve this issue in not so desirable ways.

The feeling is mutual (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957372)

Mutually assured cyber destruction. I can't wait for the made-for-TV movie!

well, noone is really prepared (1)

MasterPatricko (1414887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957410)

"the Chinese government is woefully unprepared to fend off cyber attacks on its own infrastructure."

I don't think anyone is, or even can be, prepared to fend off large-scale "cyber attacks".
If there's one thing that you can rely on, its that big organizations are always several years behind on implementing new technology in a large scale. Sure, the NSA etc might be doing cutting edge security research and stuff, but how long does it take to get defences against new attacks actually implemented across the rest of the government infrastructure? And everything is networked together, so one weak link is enough ...

It's the same in China, the US, and everywhere. I think the advantage in hacking is always with the hacker because of this - a determined and well-resourced attacker will nearly always find some way to get through simply because he can keep trying until he finds the one attack that was not prepared for. Just look at how easily Sony was carved open.

There's the old saying that the only way to keep a secret between three people is if two of them are dead. In a similar way I'd say the only way to keep digital systems secret from remote attackers is not to allow them near any kind of network at all. Physical isolation is the only way to offer meaningful security.

Re:well, noone is really prepared (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957508)

Yep - physical isolation. That's what has protected the Iranian nuclear program's computer so thoroughly :)

Re:well, noone is really prepared (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958266)

Just imagine what would have happened if those machines had had direct internet access....

Meaningful security does not imply complete security. The fact that the machines were depending solely on the airgap (which was bridged by unsecured USB keys) for security wasn't all that good either. They needed ACLs and a locked down system at minimum.

Re:well, noone is really prepared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957626)

So then. Did China attack Japan and the US through Sony?

Rosetta Stone? (1)

otaku244 (1804244) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957416)

So... what you're saying is that the only thing that keeps American hackers from overrunning China with viruses, spam, and various forms of hackery is that we haven't taken the time to learn their language? That's either impossibly inaccurate or we are incredibly lazy. Hey Anonymous! Go learn some Chinese.

China CERT? (1)

theamarand (794542) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957458)

It was probably "nice" of him to report his findings to China CERT but as a citizen of the U.S. (I'm assuming, if he's working for NSS) couldn't that be considered something, I dunno...bad? I mean, China is an enemy of the U.S., and the cold war is based on information. "Hey, dude, your fortifications are weak here, here and...oh here." Seems a little off. I would probably have submitted the information to someone on our side, but I do see his neutrality point - a bit.

Because we're not at war. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957650)

We are not at war--we are rivals, competing for political influence and economic power, but we are not enemies. Hell, we are rivals with most European powers-- political rivals with France, political and economic rivals with Germany, etc.

His general point was to raise awareness among the Chinese that being aggressive in the "cyber sphere" (whatever that really means) might not be a good thing, because their infrastructure was at least as vulnerable to attack as the US's is. He wasn't clocking individual exploits to give anyone an advantage, he was measuring overall vulnerability to encourage Chinese policymakers to think twice about attacking (or condoning attacks) on US networks.

Re:China CERT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35958178)

China is not an enemy of the US. It is a trade partner, an entity with whom we exchange goods and services. It doesn't matter what CNN viewers polled. The researcher's actions, if they are inferred to be anything at all political, could just as easily be construed as diplomatic. Also, I believe the article points out that the researcher is doing this in his spare time, not on NSS' dime. NSS is just his day job. Anyone -- who makes up facts, and doesn't comprehend the articles they read -- would be as confused as you are.

The US can not prosper without an enemy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957466)

This enemy is irrelevant whether it is real or cyber, next door or hideous aliens planning a best way to assimilate humans, logical or ideological, a structured entity or a loose group of which funding is needed to determine how it binds together. These and a myriad other ways, as long as it serves the purpose to have an enemy. It is then how the average American citizen will feel patriotic, it is then how the cause of all the evil that befalls on the world is just direct or side effects of the enemy's actions, it is then when playing the policeman of the Planet we live in is justified.

The Washington's official line can not be anything else but a cold war brewing. The average American believes in "Let there be light" ideas, it is not that difficult to build a mental module that fits in an identical slot in a brain that has been educated to be lazy and analyze logically. Now it is the era of the Internet, now viruses and worms and hackers and intruders are the shadowy elusive characters of this popular but poorly understood digital dimension. These Dark Knights must come from somewhere. It doesn't matter that we are talking about a cyberworld, they need a real location. How can one resist the woe of doubt when China has recently surpassed Japan as the Economy of the World, when Chinese students are among the most brilliant and diligent and hard working, when China is building a space station. Mmm.. bad, bad China!

Re:The US can not prosper without an enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957510)

Yawwwwwn.

USA Infrastructure (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957598)

I'd be interested to see how well prepared our (USA) infrastructure is.

Let me guess...

Candian Bacon v2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35957776)

'nuff said

Turnabout is fair play (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957814)

Maybe it'll take the American equivalent of China's "patriotic hacker" movement, to educate the Chinese of the error of their ways.

In truth I doubt either government is prepared (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35957888)

In all reality, I doubt either country would be in position to fend off cyber attacks. I mean the US government tried to go after Anonymous and ended up having the security firm they hired get a huge black eye and multiple government websites getting smacked up as well. In terms of China, they have attacked multiple countries, but it seems when they get hit themselves they stop what they were doing and being denial of the facts.

It has already started (1)

D3 (31029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958058)

There is not a cyber 'cold war' brewing. It is already happening. I've seen it at the company I work for first hand. The Chinese are infiltrating and stealing everything they can copy the bits of from US corporate infrastructure. Most companies don't even have the awareness to know they are infected. They believe having a firewall and Anti-Virus is protecting them. Anyone who thinks the US isn't doing the same things to China is just being willfully ignorant.

It's a trap! (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958122)

There firewall is fully operational!

cyberwar (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958314)

because if we didnt have something to flee from in cringing terror at all times, politicians would be forced to account for our failing states, education systems, healthcare infrastructure, employment, and foreign policy.

Good. (0)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35958514)

I was at Google when the Chinese attacked, and I felt personally violated. I would be more than happy to see the favor returned.

And anyone who doesn't think it was actually the Chinese intelligence agency that mounted that attack against Google is a victim of wishful thinking.

Propaganda News Reporting? (1)

cloudsinmycoffee (1755538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35959582)

I hope this young man is correct in his assessments which pretty much trash / emasculate Chinas own Cyber vulnerability in the eyes of the readers. I had read for some time already that since many or most Chinese computers run on pirated Microsoft Window products that this could be the case. I always wonder when odd perspectives like this are injected into a volatile mix in the area of Warfare / Public Opinion / Technology if their isn't some attempt being made to mold, test or to shape popular opinion. This was especially the case in WWII when there were efforts of all sort underway these releases were attempting to obscure through - 'disinformation'. During WWII this was commonplace. To what ends I cannot guess - it could be even be exotic..? Any thoughts on this from the /. Community?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...