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[ISN] The Chinese Way of Hacking


By Neal UngerleiderWed
Fast Company
July 13, 2011

Cyberwarfare in 2011 is an odd beast. Many Western governments reportedly actively monitor rivals and engage in online sabotage, while countries ranging from Israel to Iran to India also engage in cyberwarfare programs of their own. But it's attacks against the American government and commercial websites such as Google that grab headlines.

As foreign governments learn the ease of obtaining intelligence online and foreign corporations continue to get the edge on their competitors through massive online attacks, future hacker efforts will only become more ambitious. One of the countries where many of these civilian and military attacks reportedly originate is China.

Fast Company recently spoke with Adam Segal, the Ira A. Lipman senior fellow for counterterrorism and national security issues at the Council on Foreign Relations, about bored Chinese teenagers, the Chinese way of hacking, India's rush to create a patriotic hacker corps, and much more.

FAST COMPANY: Could you give a short rundown of China's suspected role in cyberespionage of both governments and corporations?

ADAM SEGAL: A number of fairly well-publicized attacks on U.S. governments and corporate interests with codenames like âTitan Rainâ have taken place. In many cases, attribution to China is fairly speculative. In the Google case, it was supposedly traced back by IP address but in many cases it's fairly suspect. But they are motivated primarily by espionage reasons--both military and industrial--and also in some cases, by preparing the battlefield. Looking at potential targets that would be used in a military scenario in case there was, in fact, conflict.

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