In A World Of Global Commerce... Does Gov't Cyber Espionage Get In The Way Of Business?

from the changing-times dept

Back in 2001 there were a series of hyped up articles about how the Chinese were hacking American websites. People later realized that there was a lot more hype than substance to those articles (which, it was later discovered, were kicked off by a writer who eventually was accused of making up many stories written for a variety of mainstream press publications). However, the latest news suggests that folks in the Chinese military may have actually hacked into a defense department computer, leading to all the standard talk of "cyberwar." Of course, once again, the important details were missing. It's not clear the hack attacks actually did anything serious or accessed any important data.

A more important point may be that these types of attacks can be quite counter-productive. A recent report in Germany also had found that the Chinese military had at least tried to hack into gov't computers there -- and it's simply hurting the ability of Chinese tech firms to sell their goods abroad. In other words, while it may be true that the Chinese military may be trying to hack into computers of various governmental agencies around the world, doing so could actually end up causing quite a bit more pain to the Chinese economy. That hardly seems productive.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    D, Sep 4th, 2007 @ 11:34am

    Chinese Tech

    More shocking is the fact that when the Chinese do what we did years ago it's big news.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    dorpus, Sep 4th, 2007 @ 11:40am

    Does business get in the way of a civilized world?

    Could it be the free-market, wanton practices of Chinese business that caused China to acquire such a poor reputation of late? How much harm does the tobacco industry do to the political reputation of the USA? It could be that the private sector causes far more harm to a country's reputation, given their short-sighted, anti-ethics attitudes. It is governments that uphold civilized protocols; the PLA hack represented an example of government imitating uncivilized businesses.

    We are moving toward a world of greater government regulation of global commerce, because nobody wants toxic toothpaste or poisonous paints that kill children. The 21st century will see the rise of transnational government entities and new command economies, as a globalized economy demands more uniform standards of consumer safety.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Ajax 4Hire, Sep 4th, 2007 @ 1:17pm

    This is Double bad for the Chinese because

    folks everwhere will be forewarned now.
    Military, Government and Corporation will now begin to evalualte their security, hardening where appropriate. They will also be looking for such an attack.
    "The first step in avoiding a trap is knowing of its existence"; Thufir Hawat, mentat

    2nd, this only hurts Chinese commercial ventures. There will be heightened awareness and worry now when someone interfaces with Chinese business.

    You don't hear about the British Government or US, Russian, German, Tiawanese governments hacking into each others networks. They make sure they cover their tracks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Brian, Sep 4th, 2007 @ 1:24pm

    Chinese computer espionage

    Most countries have an active cyber espionage divisions. The US just happens to release that Red China got into theirs, which they should not have. (It allows for better evaluation of the attack.) Still anything juicy (ie TS/SCI or above) is not kept on open networks. Still, it gives them practice if they ever get into a classified system, if they get access to a classified terminal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Surprised., Sep 4th, 2007 @ 5:21pm

    China has skills?

    If China has the skills to hack into the the US Dept. of Defense, why are they relying on US companies to provide the funding AND the technical know-how to set up their own security surveillance technology?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/business/worldbusiness/12security.html?ex=1189051200&en=12 db6f2a3d552370&ei=5070

    When I read this article, I thought it was absolutely hilarious. I could only imagine how delighted the US government would be with the fact that the Chinese surveillance systems are going to be set up by US companies and run on Microsoft Windows. Talk about handing US the key to the city.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2007 @ 6:34pm

    Get real, Mike

    "the important details were missing"

    1) Should the US reveal the "important details"?

    Of course not. I'm surpised they admitted any breach in the first place - unless it was to promote more fear among the people. That's a favorite tool of the current administration.

    2) "It's not clear the hack attacks actually did anything serious or accessed any important data."

    Your wording suggests that it's an unimportant incident, since nothing serious appears to have happened, or important data accessed.

    You don't know whether or not either of these statements is true - and that's the way it should be on matters of national security.

    Your main error is in believing that the Chinese government will sacrifice their political, military and ideological goals to promote international trade - in other words, for money.

    That is what America does, not China. And we are now, and will in the future, pay an immense price for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    RandomThoughts, Sep 4th, 2007 @ 7:23pm

    Maybe China government and China business are one and the same. You can't assume that China has the same mentality as others.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2007 @ 3:34pm

    Re: China gov't and China bus. are the same

    Communist doctrine says that the means of production (companies) belong to "the people" - in other words the government.

    They are new at this private enterprise thing; and they coud take any part or all of it back any time they want to.

    They are just feeling their way. They haven't much experience about how private enterprise realy works, and the thing they may know (or care) least about are the issues surrounding a customer's freedom to chose.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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