China – Cyber Pirates of the Electronic Coast?
We have all seen the images from the African coast. Pirates armed with AK-47’s and RPGs in small boats taking over civilian cargo vessels. They claim that with the harsh economic conditions that they face, this is what they must do to get income for their villages. And get paid they do, millions have been given to them to release captured vessels.
It feels eerily similar to what another nation is doing. Chinese hackers attack foreign civilian and military facilities alike to gain finances and also classified military information.
While China’s attacks against America and Britain are well known, we are not their only target. Chinese hackers have also targeted India, and Japan.
When you look at it, India is a rich target for China. A lot of American companies now rely on India for data supply and support. In fact, in April, American and Canadian security experts exposed a Chinese cyber espionage attack against India. The target?
“The attacks were aimed at obtaining classified documents from the Indian Defense Ministry and also NATO security information.”
It may be easier for Chinese hackers to obtain sensitive military information about America from her allies by going after India’s less defended infrastructure. India is working hard to create a secure environment as they are still developing their national infrastructure (Only about 7% of its civilians have internet access).
Japan also has suffered from Chinese hackers. Japan has been on the receiving end of a rash of denial of service attacks from Chinese hackers. In this case, it is in response of a maritime dispute. Earlier this month, a Chinese fishing trawler collided with two Japanese coastguard vessels near a disputed area in the South China Sea. Also, a gas field in a disputed area has been a point of contention.
China’s response? Chinese hackers went to work.
Japan suspects its defence ministry and national police agency websites have come under cyber attack this week, a news report said Friday, amid a bitter row with China over a territorial dispute.
The government is looking into the attacks given that China’s largest known hackers’ group had warned it would attack Japanese government websites until Saturday in protest over the maritime incident, Kyodo News agency reported.
As the cargo ships off the African coast are tempting targets for Somalian Pirates, it would seem that the computer infrastructure of the world’s IT centers are too tempting a target for the Cyber Pirates of the Electronic Coast.