Chinese Hackers, Russian Cyber Crime and American Apathy

A couple years ago, I used to spend a lot of time on government related blogs just stunned to hear about America’s slow movement in securing critical infrastructure and government systems.

I feel that the American government, like a huge ship, takes a long time to turn. Signs look good that the ship is starting to turn though. At the government level at least.

The next huge hurdle is businesses and even home users…

We as a nation are facing very dedicated international hackers, including Chinese state sponsored hackers and Russian crime syndicates. I was watching a security video featuring David Kennedy (Social Engineering Toolkit creator, Former military intelligence) and he made some interesting comments about Chinese hackers.

He mentioned that China was known to just take software created by others and implementing it as their own. Even the “Great Firewall of China” was found to have “borrowed” code in it.  He then asked the audience how many security guys that they had protecting their networks at their places of employment. One said 2 another said 15.

David mentioned something that really puts the whole Chinese hacker thing into prospective. You have 2 to 15 guys protecting your network; they have the manpower to task 1,000 hackers to penetrating your system if you have something they want. Who is going to win that battle?

Also, I have heard that many of the Russian hackers are out of work IT workers that could not find jobs. They have turned to hacking to make money.  These guys are no joke; they are top tier programmers and system engineers using their skills to crack networks.

Unfortunately, many American businesses and home users don’t focus on securing their systems, or simply don’t care. Meeting corporate budgets so the CEO can get a big bonus or allowing peer to peer software so managers can download movies is of greater concern. Until something happens of course.

But apathy is not always the case. Many American business owners and home users have been misinformed. They think that if they have a firewall and anti-virus that they are safe. Some businesses do not even have policies about system usage or online safety. Yet, they are an integral link to American infrastructure.

Our government is waking up to online threats, now it is time for businesses and even home users to come along side and provide a united front in protecting America’s digital borders. 

~ by D. Dieterle on October 19, 2010.

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