Commentary: Hacking allegations against China both baseless and revealing

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) — U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant on Monday claimed in a report that hackers related to the Chinese military attacked some U.S. websites, once again stirring up the “Chinese hackers threat.”

Mandiant put forward as its main evidence a claim that many of the cyber attacks were launched from IP addresses registered in the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai.

However, one does not need to be a cybersecurity expert to know that professional hackers usually exploit what is called the botnet in other parts of the world as proxies for attacks, not their own computers.

Thus, it is highly unlikely that both the origins of the hackers and the attacks they have launched can be located.

That is why China’s foreign ministry and defense ministry both described the firm’s report as “amateurish” when they dismissed Mandiant’s false accusations.

However, it is beyond belief that a firm specialized in the field of cybersecurity could be so indiscreetly desperate as to jump to a conclusion so full of loopholes, unless it has a good reason.

If one takes a closer look at Mandiant’s report, it is not too difficult to find that it reeks of a commercial stunt.

In a statement accompanying the firm’s report, Kevin Mandia, founder and CEO of Mandiant, seems to do nothing but market the products and services of his company.

“Given the sheer amount of data this particular group (the hackers) has stolen, we decided it was necessary to arm and prepare as many organizations as possible to prevent additional losses,” he said.

Next time, the CEO could simply say: “See the Chinese hackers? Hurry up, come and buy our cybersecurity services.”

Moreover, the much-hyped threat can also be attributed to some U.S. politicians and businessmen who always seek to use China to pursue their personal political and commercial interests, especially at a time when the U.S. Congress is about to approve a budget plan for the country’s new fiscal year.

Without targeting China as a “presumed enemy,” they might run short of excuses to demand more money to build an even stronger cyber military force or buy cybersecurity hardware and services from a company whose CEO used to serve in the U.S. air force [sic].

As the birthplace of the World Wide Web, the United States already has a matchless superiority and ability to stage cyber attacks across the globe.

Currently, the U.S. military has established a significant cyber force, including the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, which is a regular military unit tasked with carrying out cyber missions.

Earlier media reports said Iran was once attacked by U.S. military intelligence agencies through the Internet, while, according to China’s foreign ministry, a majority of the cyber attacks against China come from the United States.

In fact, the credibility of the United States has already been seriously questioned because of its government’s habit of accusing other nations based on phoney evidence.

In 1993, the United States accused “Yinhe,” a Chinese cargo ship, of carrying banned material for making chemical weapons to Iran. However, no suspected goods were found after a joint Chinese-Saudi inspection.

Similarly, facts will eventually prove that the cyber attacks accusations are groundless and will only tarnish the image and reputation of the company making them, as well as that of the United States.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-02/20/c_132181511.htm

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