China has had a hard time escaping the spotlight lately, and SEOs and SMMs have been active getting the word out that China is up to no again. While the wounds created by their government mandated and corporately supported censorship campaign are still leaving a trail of heads shaking across the world wondering why no government would challenge their suppression of free speech, the US came out with a report pointing to China as perhaps the single largest entity on the web engaging in cyber espionage – perhaps with some collaboration from Russia.
It is no secret that valuable information is left online all the time even though people supposedly know how absolutely stupid that is to do. The Chinese know how easy to hack and leave nary a trace of evidence as to having ever been on the scene. Add those factors together and you have the makings of an espionage super power.
The US intelligence, and we us that term loosely, agencies involved in putting the report together believe the Chinese are stealing data worth potentially billions or even trillions of dollars from the US alone. The concern is not just the loss of concepts, but how far behind any US corporation that loses data will be behind a Chinese competitor. The Chinese have more people to put on a project and can do it for almost no money because it’s China – they make people do what they want. Ask Apple how much money they are losing every quarter to Chinese knock-offs. Ask IBM, Intel, Microsoft and almost any company involved in technology how many hundreds of millions of dollars theft of their intellectual property that mysteriously turns up in China time after time s costing them each year.
The Chinese roundly and loudly denounced such findings as pure sensationalism which was manufactured to discredit their recent global economic success. While not every nation is piping in to agree with the US, they are certainly nodding quiet agreement off to the side. China has staged major hacks against even Google in the past couple of years – nothing is off limits to them and it is primarily all state sponsored according to most intelligence briefings from the CIA, NSA, MI-6, Mossad and their counterparts.
The Chinese ministry instead denounced such attacks and expressed mock outrage over any such thing. They have volunteered to help ferret out any forces that may be hacking corporations in order to be a good cyber-neighbor. So far, no one has taken them up on their offer. Time will however tell who is and is not actively engaged in cyber espionage, just don’t be surprised when the next report comes out.