May 13, 2011
In cyberspy vs. cyberspy, China has the edge | China has stolen terabytes of sensitive data
ATLANTA — As America and China grow more economically and financially intertwined, the two nations have also stepped up spying on each other. Today, most of that is done electronically, with computers rather than listening devices in chandeliers or human moles in tuxedos.
And at the moment, many experts believe China may have gained the upper hand.
Though it is difficult to ascertain the true extent of America’s own capabilities and activities in this arena, a series of secret diplomatic cables as well as interviews with experts suggest that when it comes to cyber-espionage, China has leaped ahead of the United States.
According to U.S. investigators, China has stolen terabytes of sensitive data — from usernames and passwords for State Department computers to designs for multi-billion dollar weapons systems. And Chinese hackers show no signs of letting up. “The attacks coming out of China are not only continuing, they are accelerating,” says Alan Paller, director of research at information-security training group SANS Institute in Washington, DC.
Secret U.S. State Department cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to Reuters by a third party, trace systems breaches — colorfully code-named “Byzantine Hades” by U.S. investigators — to the Chinese military. An April 2009 cable even pinpoints the attacks to a specific unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Privately, U.S. officials have long suspected that the Chinese government and in particular the military was behind the cyber-attacks. What was never disclosed publicly, until now, was evidence.
via In cyberspy vs. cyberspy, China has the edge – Technology & science – Security – msnbc.com.