A Chinese security report claims that the country sustained half a million cyberattacks over the past year, with half of those coming from places like the United States and India.
According to Xinhua, the report was released on Tuesday by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Center of China, which Xinhua calls "the country's primary computer security monitoring network", headquartered in the northeastern port city of Dalian.
The majority of the attacks were Trojans -- malicious software delivered by or masquerading as legitimate applications, often with the goal of enabling remote hacker access to target computers. "Hackers tampered with nearly 35,000 web pages -- including 4,635 government websites -- in the past year, the report said, up 67.6 percent from a year earlier," Xinhua's article reads. "It said 60 percent of websites of ministry-level government departments are at risk of being hacked."
493,000 attacks in total have been monitored, and the report states that 14.7 percent come from IP addresses located in the United States. India is also significantly listed in the results, with 8 percent. Detailed motives for the cyberattacks were not spelled out, but the report referred to general as falling under three categories: political, religious, or "purely to show off" (which may or may not include the "lulz" category). The report also made specific mention of hackers from IPs in Turkey defacing Chinese websites with "texts and pictures intended for political and religious campaigns".
Xinhua also states that "international cooperation has been enhanced, the report said, citing an example of Beijing and Seoul cooperating to thwart Republic of Korea-originated cyber attacks targeting a ring-back tone website registered in northwest China in May 2010."
While the timing of this announcement seems significant, coming as it does mere days after McAfee's disclosure of a campaign of cyberattacks committed by a single 'state actor', there is no explicit mention of 'Operation Shady RAT' in the Chinese security report. A Communist Party newspaper has protested the widespread assumption that China was responsible for Operation Shady RAT, and many including McAfee themselves stress that neither China nor any other nation was specifically named in the report.
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