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Xinhua, China

US Searches for Excuse
to Expand “Cyber Army”

By Zhang YiXuan

Translated By Kim Wang

4 February 2013

Edited by Natalie Clager

China - Xinhua - Original Article (Chinese)

The United States is claiming once again that it has suffered from a “Chinese hacking attack”. This time it is the New York Times that claims to have been “attacked”, as well as the Wall Street Journal, published by Dow Jones & Company.

This year there have been several “victims” of these alleged attacks, including Google, firearms suppliers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and NASA. Last November the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, established by the United States Congress, even released an annual report claiming that China is “the most threatening actor in cyberspace”

However, such a flattering allegation of Chinese “hacking” seems questionable and ambiguous considering the evidence provided. This time, the New York Times and Dow Jones & Company's reasoning for the accusations remains the same as before – the IP address originating from the attack is located in China.

People who understand the basics of how networks work would know that hacking attacks are transnational and can be hidden; the location of an IP address alone is not enough to stand as sufficient evidence to confirm the hackers' identities, which have become common knowledge in the Internet world. The United States, which has always been in the forefront of technological development, is surely aware of this.

Associating these three hackers with China not only supports their Chinese “threat” theory in the cyber security realm, but also gives the U.S. justification to change their strategy towards China.

Considering China's recent economic surges, scientific advancements and rise in the technology, members of the American media and U.S. politicians have become increasingly sensitive and anxious, preferring to view the world through their own skewed lens and accuse China of “plagiarism” and “conspiracy”. Allegations of Chinese “hackers” not only please Americans and attract political attention, but also justifies imposing more technical restrictions on China.

It is also noteworthy to mention that in the midst of the Chinese “hacking” investigation, American network security forces began to grow rapidly. When the “New York Times” and Dow Jones & Company accused China mere days ago, their media simultaneously announced that network security forces in the United States had been expanded 5-fold. This convenient coincidence has led some international critics to speculate that these so-called Chinese “hacking” attacks are just an excuse for American politicians to lobby Congress into expanding their “cyber army”.

The United States has already proved itself the “the patron saint” of liberty on the internet. As their network implements more and more measures to prevent foreign interference, cyber army expansion and their actual military are also constantly advancing. And all along, the U.S. military, certain CEOs of high tech internet companies and politicians have been advocating for this Chinese threat theory.

Considering the widespread existence of spies and hackers on the internet, it is inevitable that national departments and corporate networks are likely to suffer attacks. Data indicates that China is one of the most frequently attacked victims of hacking; last December, 3,049 foreign IP addresses managed to get remote access to 11,295 Chinese websites. The majority of these IP addresses were from the United States. Americans managed to get remote access to 4,240 Chinese websites in total. Despite the substantial amount of attacks made from U.S. IP addresses, China does not make assumptions and hasty conclusions about the source of these attacks.

As a major power on the internet, China has laws specifically prohibiting hacking attacks in order to crack down on online hacking and has constructively improved international cooperation concerning global network security. Considering globalization and our digital age, information security has become an international issue dependent on global cooperation against hackers. Accusing countries with unwarranted slander and using double standards in managing internet security should not be characteristics of a responsible, powerful nation.



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