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U.S. Blames China for Large-Scale Cyber Attacks

The U.S. Military says it has been fruitfully engaged in Internet war against China since long. The Naval Network Warfare Command claims to locate and investigate numerous suspicious incidents every day from Chinese hackers. It says such attacks are far superior to others in terms of number, efficacy and sophistication.

According to an official of Netwarcomm, Chinese online attackers don't spare anything from exploitation. He was speaking to Federal Computer Weekly. Attacks coming from China have a range of motives, said the official. It could be stealing intellectual property, collecting intelligence to study the U.S. military operations, and developing beachheads within U.S. military networks to use them in future. The attacks are so deliberate that it is almost impossible to deny the Chinese government's involvement, he said.

One favorite mechanism is the use of phishing i.e., sending out spurious bulk e-mails to deceive DOD users into opening a malicious attachment. The attackers also use Trojan horse viruses and worms to distract users while the malware slowly creeps and hides in the system.

Gen. Ronald Keys, commander of Air Combat Command told reporters at the Air Warfare Symposium that the U.S. government should adopt more vigorous measures to block foreign hackers and websites that enable attacks on government organizations. Perhaps a cyber form of the 2001 terrorist attacks would make the country realize the need to examine its cyber battle and safety mechanisms, he added.

There have also been previous reports of Chinese hacking incidents aimed on U.S. companies and government agencies. In November 2006, a Chinese intrusion into the Naval War College's network compelled the institution to bring down its computer and e-mail systems for weeks at a stretch. It was evident from forensic analysis that the Chinese were looking for information regarding NWC's war games, the official said.

Evidences also show that majority of Trojan horse attacks seem to originate in China. The Warezov virus too, which plays a crucial role in creating botnets, has been the craft of a bunch of spammers in China.

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