Beware of Chinese Hackers—They Are Good
China’s hackers subverted the access system Google put in place to comply with U.S. intercept orders. Why does anyone think criminals won't be able to use the same system to steal bank account and credit card information, use it to launch other attacks, or turn it into a massive spam-sending network?
Hackers in China have been carefully studying different software programmes to exploit their flaws. For example, hackers have found openings that allow them to infect victims' computers through booby-trapped documents stored in the Acrobat Reader format.
Opening such a document allows the hackers to automatically scan and transfer computer-stored files to a digital storage facility in China as part of a vast surveillance system dubbed "Ghostnet" by Canadian researchers.
This is what happened when computers of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala were methodically hacked last year. Officials in Germany, Britain and the U.S. have acknowledged that their government and military networks also have been broken into by Chinese hackers.
It seems unlikely that the hackers, especially those engaged in systematic cyber espionage and intimidation, are private individuals with no links to the Chinese government. It is more likely that the hackers are tied to the People's Liberation Army.
In war, this irregular contingent of hackers would become the vanguard behind which the regular People's Liberation Army divisions take on the enemy.