Information Warfare: The Usual Suspects


January24, 2007: For a country that already contains ten percent of all Internets users, China is doing even better when it comes to Internet crime. Some 15 percent of spam last year was traced back to China (according to a Sophos survey). Some 90 percent of spam is now sent via zombies (PCs secretly taken over by hackers for this, and other, illegal tasks), which makes it easier to track down these purloined PCs. Actually, South Korea, with only three percent of the worlds Internet users, accounted for 7.4 percent of last years spam. But South Korea is cracking down on the Internet crime, and the amount of bad behavior is shrinking. The U.S. accounts for 22 percent of the spam (and 15 percent of the world's Internet users.) The U.S. and China both account for a disproportionate amount of Internet criminal activity. Last year, the U.S. accounted for 34.2 percent of the hacker attacks, while China accounted for 31 percent. But the real criminal hot spot was Brazil, where two percent of the planets internet users accounted for 14 percent of the hacker attacks. Russia, also with about two percent of Internet users, accounted for 4.1 percent of hacker attacks, but the Russian efforts were the most sophisticated and effective. So while the Brazilian hackers have quantity, the Russians are stealing more money via their superior techniques.

The U.S. and China make no secret of their recruiting of local hackers for government security and Cyber War operations. While it's a dubious distinction to have so many hackers operating in your own back yard, in war time, these criminals become assets.


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