Information Warfare: The Mess In China


August19, 2006: Although China has managed to reduce the number of PCs infected by viruses by about eight percent in the last year, over 70 percent of all the PCs in the nations still suffered at least one virus infection. Some 54 percent of all companies and organizations (especially government) suffered some kind of Internet attack last year, with 84 percent of those attacks being viruses. This indicates that many organizations have managed to protect their PCs, but that most PCs are still exposed to infection. Most of the viruses are written by Chinese, and are used as part of criminal schemes. The government survey did not, as one would expect, go into details of how vulnerable government and military networks were, and what kind of damage Internet attacks had done. But it is known that government and military networks have been attacked.

Chinese networks are more vulnerable because fewer users have grown up with a PC in the house, so they could learn on their own how to protect their computer resources. There has not been a lot of PC user education, although the government is trying to reverse this. But there is also not a lot of money for special security software either. This sort of stuff is not easy to steal (most software used in China is pirated), because frequent updates are needed to make it work. As a result of this, despite China's admitted investment in Cyber War weapons, their own networks are more vulnerable than most other major nations.


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