Debate and Discussion

China and Cyberwarfare, what'sgoing to happen?
imshard at 1:17PM, March 24, 2010
posts: 2,961
joined: 7-26-2007
I've been following the drama in China over accusations of hacking and the increasing tensions between China and the rest of the world.,0,6621546.story
For months countries worldwide (especially US Defense officials) have accused China of engaging in cyberwarfare against national resources.

On Monday, Google closed its Chinese site in its own ongoing feud over censorship and illicit break-ins to its servers. China has responded by accusing Google of subversion and helping US Intelligence agencies, and is taking steps to block its sites and products now.

Other US firms such as Dell are said to be pulling out of the country as well

What does DrunkDuck think of this situation?
What could come of this?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
Orin J Master at 5:44PM, March 24, 2010
posts: 437
joined: 12-16-2007
while i don't know what the people running DD think of it, China's attempts at dictating how the internet works are old news.

it's all symptoms of their trying to become unassailable through economic control, which is to say they want so many powerful people to owe them so much money that noone considers attacking them and risking them calling in favors.

it probably won't work in the end, but it's just going to make everyone suffer until the chinese totalitarian state collapses. then pretty much just china will suffer. ah well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
ozoneocean at 10:20PM, March 24, 2010
posts: 24,788
joined: 1-2-2006
Well… it is their own country afterall. We might not like how they choose to run it and some of the things they they do there, but every country is free to make its own laws and decide how they like to do things for themselves. Having outside foreign corporations dictate terms to them is actually MORE problematic than anything that the Chinese government is doing to the US.

The cyberwarfare stuff is just bullshit really. I've no doubt at all that China does it and that the reported attacks occurred, but I have a LOT of doubt whether the two things are related.- Real cyberwarfare “cold war” techniques are a LOT more subtle than this obvious, high publicity brute-force rubbish that's been going on. From everything I've read when people have really investigated these things it generally points to stupid students and other young fanatics. China is a Biiiiiiiig place with a hell of a lot of highly educated people who have an extremely nationalist philosophy and a lot of national pride in their country. You can pin this stuff on that sort of person almost exclusively.
From a Chinese government perspective, it would be unofficially very proud of their actions, but also extremely embarrassed because of the damage done to its reputation. It would also be offended by all the accusations levelled at it. They'd be reluctant to go after the offenders with much effort because of this ambivalence.

As for the real cyberwarfare that China undertakes- it would be pretty similar to that conducted by the Americans and everyone else with the expertise to do it.

The reason for companies like Google and Dell getting pissy is;
1. They'd prefer business to be done in a more “American” way, on their terms.
2. They're under a lot of pressure of activist groups of various kinds (over Tibet, Chinese human rights etc.) and this gives them an excuse to take action.
3. If he Chinese government isn't doing enough to go after the people doing these attacks, that means virtually endorsing them by default, it also makes it harder for them to conduct their business legitimately, so that's a good reason for them to do these protests. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Orin J Master at 7:33PM, March 25, 2010
posts: 437
joined: 12-16-2007
Well… it is their own country afterall.

this somehow justifies the chinese government attempting to steal propitiatory programming data from google, or anyone else how again? in case you hadn't been paying attention. in case you're not up on the news here, google suffered an attack on their computer networks based in the US from chinese computers not simply there local servers getting hacked (Although several gmail accounts in china were also hacked from the same source, with the accounts being connected to political dissidents).

you don't really seem to have bothered reading what's gone down in various parts of this, actually. you seem more interested in going “well, china's gonna do things like this, that's how they do” and then discounting it all as corporations being pissy they're not immune to the law, when it's china breaking international law.

also, on a largely unrelated note, china's pretty well known for being terrible when it come to computer literacy, and their computer systems are the most unorganized and poorly protected by government standards. they just have too much of a focus on ignoring higher education in favor of nationalism for them to go any other way.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
ozoneocean at 10:40PM, March 25, 2010
posts: 24,788
joined: 1-2-2006
Orin J Master
you don't really seem to have bothered reading
Sorry Orin, but that applies to you in this instance, in reference to my entire post.

I've followed reports of this from the beginning, which is why I've come to the conclusions I've posted. Your claim about the Chinese having bad computer literacy is stupefying.
China is a country of 1.3 billion people. Simple probability would suggest that the amount of highly skilled computer literate people in that population would likely exceed that of most other nations. The fact is though that it is true that they do have a very large amount of skilled computer users. I imagine the unskilled outweigh them by a colossal margin, but that's irrelevant isn't it? Even if their skilled users numbered only 0.01% that'd still be 13 million people.
Unless my maths is wrong, which it usually is :)

I will say again, although my other post makes this pretty clear already, that from what people have really been able to trace, the attacks weren't from government origins (And I'm talking about the fact that I've seen a lot of sources, not just the more Anti-Chinese ones).
I will also re-state that simple logic indicates that it is VERY unlikely that the Chinese government would participate in such obvious brute force attacks.

Where China is at fault is for not trying harder and putting the effort into cracking down on the offenders.- As I also said.

“It IS their country after all” obviously refers to China's practices within their country that imshard mentioned- such as blocking Google's sites and products.

The same accusations were levelled against Russia when the Georgians invaded their separatist region, killed the Russian peacekeepers and then the Russians retaliated:
20 year old cold war politics in the west resurfaced. In the face of actual events Russia was painted as the attacker instead of Georgia. Russian student hackers defacing Georgian sites were portrayed as Russian government cybrewarefare…

It's important to criticise countries for what they do, but it's also important to try and examine the stories from beginning to end and see were the prejudices lie- in the news sources as well as in ourselves.
There are some countries that are always “the bad guy”, so you have to be extra careful when looking at stories involving them:
North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela with Chavez, pre-war Iraq, pre-war Afghanistan.
Places like Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan are considered borderline bad guys.

Conversely, other countries tend to get a free ride on the bad-guy stakes: The USA, The UK, Israel, Australia, Canada, and so on.

THAT tendency is probably the most interesting and important part of this thread: the way people automatically draw battle lines and pre-judge.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
kyupol at 12:51PM, March 26, 2010
posts: 3,712
joined: 1-12-2006
This reminds me of a conversation I had with a chinese guy I know who lived in Canada and the USA for 30 years and in the past 5 years has been back and forth to China.

According to him, China is less of a police state than Canada and USA and he said he's considering leaving and going back to China for good. He's told me that alot of Chinese businesses are leaving and going to go back to China because they can see something bad is gonna happen in North America.

And he still says that even as he is perfectly aware that China censors the internet, kills or imprisons or harrasses people who criticize the government like Falun Gong, is involved in organ harvesting, etc.

He said China is a better place because:
- He is Chinese and he wont get discriminated over there.

- The police don't harrass you for stupid reasons (like taking pictures, going a few kms over the speed limit, jaywalking, running the stop sign, or simply being deemed “suspicious” because you got the wrong skin color or something). Police are only rough if you really committed a crime or criticize the government. But if you are just minding your own business, the police leave you alone.

- It is easier to evade taxes. Government doesnt tax people who make 1000 yuan or less a month.

- China doesnt have naked body scanners and random checkpoints to check for drunk drivers. He said that the checkpoint stuff were during the time of Chairman Mao and they've long been gone.

We were talking in a Chinese restaurant and he was sometimes speaking loud enough to be heard by people around 5 meters around us. He's been ranting on and on about how he has no loyalty to the racist western government, and how the west (USA, UK, Canada, etc.) is conspiring against China because the west sees China as a threat to their global hegemony.

Then he went on about how China is good because at least China doesnt go on wars of aggression thousands of kilometers outside its own borders. He also bragged that in the event of a physical all out war, the West would be defeated by China because the Korean war was a stalemate even with 17 UN nations fighting against China and North Korea… and that was back then with primitive weapons. But China's army today has the capability to take out American spy sattelites. “How can you fight us if you cannot see us?”

In the end, he said that China and the West appear to be friends in the media (both the controlled corporate and the alternative media like Alex Jones who says that China is included in the Illuminati power structure). But really… there is a war behind the scenes (including “cyber war”).

“You think the Chinese are stupid? We know and are fully aware that the Rothschilds set up the communists in China… long before Alex Jones and Webster Tarpley talked about that. The Illuminati wanted to use China but what makes you think that we aren't using them as well?”

But still I kept on talking about how China is the world's number 1 police state (or maybe number 2 right after North Korea) and how I don't wanna live in that commie-infested rathole (said in a nice way of course… I didnt wanna cause trouble).

It doesn't matter what I say about China. All he told me was that is just the propaganda of the West to make you believe that you are free.

“If you don't believe me, why don't you go there and see for yourself?”

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
Orin J Master at 1:21PM, March 26, 2010
posts: 437
joined: 12-16-2007
Simple probability-

this right here is where your mistake is in this argument. probability is useless to determine levels of training. the education system is what determines it, don't teach something and you find people don't learn it. chinese education centers around telling a student what their job is according to the government, and then giving them the basics to operate in the field, and things like computer science is culturally seen as a lower-class job that isn't productive. they don't want to train the kind of people you need for an effective internet-based operation. 13 million half-trained programmers is the same as 13 million illiterate lawyers, having a lot of people that aren't any good at something just means you've got a lot of people failing to do something.

The same accusations were levelled against Russia when the Georgians invaded their separatist region
don't watch FOX for news. never watch FOX for news. they don't have any. pretty much everone who follows international newsstreams was aware when that actually happened that russia was acting in the best interests of everyone involved, as it was quickly turning into a new version of the berlin wall situation.

the same people that lobbed accusations at russia are currently supporting sarah palin for president. citing them as anything more than an embarrassing footnote in political ignorance is pointless.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
God of War at 2:13PM, April 14, 2010
posts: 62
joined: 6-5-2007
I'm against censorship in any form. It leads straight into opressing political enemies and trampling over human laws. I know hitory of my own country, I know what communists were doing to my people before I was even born. Since 1945 pior 1989 my fatherland was controlled by communist party, basicually turned into ZSRR's bitch. If somebody was trying to stand against the party, bad things happened to him. Sometimes militia taken him. It was common to put those “criminals” through the “walk”, where they we're beaten by party's members with bats. Sometimes they we're torturred durring the interrogations. Sometimes they we're killed under mysterious curministances. And sometimes they just dispappeard. Life was hard, you had problems with buying anything. Most of times store were empty or almost empty, and not only shops with something special or expensive, but also daily basis like food or cloeths. And when they got new stuff, people we're standing all day in giantic quetes. One day my grandfather was standing all day in one, because he wanted to buy oranges. And when he get to the store, clerk asked him how many kids he has. He said truth, he said two. They sold him two oranges and refused to give him any more. And every time he was trying to get oranges, if this clerk was working that they, he couldn't get more. And it war rarity, back then. You people don't even know how lucky you are to buy as much oranges as you want, whenever you want. If you don't like something, you can speak loudly and don't be afraid that somebody will tell the authorites about it and you will never see your family again only because you disagree with goverment. In comunist country you cannot trust anybody. Your drinking buddy may as well be working in secret police. Your girlfriend may be writing detailed report about your personality, hopes and dreams. After you opened yourself to your favorite teacher and talk with him helped you get through your doubts, two men may walk to his house and force him t orepeat everything you said. This is how life in communism looks like. And I don't believe Chineese goverment to be any better. Until they will not have free, democratic election, it's still police state, it's still communist country, where the laws of indivitual are worth less than dirt.Nothing I will hear about it will change it. People like kuypol's friend are not some I would believe (not to mention that this friend sounds crazy). Communism is something that should be removed from the face of Earth, so don't tell me that “it's their country” - if they trample over human rights, it doesn't matter. Is our duty as humanity to do something with it. What's going in China is wrong and as long as humanity's freedom will not be respected by authorities, nothing will change.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM

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