Chinese TV Details Nation's Growing Cyberhacking Might

Thursday, 25 Aug 2011 03:38 PM

By Martin Gould

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Repeated denials by the Chinese government that it is behind attacks on American websites appear to have been undermined by a report on state television.

A 10-second clip shown on the military affairs station CCTV7 shows Col. Du Wenlong, a researcher at the Chinese army’s Academy of Military Sciences giving a detailed analysis of cybersecurity issues.

At one point a software application is identified as a distributed denial-of-service attack, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The next screen says, “Attack system..PLA Electronic Engineering Institute,” PLA stands for the People’s Liberation Army.

Two experts from the China SignPost analytical service say that the footage appeared to be around 10 years old but it is still important. “However modest, ambiguous—and, from China's perspective, defensive—this is possibly the first direct piece of visual evidence from an official Chinese government source to undermine Beijing's official claims never to engage in overseas hacking of any kind for government purposes, wrote Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins in a report.

"It certainly looks like a 'smoking cursor,' albeit a relatively modest one,” they add. “China undoubtedly has far superior capabilities at its disposal today."

The cybersecurity firm McAfee said in February that Chinese-based hackers had conducted a "coordinated, covert and targeted" campaign of cyberespionage against five multinational energy firms since at least since 2009.”

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