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People wait to board buses in South Korea's capital, Seoul. 35 million South Koreans fell victim to theft of personal information this morning.  (Source: AFP)

The attacks are believed to have originated from China. The Chinese are hacking foreign businesses at will, and nations like South Korea and the U.S. appear helpless to respond.  (Source: Venture Beat)
Chinese authorities have not yet agreed to cooperate

There's an elephant in the room, when it comes to internet attacks, and that elephant is China.  While America once was fearful of China's communist philosophies, today the Asian giant poses a far greater threat in its economic success.

China is home to some of the world's most sophisticated hackers, many of which are given a virtual green light to attack foreign governments and businesses, in attacks that assist China's government and Chinese businesses.  It's a well known fact, but everyone is too afraid to try to stand up to the Asian nation, as it hold large amounts of debt, as well as enjoys control of much of the world's rare mineral resources and manufacturing.

South Korea has become the latest to reportedly bear the brunt of Chinese cyber aggression.  The Korea Communications Commission (South Korea's equivalent of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission) says that hackers this morning attacked Nate portal and Cyworld blogging sites, both operated by SK Communications Comp., Ltd. (KDQ:066270).

The hackers reportedly made off with personal information from an astounding 35 million users.  The stolen information includes -- in some cases -- phone numbers, e-mail addresses, names, and coded data of users.  The attacks are believed to have originated from China.

South Korea, like the U.S., is struggling to protect its businesses from foreign attacks.  In April, Nonghyup, a large South Korean commercial bank, suffered an attack which was believed to have been sourced from North Korea.  Then in May, South Korea's Hyundai Capital, which is owned by Hyundai Motor Company (SEO:005380) and General Electric Comp. (GE) subsidiary, GE Capital International, suffered a similar breach. 

Meanwhile in mid-May in the U.S. top defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) was the victim of a sophisticated cyberintrusion, which was believed to have originated in China.

The U.S. government now says that cyberattacks can be construed as an act of war, if they cause real world death or destruction.  However, the U.S., like South Korea, has done little -- officially, at least -- to respond when cyber-savvy nations like China threatened companies like Google Inc. (GOOG) for speaking out about cyberattacks.

South Korean officials are currently investigating the massive SK Comms breach, and are not yet working with Chinese officials.

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China has no 'true' friends
By masamasa on 7/28/2011 11:00:11 AM , Rating: 3
Until they get their house in order it will remain that way for a long time.

RE: China has no 'true' friends
By NellyFromMA on 7/28/2011 11:11:53 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, they are large domestically in volumes and, aside from that, you don't hav eto be someones friend to accept their money, which they have plenty of.

RE: China has no 'true' friends
By masamasa on 7/28/2011 11:21:50 AM , Rating: 2
You're right about that, unfortunately.

RE: China has no 'true' friends
By tng on 7/28/2011 12:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
It is obvious that they neither want or need friends.

By ClownPuncher on 7/28/2011 2:03:42 PM , Rating: 5
They may have to fight off a zerg rush if they piss off the South Koreans too much.

Are we at China's mercy?
By LStoops on 7/28/2011 3:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not advocating 'eye-for-eye' but someone needs to show these hackers that the world is not at their mercy. Maybe Anonymous or LulzSec can use some of their considerable abilities to show the Chinese government that their data is just as vulnerable as anyone else's. If the losses were painful, maybe it would give the Chinese government a motivation to restrain their own hackers and avoid additional retributions.

RE: Are we at China's mercy?
By Solandri on 7/28/2011 3:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is, being a totalitarian regime, China is able to hold onto its secrets much more tightly without people getting upset (c.f. Wikileaks). By picking the low-hanging fruit, these hacker groups unintentionally introduce a bias in their attacks - against democracies and in favor of totalitarian regimes.

Unfortunately, in order to recognize this, one has to take responsibility for inaction. If you stand by and do nothing while a woman is being raped, do you bear any responsibility for the rape? Most people feel they shouldn't be held responsible for their inaction - it's none of their business, and they didn't want to get involved. Consequently, in their minds they see attacking U.S. interests as a good thing (because the U.S. is corrupt), while not attacking Chinese interests doesn't count (even though the Chinese are more corrupt and stand to gain from U.S. interests being attacked).

I think this is partly cultural too. The emphasis on individualism and personal responsibility in the West reinforces the notion that you you bear no responsibility for not acting. This distinction is not so clear in Eastern cultures.

RE: Are we at China's mercy?
By michael67 on 7/29/2011 1:53:49 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get all that foul crying from the US.

The US started this game in the 60s, and now they get beaten at there own game, they start to cry foul.

Its not to troll but, Echelon is now a days monitoring my and everyone's communications, including the Chines, but because its done by the IS/UK its sorta ok?

How is this any different then what the Chinese do, just asking.

Because imho, it just depends on ware you live, who is warring the black and how is warring the white heads.

RE: Are we at China's mercy?
By marcolorenzo on 8/2/2011 3:28:53 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with you. First of all, I just want to point out that people seem to love to get all fearful of CHINA and their "cyber crimes" when we don't even have proof that the Chinese government is behind this. Do we? As far as we know, it could just be a rogue group like Anonymous. Just because it originated out of China doesn't mean we need to start blaming a whole country or their government. After all, we never blamed the U.S on Anonymous' actions did we? I know i know, Anonymous and similar groups are comprised of people from all over the world, but you're kidding yourselves if you think that most of them are not from inside the U.S.

The main difference here is, Anonymous is attacking corporations and their own governments, whereas hackers from China seem to be focusing their energy outwards. But you don't need to work for the government to be patriotic. I'm not saying what they're doing is right, but i think out media and governments are just a bunch of hypocritical whiners since i'm sure they're trying to do the exact same thing. They're probably even better at it since we don't hear about it. What do you think the CIA, NSA, MI6 etc. are doing? If you really think they're just minding their own business and just looking out for their own citizens then you really need a reality check.

Who cares about friends
By AliShawkat on 7/28/2011 12:33:19 PM , Rating: 2
When you got everyone by the balls.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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