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
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
The U.S. government now says that cyberattacks can
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)
out about cyberattacks.
South Korean officials are currently investigating
the massive SK Comms breach, and are not yet working with Chinese officials.