‘Foreign hackers operate via Chinese internet links’


Beijing : China is not home to the global nexus of computer hackers and many attackers based in foreign countries use the Chinese internet network to target their preys worldwide, cyber security experts in Beijing have said.

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Many attacks here originate from overseas. “It is very complicated to locate an original attack,” said a participant at the 9th Xcon conference, an annual gathering of cyber security analysts.

The participant, also a consultant for a global software firm, said overseas hackers link to computers in China so the victims believe they were attacked from this country, reported China Daily.

“For example, there might be a hacker in America, he might attack a computer in China first and then use the Chinese IP to attack a computer in Australia and so on,” the consultant said.

Last year, 75 percent of global companies experienced severe cyber attacks causing losses worth $2 million, according to Symantec’s 2010 report.

There have been claims by websites and search engines, including Google, Optus and the official website of the Republic of Korea, that they have been victimised by Chinese hackers.

The expert said attackers use fake IPs to make themselves untraceable.

The hackers also utilise “fryers”, a computer with security leaks that is accessible to hackers. Using fryers is like using guns registered under another person’s name before squeezing the trigger, the analyst explained.

This kind of attack is called Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), “pretty simple technically, with attack tools already made and put out there”, the consultant said.

No advanced techniques are needed to conduct DDOS attacks, “as long as you have enough money to buy lots of fryers and control them”, said Sun Bing, a Beijing-based researcher who also attended the conference.

According to the Chinese National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team, more than one million Chinese IPs were under overseas control in 2009.