Attacks by Chinese hackers continue to target various American media outlets, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Last week it was reported that the New York Times fell prey to a four month long hacking campaign from China after publishing an investigative report on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s family finances in October 2012. SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto believes the source of the China-based attacks is a solitary group.
“In China, there’s very little delineation between the government and some of these companies,” he said, “They’re pretty much one and the same.” In terms of the cyber-capabilities of the country, he said the Chinese government is behind these operations 100% by providing funding and placing people in charge of such activities.
Casaretto determined that this kind of behavior is not surprising. He said, “The truth of it is they’ve got little regard for the digital rights of its own citizens and its own corporations, and that doesn’t extend to foreign countries either.”
A United Nations summit that was held in Dubai last December tried to come to an agreement over the proposed International Telecommunication Union treaty, but were unable to do so. Representatives opposing the treaty were concerned that it would give repressive governments too much authority over the Internet. Nations were also heavily split over the topic of “human rights obligations” in the treaty, a proposal that both China and Iran opposed.
“Creating specific treaties for cyber warefare . . . while they may be well-intentioned, they would really be the wrong sort of solution for this kind of problem,” Casaretto declared. “It may actually encourage the very type of activity that it really wants to constrain.” He elaborated that the nature of acts of espionage and other covert actions is unenforceable, and feels that any treaty would also be unenforceable.
In regards to human rights, Casaretto stated, “The internet is designed to be free, to remain free . . . we need to be sure that things like SOPA and such legislation that tries to control what people are doing . . . such regulation is excessive.”
In other hacking news, the Federal Reserve reported yesterday that one of its internal websites had been briefly breached by hackers. According to Casaretto, the hacktivist group Anonymous took credit for the hack, saying it was part of their Operation Last Resort (OpLastResort). He expects the activities to continue, noting the government’s slow response to the situation. See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and John Casaretto on the Morning NewsDesk Show.