Information Warfare: March 7, 2005

Archives

China is putting more effort into its cyberwar capabilities. Many of the Chinese spies detected in the United States have been seeking information that would assist a cyberwar attack via the Internet. An increasing number of prominent Chinese hackers (or honkers as they call themselves) are disappearing into government and military organizations known to be fronts for cyberwar research. Individuals and organizations thought to be representing China have been showing on the Internet underground, offering good prices for exploits (flaws in Internet software that can allow hackers to secretly enter, or even take over, PCs connected to the Internet.) China also buys exploit information from legitimate computer security firms, but does it through front corporations. These exploits are the raw material cyberwarriors use to built cyberwar weapons. Most exploits have a short shelf life, for once the software manufacturer knows of the problem, they fix it. But in the weeks or months it takes for the flaw to be fixed, computers using the affected software are vulnerable. Even after software patches have been issued, it takes months before the majority of users fix their software, and some users never get around to fixing the problems until they upgrade to a new version of the software, or otherwise stop using it. China is also making itself less vulnerable to these weapons by switching from the use of Microsoft software (which has the most exploits available) for Linux (which has much less vulnerability.) Microsoft is the most vulnerable because, world wide, it is used on 90 percent of PCs. Linux does not have as much specialized software available for it, but this is not a problem for most government and commercial users in China. This shift from Microsoft to Linux has been going on for nearly five years, and most new software written in China is for Linux, not Microsoft, systems.

 


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close