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China Behind 96% of All Cyber-Espionage Data Breaches, Verizon Report Claims 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-big-or-go-home dept.
colinneagle writes "Verizon's 2013 Data Breach Investigation Report is out and includes data gathered by its own forensics team and data breach info from 19 partner organizations worldwide. China was involved in 96% of all espionage data-breach incidents, most often targeting manufacturing, professional and transportation industries, the report claims. The assets China targeted within those industries included laptop/desktop, file server, mail server and directory server, in order to steal credentials, internal organization data, trade secrets and system info. A whopping 95% of the attacks started with phishing to get a toehold into their victim's systems. The report states, 'Phishing techniques have become much more sophisticated, often targeting specific individuals (spear phishing) and using tactics that are harder for IT to control. For example, now that people are suspicious of email, phishers are using phone calls and social networking.' It is unknown who the nation-state actors were in the other 4% of breaches, which the report says 'may mean that other threat groups perform their activities with greater stealth and subterfuge. But it could also mean that China is, in fact, the most active source of national and industrial espionage in the world today.'" The report also notes that financially-motivated incidents primarily came from the U.S. and various Eastern European countries.
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China Behind 96% of All Cyber-Espionage Data Breaches, Verizon Report Claims

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  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @02:50PM (#43528169)

    I kind of envy having a government so willing to go to bat for its native industry that it's willing to go as far as to steal IP for them. In my country, the government is more than happy to sit back and watch all its industries outsource and lay off everyone, and nationalism is regarded as a bad word. China, if nothing else, believes in China.

    • by gl4ss (559668) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:01PM (#43528277) Homepage Journal

      they just have so many people and not so many things to order them to do. but imagine the disappointment when they spend two man years to phish something trivial they then notice they already had since they had been producing the fucking thing for five years!

      aaanyhow.. even westerners would be better off bouncing their attacks through china.

      • by noh8rz10 (2716597)
        yeah, it's no secret that china is playing hardball and lowball, for what purpose it's not clear. but don't install those huawei switch equipment or use their usb modems!
    • by onyxruby (118189)

      Sit back and watch! Who are you kidding, we don't sit back and watch we provide significant tax incentives dammit! Move it, move it, get those jobs out of here!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:26PM (#43528545)

      You're drawing a false distinction between China's government and it's industries. Companies in China essentially *are* part of the government.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      What makes you think the US isn't doing the same? There have been complaints from European companies for decades that the US was spying on them, and it is safe to assume that anything worth stealing that China develops would be a target as well.

      There was an article today about how China is well ahead of the US in renewable energy. China is deploying a deep water thermal differential power plant, the largest of its kind. China has faster trains than anything in the US, even if the signalling system isn't so

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        The difference is, in countries like China (and I think #2 is actually Israel, or at least they used to be WAY up there in espionage in the US)...it is state sponsored.

        In the US, it is largely left up to the private industry. Any US spying, stays mostly in govt hands, things learned by the US govt isn't given freely to US industries.

        The opposite is true in these other countries.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by s.petry (762400)

          The difference is, in countries like China (and I think #2 is actually Israel, or at least they used to be WAY up there in espionage in the US)...it is state sponsored.

          In the US, it is largely left up to the private industry. Any US spying, stays mostly in govt hands, things learned by the US govt isn't given freely to US industries.

          Pure speculation, and not even "good" speculation. The fact is, you know very little about what the US Government does with it's data. The reason for this is that nearly all of the spying we do is classified as State secrets. I'd bet you a dozen donuts that the US does way more spying than China. Maybe not domestically, but our foreign espionage would dwarf China.

          The difference is really, that you are told that China is full of bad guys. You are told that the US is full of heroes saving the world from

          • by gtall (79522) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @04:31PM (#43529267)

            Your whole reply was pure speculation, unless the government has been giving you the memos, stop reading Mother Jones. You whole argument is that (1) you don't know what the government is doing, (2) therefore it is lying to you. Brilliant, Einstein.

            • by s.petry (762400)

              I never claimed the Government was lying, I said that it's a fact our Government spies on people and we have no facts due to classifications for nearly every aspect of our espionage. Therefor, mister lack of basic English reading and comprehension skills, I did not speculate.

              Me pointing out facts without the propaganda you normally get does not make my facts incorrect. It makes you look like an imbecile.

              You believethat the US spying is all for the greater good. I make no such assumption. I never assumed

          • I really wish people with mod points would read the guidelines. It would save me from reporting it.
      • by k6mfw (1182893)

        What makes you think the US isn't doing the same? There have been complaints from European companies for decades that the US was spying on them...

        heh, I was talking with someone, Japanese-American, and she remembered way back when the Germans complained, "US takes our first-class scientists, Soviets take our second-class scientists, and we're stuck with third-class scientists!"

      • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @05:23PM (#43529911)
        The difference is that from what I've seen of Asian corporate culture (I worked there for a couple years), it is not taboo to steal IP from competitors. In fact it's more or less considered normal albeit unspoken. It's not unusual for an employee who refuses to do it to be let go for other unspecified reasons.

        You've seen the stories over and over. Like how the Chinese government required Siemens to contract with Chinese companies to manufacture high speed trains, then once the companies had "acquired" enough technical knowledge to do it themselves they dumped Siemens. It makes me facepalm every time I read about some naive Western tech company eager to do business in China bending over backwards to please the Chinese government, like lambs to the slaughter, thinking that a few pieces of paper promising their IP is safe will protect them.

        In the late 20th century, this behavior was pretty much localized to the region. But now with the Internet, the behavior can reach around the globe. Those of you who think Western companies are the epitome of evil are in for a rude shock, once you see the no-holds-barred style of capitalism practiced in the East.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I kind of envy having a government so willing to go to bat for its native industry that it's willing to go as far as to steal IP for them. In my country, the government is more than happy to sit back and watch all its industries outsource and lay off everyone, and nationalism is regarded as a bad word. China, if nothing else, believes in China.

      China is playing the Long Game, they've been at it for thousands of years. It should be no surprise you hear them say one thing while they vigorously do another, the hacking into Ameirican servers are merely there to throw the US off balance. Ultimately there is an opport

      Oh we love, love, love Chairman Mao!
      He's our saviour, our martyr, moral compass and soul
      We dream about him with each rice bowl!
      All the time he took, writing his little red book
      How much better he was than that old KMT schnook
      Oh, we love, love, love Chairman Mao and howwwww!

      unity to learn the weaknesses of western systems to build better defences against attacks.

      • by jandrese (485)
        I always think it is weird when people applaud China for playing the long game, when so many of their policies seem focused on making them look explosive in the short term but crippling them in the long term. The One Child policy for instance has created an enormous glut of working age people with few dependents that will become a tremendous burden on the country when they reach retirement age. The One Child policy combined with traditional values is also creating a tremendous imbalance in the genders, wi
        • The One Child policy for instance has created an enormous glut of working age people with few dependents that will become a tremendous burden on the country when they reach retirement age.

          When you've got 1.3 billion people in a country the size of the US, overpopulation is a much bigger long term issue than having a high retiree/worker ratio for a while. If your productivity increases enough, a given number of retirees will actually be less of a burden on a smaller but more productive work force than they would be on a larger but less productive workforce. What do you think noodle robots are for?

          The One Child policy combined with traditional values is also creating a tremendous imbalance in the genders, with almost 20% more boys than girls born.

          That's a different story, though AFAIK the government's problem arises from an inability to stop

          • by jandrese (485)
            China has a lot of people, but it also has a lot of land area. The population density of China is 365 people per square mile, which puts it nowhere near the top worldwide. Compare this with Italy at 512 people per square mile or Germany at 609 people per square mile or the UK at 650 people per square mile. Neighboring Taiwan is all the way up at 1,849 people per square mile.
      • unity to learn the weaknesses of western systems to build better defences against attacks

        Why bother? Big countries more readily destroy themselves than they can be attacked from the outside. That's how the US won the Cold War. Truman announced a containment strategy and eventually the USSR just imploded. Takes longer but it gets a lot fewer people killed that a hot war.

        The US is happily destroying itself with its short-term self-parasitic thinking. Undoubtedly China will find a way to destroy itself from within (as it has many times in the past).

  • What part of Nigeria is China in?

  • But their robots make a fine bowl of noodles!
  • What do all of these network/data breaches say about the overall state of security of connected systems? Regardless of who is behind them, all can't be blamed on mismanagement.
  • Serious question.
    Any takers?

  • by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:08PM (#43528347) Homepage
    was divided among local, state and federal government in their tireless quest to shit all over the middle east and shred the constitution.
    • Hey, from my observation, the middle east is quite capable of sh!tting all over itself without our assistance.

      And thanks for explaining why my state and local governments can't even come up with the money to fix potholes -- they're spending it all shredding the Constitution and sending the rest to Israel!

      --
      Good people go to bed earlier.
      (really good people take their meds *every* night!)
  • How many companies in the US have branches in China? How many of those put any kind of firewalling, other than any-any in the VPNs connecting those branches? Yup.

  • Just because they are siphoning up and stealing our tech secrets doesn't mean they don't love us.

    Or at least our money.

  • Block all of China? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:29PM (#43528581)

    I have a dumb question: If your company does not depend on doing business with China, why not block their entire country within your firewall? My current company has no dealings with China, so I've blocked their national IP address range. My spam/attacks have gone down almost 90% since doing so. I did the same with Russia and most of the former Soviet nations.

  • DenyHosts Report (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @03:36PM (#43528633) Homepage Journal

    Added the following hosts to /etc/hosts.deny:
     
    [chinese address]

    [repeat dozens of times per day]

    At some point, you realize that the only time you ever communicate with that part of the Net, is when you're receiving an attack of some sort. Before long, "The Great Firewall of China" isn't going to be something installed by the Chinese government; it's something the rest of us will have done.

    Hmm... maybe that was the government's devious plan to combat internal dissent and external influences, all along!

    • by game kid (805301)

      Yup, sounds like a remarkably effective and easy plan. Many computers there have Windows "so [they] could be useful" [slashdot.org], and 5 will get ya 10 that they're not "Genuine" and also unpatched, so China can take control of them and send attacks through them (or just change the logs on the hacked PC to trace back to the compy of the unsuspecting Evil Capitalist Pig who said one too many bad words about their boss-slash-covert domestic spy on social_media_outlet). The CCP has Evidence(tm) to forced-labor the Pig, U

  • How much Cyber-Espionage is going in the other direction....
  • While watching ssh brute force on some of my systems I found myself blocking whole subnets based in China. I also discovered some in the US. Long before this one of my machines (old slax bootable CD) at home had been attacked itself and used as a stepping stone for hacker for the few hours it had gone unnoticed, a slow internet has the advantage of when I hacker was on it would get unbearably slow. I rebuilt that machine even looking for MBR trojans. However a sufficiently fast internet might not be bogged
  • This story may well be true, but I'm going to have to hear it from someone other than Verizon. They have not proven to be a reliable source of information about anything.

  • iptables -A INPUT -m geoip --src-cc CH -j DROP

    Admittedly not at all sufficient, but it really should be a default.

  • Sorry. Just a little skeptical here. I don't doubt that China does its share, but I'm guessing that it's pretty easy to make it look like an attack is coming from China even if it originates from Boise, Idaho.

    • And everybody chooses to make it look like their attacks are coming from China? Ok, it's trendy now, but how did it get to be that way? Why not the former Soviet countries or something?
      • Well, compare our trade deficits and find out for yourself. Hey, if Godwin owed Hitler money, wouldn't he come up with a Law to make him seem evil so he could default on the loan?
      • Because there are a lot more computers in China than everywhere else?
  • ... since even Verizon is involved in the scam operations of TTI National (they own this company that does false billing of fake accounts).

  • Now that's just racist! That's like saying 99% of the world's terrorism is perpetrated by radial Islamists! How can you be so bigoted?
  • How much percentage points of GDP growth do they have more than if they didn't do this cyber espionage, I'm wondering?

    For example, does hacking into a high-tech factory's servers allow them to immediately create a duplicate factory with trained staff that functions just as well?

  • I must be stupid, because to my understanding, the IP addresses an attack originated from is highly likely not the IP addresses of the attackers. I mean, there are things such as proxies, bots, zombies, etc. The only way to figure out where the attacks really came from is to go upstream at least one level and conduct forensic analysis of those machines. I am almost certain that Verizon didn't do that.
  • What is the Chinese social equivalent of the 30-year old hacker still living in Mom's basement?
  • Wo Fat is behind this.

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