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A snapshot of the Chinese hacking scene

Symantec has put out a new report that takes an interesting look at the Chinese hacking scene.
In recent years, Symantec noted in an emailed summary of the report, China has become a focal point in network security around the world.

“China s prominence is driven by the high number of Internet users (approximately 137 million as of 2006), as well as the rapid growth in the country s Internet infrastructure and technology advancement,” the antivirus giant said. “Inevitably, hacking communities emerged and hacking activities escalated.”

According to the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report Trends for July-December 2006, China was the second highest country for malicious activity, accounting for 10% of all worldwide malicious activity. The Chinese hacking scene is clearly an active one, Symantec said.

“Numerous noted security researchers and hackers are Chinese. These individuals and groups are known for discovering vulnerabilities, writing exploit code, and developing sophisticated hacking techniques,” Symantec added. “In this report, we provide an overview of the Chinese hacking scene, detailing who the players are, what they have done, and the trends of Chinese activity in the global hacking scene. We also include a list of high-profile hacking incidents linked to Chinese hackers to show that the country is one of the most recognized international black-hat nations.”

We’ve already seen what Chinese hackers can do from the Titan Rain attacks. Titan Rain was the code name U.S. investigators attached to a series of attacks in which Chinese Web sites targeted computer networks in the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies, compromising hundreds of unclassified networks.

Though classified information hasn’t been taken, officials worry that even small, seemingly insignificant bits of information can paint a valuable picture of an adversary’s strengths and weaknesses when pulled together.

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