The Chinese Cyber Menace: The Register

On Dec. 24th, 2011, John Leyden wrote for the Register about Chinese cyber-espionage.  I'm going to summarize a few of the article's points:

  • The article claims that Chinese cyber-espionage is grounded in a government plan titled Program 863.  Program 863 basically aims to make "Chinese industry financially independent of foreign technology."  However, the program has been used to promote the development of Chinese cyberwar and cyber-espionage capabilities.  In this sense, Program 863 has made Chinese industry independent of foreign technology by…well, stealing foreign technology. 
  • N. Korea is also developing a cyber-expertise similar to the Chinese, but thankfully, the Chinese do not collaborate with other countries.  According to the article, the Chinese view their cyber-capability as "something they are not willing to share."
  • There is apparently a relationship between Chinese criminal hacking groups (some with ties to the Triads) and state-sponsored, patriotic hacking groups (named the Red Hacker Alliance).  The article claims that the Chinese government prefers freelance hackers for "plausible deniability."
  • China is not the only country conducting cyber-espionage against the US, and espionage is not something new.  The internet has just added a new dimension to espionage.

The article ended with a great quote from cyber-expert Marcus Carey: "countries that aren't engaging in espionage aren't trying hard enough!"  I remember that both cyber-expert James Lewis and Gen. Michael Hayden said that the US engages in cyber-espionage, but does not steal industrial secrets.  Accepting those statement as true (which may be naive), should the US steal foreign industrial secrets as a component of its cyber-espionage?  Obviously the official answer is no, and the moral answer is no, and I'm not aware of any relationship between criminal hacking groups and the US government that would facilitate such cyber-espionage.  Yet, as Russia, and China, and even our allies conduct industrial espionage against the US, why are we on our high horse?

The source article can be found here.

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography

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