When Google pulled up stakes in China following cyberattacks on user
, it became clear that Web security in the People's Republic
left something to be desired
. But as The New York Times explains this
, China's hackers are more than just a smattering of mischievous
whiz kids--they make up a bona fide stratum of society. Their loyalties are numerous and complicated, with some hacking for fun, others for sport, and some out of patriotic fervor. More and more Americans, in light
of recent events, are seeing the potential for real trouble in the
hacking subculture's controlled chaos.
- Worst-Case Scenarios John Yemma
at The Christian Science Monitor lists the ways that hackers could do
America lasting financial damage. "The ongoing cost of cyber-spying is
lost jobs and higher energy
prices. McAfee, the anti-virus software firm, estimated that $1
trillion was stolen from companies and individuals via the Internet in
2008. And the cost could be much worse if relations between the US and
China deteriorate: Commerce could be disrupted, power-grids
compromised, and sensitive data lost."
- What the Cloud Obscures Mike Elgan
at Computerworld, ambivalent about the growing popularity of cloud
computing, sees the Google withdrawal as a warning we should heed. "It
seems as if everyone is moving everything to the cloud. Meanwhile,
sophisticated organizations out there are figuring out how to exploit
cloud vulnerabilities to harvest valuable secrets. And if Google can't
stop them, what chance do you or I have?"
- Not a Smart Time, Not a Smart Move The New York Times' Thomas Friedman
notes that with Sino-American tensions already high for other reasons,
cyber-crime could permanently sour business relationships between the
two countries. "How many U.S. companies in the future will ever want to
Chinese-made software or computer systems, which might only make it
easier for Beijing to penetrate their businesses? This hacking story is
huge and brewing."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
aeichler at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.