DHARAMSHALA, January 24: China is the world’s largest source of cyber attacks, accounting for a third of all the cyberattacks in the third quarter of 2012, a new report has found.
Approximately 33 percent of attack traffic originated in China between July and September 2012, double the percentage in the previous quarter, Akamai Technologies said in its latest State of the Internet report published Wednesday.
"China remained far and away the top traffic source," the report said, which has consistently found China the top source of attack activity since the end of 2011.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, corporate espionage, especially computer-data heists, has become a common practice in China. In 2010, Google accused China of executing an attack against the company’s internal network. According to Wired.com, the hackers were seeking source codes from not only Google, but Adobe and several other companies.
Akamai in its report provided details on “Operation Ababil,” a series of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against financial institutions towards the end of the third quarter.
The internet providers said the amount of attack traffic that was seen during these DDoS attacks was about 60 times larger (as high as 65 Gbps) than the greatest amount of traffic that it had seen before from other activist-related attacks.
In September last, security software company AlienVault made rare revelations linking the long-running malware assault on Tibetan groups with a Chinese programmer connected to the Chinese government.
Although Tibetan groups have long been the target of highly sophisticated and well-funded cyber attacks, security firms and researchers had stopped short of naming Chinese firms or hackers in China for the relentless assaults.
However, AlienVault, while researching PlugX RAT Trojan’s binaries, had noticed similarities in some of the software’s debug paths with a programme distributed by a Chinese company based in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.
Security software maker Symantec had also last year noted that Tibet advocacy groups were amongst the top targets of a hacker group that attacked Google.
“The second most common group of targets was non-government organisations involved in Tibetan human rights issues,” Eric Chien, a manager in Symantec said while hinting at the involvement of a nation-state in the large network of hackers.