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Report: 96 percent of the world's cyber espionage is due to China

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 25th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

As the world's emerging economic and technological giants, China apparently feels it's still necessary to steal ideas from everyone else. Those are the conclusions from a recent report, saying that a whopping 96 percent of all cyber espionage can be laid at this nation's feet.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Cyber espionage cases targeting intellectual property and business trade secrets were attributed to "threat actors in China," according to the "2013 Data Breach Investigations Report," which is issued by Verizon, a large U.S. telecom firm. Who comprises the other four percent is not known.

"This may mean that other threat groups perform their activities with greater stealth and subterfuge," reads the report. "But it could also mean that China is, in fact, the most active source of national and industrial espionage in the world today."

Security experts warn not to jump to conclusions from the report.

"Verizon doesn't explain how they determine that an event is state-sponsored, nor how they distinguish between legitimate attacks originating from China and those which use compromised servers in Chinese IP space," Jeffrey Carr, CEO of Taia Group, a cyber-security firm says. "Hence, any conclusion that they try to draw about the government of China has to be taken with a great degree of skepticism."

Carr says that a lot of the espionage could "actually be the work of non-state actors working in the Chinese IP space." He says he welcomes recent discussions between the U.S. and Chinese official to collaborate on dealing with cyber attacks.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, discussed cybersecurity with his Chinese counterpart, Fang Fenghui, during his visit to China this week. Secretary of State John Kerry also discussed the topic with Chinese leaders during a visit to Beijing earlier this month.

According to Verizon, banks and other financial institutions remain the most targeted among hackers. Manufacturing companies, transportation organizations and utility companies have also been targeted.

Verizon's data was compiled from numerous sources, including U.S. and foreign incident response teams and companies that have engaged Verizon to perform cyber work.

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