When I think of ordering Chinese, I think of General Tso's, chicken and broccoli, and shrimp fried rice. However, today you can order a zero=day with a side of malware. Yes, that's right, our number-one trading partner in the Pacific Rim, China, is also the number one cyber-crime country.
According to security experts, the reason why China has become such a Malware giant is because its economy has tanked and so many IT professionals are out of work. Like every other country, China has been hit hard by the global recession. 130 million provincial Chinese workers moved to the cities with the promise of work. The Central Communist Party School estimates that 20 percent to 30 percent of these workers have found themselves unemployed. Intel closed a plant earlier this year and eliminated over 5,000 jobs. Lenovo eliminated 4000 jobs, and Motorola eliminated 8,000 jobs so far this year with many more layoffs to come.
China has a population of 1.3 billion people. There are approximately 800 million who are part of the labor force in some way. The jobless rate is roughly at 4.2 percent this year. There will be 7.1 million college graduates this year with an estimated 12 percent graduate unemployment rate. We are talking about a large number of people that are highly trained, unemployed and have nothing to do. And as they say, "idle hands are the devil's workshop."
In 2008, StopBadWare.org noted that of 213,000 Web sites analyzed, 52 percent of malware-infected sites came from China. When we talk about how difficult it is to stay on top of the latest viruses, worms, vulnerabilities, security patches, anti-virus software and everything else you want to put under the umbrella of security, it's easy to see the potential number of attackers you are up against.
Now, in all fairness, not all unemployed Chinese workers are the 'bad guys', but I wouldn't want to get on their bad side.
Throughout history, China has been a country that has always been a leader. It's unfortunate that now they are the leaders in malware.