Let's NOT Order Chinese

Ralph DeFrangesco

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.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Apr 16, 2009 6:00 PM Beowoelf Beowoelf  says:

Or ... its part of a low cost, sophisticated coordinated government sanctioned policy to allow and encourage information gathering.

As mentioned, when you have so many expending individual or team effort to clandestinely acquire research from Corporations, other Governements as well as develop offensive/defensive cyber techniques to perform them. ... you also have a wealth of talented, motivated corp of cyber-warriors.

Lets face it, much of the Great leap has been fueled by ignoring copyrights, stolen research for sources in the west. Thats not to say that the application of that knowledge hasn't been both rapid and effective - its also a fact that bypassing all the failures and only needing to pursue the avenues that yeild results - saves time, talent and costs.

Apr 16, 2009 7:02 PM Lawrence Sheed Lawrence Sheed  says:

Lets revise this shall we, with actual figures.

The country with most infected computers/servers is actually the USA, China comes in 3rd after Brazil, although Germany is pretty close to tying for 3rd.

So, after rewrite, this inflammatory piece should look as follows:

According to security experts, the reason why the US has become such a malware giant, is because its economy has tanked.

Yup, sounds good. 

On a less sarcastic note, hard documentary evidences shows that  malware/botnets are definitively run by the Russians.

For a much better look at this, check some of the better malware blogs and articles.

http://blog.fireeye.com/ (analysis of Malware / Botnet)







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