Thursday, January 14, 2010

Google in China - 2

Nicholas Kristof, fluent in Chinese, Pulitzer winner has written a fine column here.

In it he said, among other things, he could offer no proof that the Chinese officialdom was behind the global cyber attack by hackers traced back to China. He was being a bit too circumspect. I am sure he knew better. etter.

Two items. No cyber attacks could be launched on a global basis without powerful computers and a small army of hackers working together. In China that means official backing. If these geeks were "independents", they would be reading novels in prisons and writing confessions.

Second. Anyone familiar with the software industry and Chinese education should know the Chinese government, more precisely the military and the intelligence departments, have been recruiting and grooming young talents all over the country putting them through special software schools, normally 3 years in duration, with the focused agenda of turning them into world class hackers.

These schools only take the best. Money, scholarships, living allowances, all that are not an issue.

They are likely prodigy schools. If this reminds you of how the former USSR and China, still, recruit athletes to compete in the Olympics, you get the idea.

Newsweek had a cover story a few years back documenting how the Pentagon servers had been hacked into for over 20 years before that leak was discovered and plugged. This is just one incident to suggest how much more advanced China officialdom is vis-a-vis US officialdom in applying computer science to national security! Surprised? Don't be.

US has been selling sophisticated hardware to China and its universities have been training many PhDs in computer sciences many of whom return to China to serve the country.

But more to the point, the government in China is putting money and effort to build a cyber army the world has never imagined possible. In this US is "primitive" by comparison.

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