GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE
In its report to Congress last year, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission called Chinese cyber-espionage a major threat to U.S. technology. "China is aggressively pursuing cyber warfare capabilities that may provide it with an asymmetric advantage against the United States," the commission warned. As everything from health-care services to credit-card records to classified military information moves into a networked age, the risk that our digital systems could be crippled by outside attackers -- or worse, pillaged for sensitive information -- is very real. The commission report cited vulnerable American targets such as the electric grid and the municipal-waste, air-traffic-control, banking and Social Security systems. Before leaving office in January, President Bush authorized the creation of a National Cyber Security Center under the Department of Homeland Security, and in February, President Obama's budget proposal called for giving the department $355 million to secure private- and public-sector cyber-infrastructure.....
From China, where I've lived for four years, this assessment looks spot-on. Hackers are pervasive, their imprint inescapable. There are hacker magazines, hacker clubs and hacker online serials. A 2005 Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences survey equates hackers and rock stars, with nearly 43 percent of elementary-school students saying they "adore" China's hackers. One third say they want to be one. This culture thrives on a viral, Internet-driven nationalism. The post-Tiananmen generation has known little hardship, so rather than pushing for democracy, many young people define themselves in opposition to the West. China's Internet patriots, who call themselves "red hackers," may not be acting on direct behalf of their government, but the effect is much the same.
Henderson says he's found nothing to show a direct connection between the central government and civilian hacker groups. But he emphasizes that the relationship between citizen and state is fluid in China, and that the Chinese government tends not to prosecute hackers unless they attack within China. To Henderson, that lack of supervision is tacit approval, and it constitutes a de facto partnership between civilian hackers and the Chinese government.
But the largest unifying characteristic is nationalism. In a 2005 Hong Kong Sunday Morning Post article, a man identified as "the Godfather of hackers" explains, "Unlike our Western [hacker] counterparts, most of whom are individualists or anarchists, Chinese hackers tend to get more involved with politics because most of them are young, passionate, and patriotic." Nationalism is hip, and hackers -- who spearhead nationalist campaigns with just a laptop and an Internet connection -- are figures to revere....
CHINA REVERES THEIR HACKERS USA FEARS THEIR HACKERS, AND TRIES TO SUBSTITUTE WHITE HATS, A POOR FACSIMILE. G
Jack Linchuan Qiu, a communications professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who spent the 2001 hacker war logged into mainland forums, agrees. "Chinese hackerism is not the American 'hacktivism' that wants social change," he says. "It's actually very close to the state. The Chinese distinction between the private and public domains is very small." Chinese entrepreneurs returning from working in Silicon Valley, Qiu says, sometimes comply with government requests to provide filtering technology to China's Internet police. Homegrown hackers might just as easily be recruited to write viruses or software for the People's Liberation Army.
Ultimately, hackers with loose government connections may be more frightening than state-sponsored cyberwarfare. According to Lewis, "The government at a minimum tolerates them. Sometimes it encourages them. And sometimes it tasks them and controls them." In the end, he says, "it's easy for the government to turn on and hard to turn off."
"These rogue groups are missing oversight," Henderson says. "When a situation is approaching critical mass" -- if, for instance, these hackers decide to abandon simple vandalism and start gunning for Social Security numbers or classified information -- "who's the guy who pulls back and says, 'No, we don't go any further'?"
IN MY OWN CYBER BATTALION WE HAVE DEFINITIVE LINES WHICH ARE NEVER CROSSED. CROSSING THOSE
BOUNDARIES WOULD MAKE US SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION. WHILE I DON'T FEAR THE TERRORIST, OR CHINESE
HACKERS, I DO FEAR THE FBI
Internet Anthropologist Think Tank:
This scares me. terrorist don't scare me.
. PART OF THE REASON USA FINDS ITS SELF BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD
IN CYBER WARFARE IS ITS REFUSAL TO USE HACKERS. WHILE THE REST OF THE WORLD EMBRACES AND'
EMPLOYS THEM. HACKERS CAN BE CONTROLLED, BROUGHT TO HEEL AND TRACKED AND CHECKED. G.
CHINA CULTIVATES, ENCOURAGES AND TRAINS HACKERS. WHILE USA TRYS TO GET BY WITH SECOND RATE
WHITE HATS. TO BE FAIR WH ARE NOT SECOND RATE, BUT ARE BEING ASKED TO DO WORK OUTSIDE THEIR
PRACTICAL PARADIGM. G.
......It was impossible to deduce the exact nature of Peng's new job. Based on the flyer, he was working for the Shanghai government, not for the national intelligence service. But such an arrangement supported Henderson's assessment of China's informal government-hacker relationship, providing evidence that after hackers cut their teeth on nationalist campaigns, the government might hire them to take on freelance work......
SOURCED FROM HERE:
PRIVATE CIVILIAN CYBER BATTALIONS MAY BE THE ANSWER TO CHINA'S HACKING MASSES?
"tit for tat"