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Hackers Flex Growing Cyber Muscle in China

Trojan horses don’t just rear their heads in ancient Greek mythology, as Chinese Internet search engine Baidu learned the hard way. In a classic assault, hackers launched a carefully planned attack on the firm last week by first installing a rogue program on computers used by one of its trading partners. That program soon began calling on Baidu’s Web site at a rate of more than 1,000 times per second, effectively blocking out everyone else for 60 hours. The Baidu case, chronicled this week on an official Chinese Web site, was just one in a growing tide of cyber attacks against Chinese firms, whose rapid computerization and relative lack of technological savvy make them particularly vulnerable. A staggering 84 percent of firms in China reported at least one cyber attack this year, up from 59 percent in 2002, according to a recent survey by Evans Data Corp. The survey found that nearly 60 percent of Chinese respondents experienced three or more attacks in the last year. “It’s quite prolific,” said Eric Ashdown, director of Ernst & Young’s technology and security risk services practice for China. Full Story

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