On the web front
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- Jaganmohan's wife attacks CBI, accuses it of working at Congress behest
- Blast accused death: UP govt seeks CBI probe, FIR against 42 persons
Recent revelations in the American media about the involvement of the Chinese military in cyber attacks against the United States have attracted much attention — not because such unfriendly acts are news, but because for the first time, accusations of Chinese misdeeds are accompanied by well-documented evidence gathered by an independent party (in this case, an American computer security company called Mandiant, which was hired by The New York Times to defend the paper against Chinese cyber attacks after it published investigative reports on the enormous wealth accumulated by the family members of the Chinese premier). In other words, one might say that the Chinese military was caught red-handed.
The Chinese government, of course, does not see things the same way. Its military has countered with its own evidence, showing over 100,000 recent cyber attacks against Chinese military websites, most of them originating in the US.
This unfolding US-China duel in cyberspace is a stark reminder that not only is the strategic rivalry between the world's two most powerful countries becoming full-fledged, but it could also spread into dangerous territories if neither side sets the minimum rules of engagement.
It has been known for a long time that the Chinese government has a comprehensive and, by some accounts, extremely aggressive, programme to build cyber offensive capabilities. What sets the Chinese programme apart from those of other major countries is its scale and scope. Data compiled by the American technology firm, Akamai, which tracks web trafficking, shows that roughly one-third of all cyber attacks originate in China (compared to under 15 per cent for the US). Based on volume, China can easily qualify as the world's most active cyber attacker. Cyber attacks launched from China are also distinct in the wide scope of their targets, ranging from American government institutions and its military establishment to its commercial enterprises, newspapers, thinktanks, and US-based Chinese dissident groups. This is another piece of evidence suggesting that such attacks have clear guidance from China's civilian leadership and are unlikely to be rogue operations by freelancers. Among the most damning evidence uncovered by Mandiant is that Chinese cyber attackers begin work at 8 am, Beijing time, and take weekends off, suggesting that they are employees of companies or government agencies based in China.
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