Hackers Find China Is Land of Opportunity

Description: Name a target anywhere in China, an official at a state-owned company boasted recently, and his crack staff will break into that person’s computer, download the contents of the hard drive, record the keystrokes and monitor cellphone communications, too.

Source: nytimes.com

Date: May 22, 2013


The culture of hacking in China is not confined to top-secret military compounds where hackers carry out orders to pilfer data from foreign governments and corporations. Hacking thrives across official, corporate and criminal worlds. Whether it is used to break into private networks, track online dissent back to its source or steal trade secrets, hacking is openly discussed and even promoted at trade shows, inside university classrooms and on Internet forums.

The Ministry of Education and Chinese universities, for instance, join companies in sponsoring hacking competitions that army talent scouts attend, though “the standards can be mediocre,” said a cybersecurity expert who works for a government institute and handed out awards at a 2010 competition.  READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1. Why do feel the Chinese Government encourages HACKING, while in the west ,we see it as a bad thing?

2. What do you think would help change this culture in China with regards to their view of Hackers, so that it becomes more congruent with the West?


31 thoughts on “Hackers Find China Is Land of Opportunity

  1. Litchi Peng

    In my opinion, in china, the sense of copyright is not that clearly. Most of them do not have the conscious to protect some information. In China, you can download free music and movies and find any sources on the Internet you want. Actually, to be honest, I think it is very easy and convenient. Everybody share the same source. I guess this is a little bit about our traditional cultural. The personal conscious is not that explicitly. There is no doubt that China has huge markets since there is a large population. However, there are not too many people accept educations. Even nowadays, there are lots of people in china do not know what the internet is and how it works. Western country has more conscious to protect own information and resources. In addition, in china, there is a kind of hackers protect the profit of country. They love the county, peace, and nations, so they try to safeguard common interests for country.
    I do not think people should help change this culture in china with regards to their views of Hackers. Besides, I do not think China has to become more congruent with the west. Since I am a Chinese, I came here to study and I actually suffered lot of culture shocks. I realized that something especially culture is really hard to change. Culture is a thing that represents specific characteristics of a nation. Cultures are difficult to revise. It is a root of a nation. Therefore, why we should change to congruent with the west. Even some cultures are far behind compared to others, it takes time to let a nation realize.

  2. Yaqian Diao

    In my opinion, everything has two aspects of effect: the good and the bad, as the same as hacking. As we know, in the past, hackers are those software crackers, who are the highly skilled computer experts with the great enthusiasm about computer technology, especially programmers. However, nowadays in common, hackers mean who use system vulnerabilities to attack the network to destroy or steal data. There are lots of network crime and realignments on the Internet. If there are no people understanding information technology, which person can come to find the criminals, and even defend the crimes? I am not sure whether China really encourage hacking or not. I just believe that hackers also can make a contribution to the just cause. Thus, in my point of view, China does not need to change the culture; the government just needs to lead a right tend to use Information technology. If China encourages the people to be proficient in hacking, the government must build the right value for those hackers. Hackers must fight against the network crimes and build safe information systems for the government and the organizations to prevent the data stolen. At the same time, the government should strictly punish the illegal hacking activities.

  3. Blake Bolton

    I’m not overly surprised by this article, This is just pointing a finger at China when I’m pretty sure every country with a large amount of it’s population on this side of the digital divide is doing the exact same thing, ourselves included. Not too long ago I read a very similar article describing the terrors of the growing North Korea cyber warfare team, this isn’t the article but it says much of the same:


    Before long I’m sure we will see another article about India, Pakistan, Russia, or any other country, cultivating hackers for cyber warfare, under the pretext of defense. To me it looks more like deterrence, and escalation. Each country will bolster the number and skill of their hackers in order to deter other countries from performing cyber attacks out of fear of retribution. This will lead to other countries attempting the same thing, which to me is just another arms race.

    I’m not convinced the west does see hacking as a “bad thing”. We even have labels for the so-called good hackers, the White Hats. Are these hackers exempt from the supposed negative connotations that are involved with hacking; just because they are now using their skills for good? And who’s good might that be anyway?

    Going back to the country wide scale, I think the growth in goverments using hackers for cyber warfare is just a new spin on an old political saying by Roosevelt regarding his foreign policy, “Walk softly but carry a big stick.”

  4. Jessica Holmes

    In the west we see hacking as a crime; this is because our societies are built upon the concept of freedoms and within that privacy. People within western societies see it as a crime for their privacy to be exposed and violated; this could be through hacking an individual’s private email, banking or even something as small as opening another persons mail. In China however, the government is still very controlling of their citizens and this is the norm within their society. With technology advancing at an alarming rate and with high amounts of individuals having access to this technology it is almost expected of the Chinese government to have advanced its monitoring techniques as well.

    The only way I believe for the Chinese views on hacking could become consistent with the western view would be for the Chinese to completely re-establish the ways in which they view the freedoms of their citizens. Freedoms which are common within western society are however not seen in China and these freedoms are the only things which make hacking seem unethical within western society.

    Being in the west hacking is seen as an invasion of privacy. However, hacking is still common within the west with the only difference being the fact that it is seen as an activity which is accomplished late at night in a dark basement and should be hidden from the outside world. Where in China it is done during work hours for a hiring firm. The only thing which is causing the difference in the way which the activity is being accomplished is that in the western world it goes against the common freedom rights, which is the only reason it is illegal in the west and not in China.

  5. Liz

    I’m not sure how accurate a judgment I can make about the ‘encouraged’ hacking situation in China from just one source. I think that how we look at this issue largely depends on whether we define hacking as a bad or good activity – is it still criminal if everyone does it? If everyone stole when they needed something or had the desire to use it would it be bad too? I don’t have an answer but I think that we could be making overly large generalizations about this situation. I think too that in the West we are under the illusion that our stuff can ever “safe” from anyone else; whether it’s on the internet, in the bank, in my house, etc. If someone really wants your stuff, they’ll find a way to get it. Maybe in the West we are just too privatized to understand the concept that China is going for. Perhaps because of the structure of China’s society they don’t feel as hostile about other people cracking into their information. The article does list many well-intended uses for this activity as well, including police departments using it to monitor and suppress dissent, among others. I’m not surprised thought that the US Government has made attempts to cast this activity in a negative light; I’m sure the US Government feels threatened by it. By defining China’s activities as “wrong” it changes the way each and every person who reads the article thinks about it and I think it creates a huge bias – based on potentially misleading information. It probably makes a lot of people scared, angry or concerned. Maybe we should be, but maybe we shouldn’t have so much stuff available online to get “hacked” into too. Maybe we should just try to become as smart as the hackers in China so we can either protect our privacy and information from other hackers (from ANY country) in the first place, or, so that we have just as much a capacity to hack information as they do. At the end of the article it also admits that a lot of the hacking done in China is with the “least amount of sophistication necessary” so my impression is that it’s been made to seem much more deviant than it is. I also think its funny how the article doesn’t offer much information as to the extent to which the hacking culture has developed in the West.

  6. Crystal Smallface

    So they can recruit the best hackers available to work for them and provide them with an ally instead of creating more enemies that would work against them and possibly work for other unscrupulous members of society. I think that instead of praising and rewarding hackers the government should become strict like Western societies and punish hackers for the havoc they wreak upon society. I am assuming that the Chinese government condones this behavior because of the population size and the inability to control the masses of people who are hackers. Instead of working against the hackers, the government has decided to work with them which I believe is a direct result of a lack of resources to prevent them from doing wrong. The Chinese government needs to understand that by condoning this type of behavior it opens doors for more criminal activities. Spying or stealing private information is not legal; but to try and change the Chinese government view on this concept may be useless after all they are a communist country and we come from a democratic country where freedom is our right. Our view is definitely different than theirs, so in order to have control over that freedom rules must be imposed to ensure that our society and our country remains safe from outside people who might want to harm us, for example terrorists. We do not know what the Chinese government’s true motives are, but they must know that everyone in the Western world sees this as wrong and makes everyone wonder why they are doing it.

  7. Brad Zhang


    The China Threat Theory or China Conspiracy Theory is very popular in the recent decade especially in western world. It is not hard to find why, as the center of the western world and the only superpower, the United States does not want any country to be able to challenge its dominating position in the world. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States could enjoy its “King of the World” seat even more. However, the fast growth of the People’s Republic of China makes the US government worry about losing its power of controlling the world, so it has to take actions to prevent China, one of the oldest civilizations, to be the strongest country again. Compare with other powers that against the US, China does not use any extreme ways to hurt innocent citizens of western worlds. Oppositely, China was bullied by the westerns for over one hundred years which made Chinese people realize the importance of living equally. However, the US and western world want to control Asians, Africans, and any other parts of the world out of it, so they will never allow China to create a world with real justice and equality. Since ever, the western countries would like to try everything they can to preventing China from getting stronger, internet attack is one of their millions ways. In the culture of China, there is never an encouragement that drives people to steal others’ intellectual property or hacking into others’ computer in nowadays. But Chinese people had to learn the evil IT to protect themselves. In the March of 2013, the US government admitted its hackers hacked the uranium enrichment facility of Iran. This proofs that the US is the biggest country that encourage HACKING. China and other victim countries did nothing more than picking the weapon of US to protect themselves. As a conclusion, the US and the western countries which under its leadership are the real “AXIS OF EVIL” in the world. China does not need to learn anything about attitude to hackers, China has only two options for making the world a better place: 1. Teach the westerns the real definition of a good world and how to make it happen. 2. Remove the axis of evil for the majority of the world.

  8. Tim

    The term hacking is a very broad topic in which we as a society should not label good or bad. Hacking has its obvious benefits and disadvantages. In the case of the Chinese government, i can see their reason for encouraging hacking as China is a communist country. To understand why the west and the east disagree in the topic of hacking, we need to look at a fundamental building block of our society. The socialist state (east) and capitalist state (west) have been in rivalry since the 20th century. The Chinese government encourages hacking because they have the desire to maintain control over their civilians. in the west, the government is more liberal and allow their citizens to have more freedom of choice and privacy. With that being said, when a citizen in the west compares their freedom with a citizen with less freedom, we would generally by instinct declare that it is a bad thing. I feel that there is no certain way for China to be more congruent with the west. It is like comparing apples to oranges. The only way is if China adopts a capitalists type of government. In all reality, this type of radical reform is not going to happen any time soon.

  9. Ahmed Awad

    I think that the Chinese government are doing something that’s very smart. By allowing hacking they can have the advantage of the real hackers. They see the gain of allowing “their” hackers to hack their system rather than falling down when a “real hacker” actually hack their system. Consider this example, if I own a tech-company say I call it “Banana corp”; it would be wise of me to hire some hacker and ask them to hack my system so I can fix it and hopefully prevent future real hacks, and this is essentially what the Chinese government are doing; and what I am really doing is trying to prevent and learn how to future secure my system. Now in the west, they are missing out on this because of some privacy law that they set for themselves and they are saying that they are protecting our privacy( between the westerns only) however if there is an overseas hacking we are incapable of protecting our systems. Essentially it’s either protecting yourself from the outside (like China) or from the inside like the west. Personally it’s much more important to protect our system from both sides but we have to do them both and not only focus on one side. Regardless of the culture, it’s profound that a hacking is bad and becoming a hacker is something that no culture wants. It comes down to, there will always be hackers and we have to protect our systems from them. But its how we look at them is the big difference, the Chinese government looks at hacking as a resource and they use it to their advantage. While the west sees it as bad thing it should be eliminated.

  10. Valentine

    I would say that the Chinese encourage hacking on an unofficial level.They would encourage it at the unofficial level because it can be ignored . That is to say that they can lie and say that they did not have any record of sponsoring hacking . The Chinese do this so that they can climb higher in the areas of military advancement, economic power, and social development. I have not seen one Chinese made innovation that has made an serious impact on how we live our lives in the modern world.Where else in the western world we have seen improvements in warfare such as drones.Which the Chinese are making from copying and hacking secret military sites. We have seen the social media explosion, such as Facebook,twitter,which often at times can be used as tools for hacking into other sites. In conclusion , I think the reason why the Chinese engage in hacking is that they believe that they can get away with it.In other words,they can deny it ever happen.
    The only way that I believe the Chinese can take some steps into fixing their hacking sites,is greater government involvement.Which will probably come if western countries took a more belligerent approach to this matter. Instead of only waving a finger at Beijing which I believe will not facilitate any changes in the china’s approach to hacking .Another way is that Beijing adopt a strict policy ,such as the one they used to limit the family size. This could in some ways mitigate China’s hacking syndrome

  11. Regi rocha

    Hackers Find China is land of opportunity:

    After reading this article I’m not sure that the Chinese Government encourages hacking – I think they just permit I to happen. The article says “an official at a state-owned company boasted recently (that) his crack staff will break into (a) person’s computer, download the contents of the hard drive…”, it also mentions that “senior Chinese officials did not know details about computer work at government agencies.” Therefore while the whole of the Government is not encouraging hacking, it is a practice that does seem to be encouraged in China by the lack of laws or enforcement of laws and through places like the Universities mentioned that hold hacking competitions. I think that China encourages this behavior because they believe this is another tool they can use to monitor their people and keep them in line. I think in the West it is not encouraged and seen as a “bad thing” because we encourage our freedoms, especially freedom of expression and the internet is where a lot of people express themselves.

    I think that too much has to change within the Chinese culture to change the views of Hackers. Probably many of the citizens do not like this because they do nothing wrong on the internet. But if the Government is turning a blind eye to the Hackers and encouraging hacking then the change needs to start with the Government. The country needs to be less controlling and more open to freedoms. I do not think this will happen but if it did, the hacking may decrease or stop all together.

  12. Songxuan Wu

    In my opinion, the Chinese Government encourages development of hacker is a negative behavior, and it is illegal in the worldwide. To some Chinese, they believe that all information and resources should be free and share on the Internet since more and more China’s network companies execute free software in drastic online marketing. Besides, some Chinese don’t have a right view of copyright and the network of view, even they think download is a normal thing. Many teenagers probably feel that Hacker is very cool because most Chinese school did not educate the perniciousness of Hacker.
    I think the Chinese government should help to change this culture in China with regards to their view of Hacker. It is not only good for building an excellent network environment in China, it is also good about extending a proper information system for China’s teenagers in a long term. Even though this ideal condition need much time and cost, it will change China’s negative comment about information sharing in the world. There are some ways about how to solve these problems. Firstly, China’s government must enhance the copyright’s power and make more Chinese people to understand the importance of the regular network environment. Secondly, China’s government must legislate hacker as an illegal behavior, and don’t encourage hacker to steal any information in the worldwide. Lastly, many Chinese don’t have ability to purchase legal copy, so Chinese government had better to control the software’s price that more user would be willing to sustain copyright in the future.

  13. Victoria Wells

    I feel that the profession of hacking is embraced in China because it is seen as yet another form of control and vehicle of control over the people. Due to the often extremely competitive environment in many of these companies, the people see hacking as just another way to be a step above their competitors. In this case specifically, there is the discussion of army scouts that attend hacking competitions at post-secondary institutions to scout for local talent. Hacking is seen as a great skill that requires speed and intelligence to be successful at, and so those who possess these skills are highly sought after. In the age of technology, it’s simply another form of defence that companies and countries can utilize. It provides another avenue for, in this case, the military to gain a competitive and/or strategical advantage over foreign entities and maintain control and security over the country. For companies, hackers test their network defences (whether officially-sanctioned or “illegally”) and provide the opportunities for these companies to then upgrade their defences. As well, hacking provides valuable information about competitors that can be applied to ensure the success of Company A over Company B. In a country like China that has so many people that are technologically-savvy, hacking is inevitable, so why not encourage it and make it a norm so that everyone is aware of the possibilities and therefore level the playing field for all competitors?

    In regards to the Western ideas surrounding hacking, who says that the West is “in the right”? We as Western citizens have certain ideas about hacking (illegal, obviously, as I believe that it should be), but that does not necessarily mean that our beliefs should be adopted globally. Hacking appears to be so mainstream in China that it has become arguably a level playing field for all of those within the country. Here’s a cheesy metaphor to help illustrate my point: It’s like a game where everyone knows the rules and in order to win, must be the best. Western ideas don’t align with the rules of the game. It is a concern, however, when foreign hackers are interfering with global business (evidence of Chinese hackers accessing private blueprints of oil/gas pipelines in North America from Canadian Schneider Electric – major implications for North America) as the West is not “playing the game”. Espionage is making another appearance in the hacking game and it all depends on whether the rest of the world wants to play the game or shut it down. If we were to crack down on the seemingly government-sanctioned hacking, global consequences must be agreed upon in order to turn the idea of hacking from an intellectual game into a universally-admonished illegal activity. While the West cannot control the media, especially the foreign media, there must be a transformation of the glorification of hacking into what it is: an illegal invasion of privacy and theft.

  14. Matthew Malm

    The Chinese Government is often associated with a very cut-throat business environment, where the most successful candidate in terms of results are the ones who receive promotions. The stress of this type of working environment results in the people, who are participating, doing whatever it takes to beat the competition. It is no surprise the Chinese Government is promoting hacking, they obviously want the most talented and effective programmers to hire. When you look at the political structure of China, the majority of the tyrant rule does not take cyber-crime seriously. In many instances over the past year, game developers in the United States have had their Software/Game files copied and sold under a different name. When this was brought to the attention of the Supreme People’s Court, China’s version of the Supreme Court, their verdict was in favor of the Chinese citizen. Also, they stated that there wasn’t adequate security on said software so the susceptibility is up to the developer to fix. This is a perfect example of the government not taking cyber-crime seriously.

    In my opinion, China should really take steps to advertising the end result of hacking on the people that have been affected. For example, they could advertise about the independent software developer that had his company go bankrupt after his software was pirated and he was unable to profit off his work. If this was brought to the attention of public there, they might be more sympathetic towards hacking and the profession would be looked upon as shameful rather than prosperous.

  15. Kristina Madarasz

    I think that the Chinese Government encourages hacking more than in the west because they think they are looking out for public safety. Like the article says, “One force behind the spread of hacking is the government’s insistence on maintaining surveillance over anyone deemed suspicious. So local police departments contract with companies like Xhunter to monitor and suppress dissent, industry insiders say.” This to me tells me that because they think they are maintaining surveillance over anyone who is suspicious, that gives them the right to ignore privacy and hack into wherever they want.

    I think it is also very much a culture thing. It would be very hard to regulate laws in a country of that size with government that thinks it is okay to hack into anyone’s system to see if they are breaking the law or a threat to public safety.

    I do not think that China should copy western culture. Just because what we do in the west works for us does not mean it will work in China because of their huge population and extreme advances in technology than us. China needs to decide what is best for them. Maybe what they are doing now works for them. If it doesn’t, then maybe they should look at cultures that are similar to theirs. For instance, maybe they should look to India for inspiration because they are similar in size and maybe operate the same way. Or maybe they could look into other Asian countries with similar concerns as a country such as suspicious individuals.

  16. Carlie Willimont

    I believe that China encourages and promotes hackers due to their political system. The government strives to have control over the actions and behaviors of their citizens. Therefore maximizing surveillance in both personal and business aspects of the country improves the Governments control. By encouraging hackers throughout the country it shows that no one is capable of having personal files or secrets. I don’t think that’s is possible to change the beliefs of around hacking in China and certainty not make them more congruent of the West. Due to their political system we aren’t just talking about changing the rules or beliefs on hacking but beliefs throughout the nation.

  17. Cameron Pituley

    I feel that the Chinese Government encourages hacking to elevate their political standing in the future. As technology becomes more and more important so does the ability to manipulate and control it. China realizes the power that can be found in hacking and plans to have the largest understanding ability in the field. In the west hacking is seen as a negative thing that only leads to various types of theft and attacks on the government which as a result affect the economy and foreign policy. By encouraging hacking and hackers I see China trying to control information and the effect information can have on the nation be it political or economic. Online security, be it for the government, an individual, or a private or public company, is a priority because of how much information is now stored online. If one nation or one person had access to this unlimited supply of information, countries could be crippled. China is preparing for the next wave in technological advancement and even if they don’t plan on being offensive with the information they gather, the ability to defend against any given attack is important in maintaining the integrity of governments, businesses, and private matters.

    I think that China is going in the right direction with embracing hackers. As long as the government’s hackers are better than those who are hacking with malicious purposes, I think that having a better cyber defense than the next person is a good choice. The west may need to change their culture so that they can be better prepared for hacking threats to come. The more people able to hack, the more potential for growth in the field, and the more improvements- Be them good or bad.

  18. xinying Du

    Nowadays, Hacker is popular in China industries. The reason that Chinese government encourages hacking is because of “government’s insistence on maintaining surveillance over anyone deemed suspicious”. Therefore, companies have a contrast with the government to use hacker. China is a developing country. If China wants to take the lead in the world, they have to hire hacker to make sure that there is no danger in the country industries. They use this strategy to protect their industry. They also want to reduce the unnecessary dangers. In China, hacking is a new occupation for the companies. Many companies give an offer to hackers to spy on competitors which this activity is legal in China. Because hackers always have high intelligence quotient, hiring them is very expensive in China. Even though companies and companies have a very tense competition, this action for hiring hacker to spy on competitors is not ethical. The hackers are very fast to capture news or locations. In China, there is another hacker who is illegal. Those hackers are destroying private information. They steal people’s code or destroy their computer to find some important information. They steal some important information is mainly for profit and other reason is to let other people know the important information. Sometime they can destroy a company’s network. They also can embed virus on the internet. So when people click this site, they will have this virus. Even though hackers have skill hackers and illegal hackers, the activities of hackers are not ethical.

  19. Jill

    As a child I was taught that if I didn’t want anyone to know I did something, then I just shouldn’t do it. That advice certainly is true for online activities. Since Internet security and privacy issues are certainly a hot topic, it is not surprising that the New York Times article suggests that China is out of line by allowing and encouraging hacking. However, in chapter seven of our textbook, we learned that the Internet is not owned or operated by any group or organization. Since there is not a policy manual to read before connecting to this vast network, it is unreasonable to conclude how one group chooses to use the Internet should be the same as another. While I personally disagree with, and think hacking is an inappropriate use of the Internet, I also realize that not everyone will think the same way I do. I am uncomfortable with the suggestion that to solve the problem they should become more like us. I suspect that hacking is as prevalent in the west as it is in China. Just because hacking is not flaunted at Western trade shows and is not included as experience on resumes it does not mean it is not occurring. Even the article says the U.S. Government has ordered cyber attacks on Iran. Perhaps they have ordered attacks on other organizations as well. At least with China we know why they are doing it (for cash), how they are doing it (not very sophisticated), and we know how to improve online security to prevent attacks or information stolen for corrupt purposes.

  20. Calvin Chu

    Same as some other students, I am a Chinese citizen and I heard a lot about this topic in my country. Hacking in China is illegal as everyone know, also as well as it is in the West country. Problem is hackers in China are usually have higher level computre knowledges and they can hack into something easily. People in China actually support the hackers to crack into some systems, examply for this can be psp or ps3. In order to use more function and enjoy the technology without paying it. It is really common now for people to do this which is download. For example, Nowadays, psp or ps3 game costs around $30-$40. It is expensive and kids rather download it online but not buy the game from the store. Therefore, hacking saves money. The software and the high level technologies are required to use it in order to hack. Fortunately, these stuffs are still affordable. However, lots of them can not to use it for legitimate products. Hackers can actually help people to reduce the digital divide which is bring benefit to people.

  21. Kai Zhao

    1.As a Chinese citizen, I personally know this topic quite well. Hacking behaviour is illegal in China as much as it is in west. However, Hackers are usually seen as people with high level computer knowledges, and blind worship exists in China. People support these hackers to crack certain systems, so they can use pirated stuff and save money. Intellectual property issue still need to be improved, and people get to enhance to respect legitimate products instead of waiting hackers to get pirated stuff. There are several real life examples can be taken as the main reasons. For instance, kids need to pay 20 or 30 dollars to purchase games for their PSP (play station portable), but they could download these games for free after hackers crack these certain systems.
    2. These so called western countries most likely meant North America and Europe, since they get the most condensed Internet coverage. People can afford most of costs that they may need for computers, so majority of them can still use high level technologies and software that they need. In contrast, China is still a developing country with 1.5 billion people, the poverty issue is unhidden-able, lots of them are not able to purchase for legitimate products. Therefore, in another level, hackers help them to reduce the digital divide. To be more congruent with the West, China first need to develop their economy, increase citizens’ salary on average, decrease price of import softwares, and invent some new brands of technologies.

  22. Eric Choi

    In my opinion, I believe the rise in hacking activities in China is due to lack of definition and consequence of hacking by the government which results in hand slapping rather than facing a full punishment that would dissuade the hackers. I actually read somewhere that the Chinese culture encourages to share and collaborate with everyone, which could explain the reason the Chinese don’t see hacking as a big problem, they might just believe it as sharing. The west in the other hand, makes a hypocritical statement of accusing China of hacking, when they hack other countries as well. It is true that we have more access to information without it being blocked, classified documents that are released to the public, and we are not suppressed of receiving information by the china’s great firewall… but at the same we are victims of our government letting us believe whatever the info they feed us. For example, this article did point about the rise of chinese hackers, but it didn’t indicate about the ones that are caught domestically and what happened to them afterwards. We do not have enough information about what the consequence is if caught. Long story short, we (in the West) cannot impose our values and culture to another country’s values and expect the same outcome. Every country deals with their own issues and problems.

  23. Jingyi Wang

    I have to say ,before reading this article, I have never heard that we have the hack competition. I searched on the internet and find there was also nothing about an official introduction about this competition, so I really do not know where do you find those people who can tell you so many details. But I do believe that there should be competitions about conputer, for example the computer knowledge, using of software.
    The other thing is that the hackers are everywhere in the world ,not just in China, and I don’t think China wil become the market for you to look for oppotunities and snoop others’ secrets. The bank, companies, hospitals and even our personal computers are all protected by the firewall antivirus program. Everyone knows that it is illigel to get into others’ computer without permition, so even I believe the government will hire people who is good at hacking in order to protect our country’s internet from other countries’ attack, I do not agree they will stare at a hundred million people’s computer everyday to know what they are thinking.
    Most people they have never been to China, they got everything about China from friends, TVs, and internet, but the thing is the people who have never been there can tells a lot about China, they just enjoy talking, showing themselves, but never really thiink about whether it is true or not, and what it will effect on others.
    The article metioned computer games, players might be attack by hackers, while this will happen in many online games ,not just in China, so this is a bad example.

  24. Brad Melchin

    In this day in age, information is power. The concern for the security of this power is different between China and the west because of the difference between the two cultures. Many companies in the west store huge databases that contain very personal information that could be damaging to those individuals if the information was ever hacked. This threat combined with intellectual information that gives companies their competitive advantage gives the west a good reason to be wary about hackers. China on the other hand can benefit from hacking if they can get the information. The Chinese government wants this talent, which is why they host hacking competitions and have schools specifically focused on cybersecurity.

    In the West it isn’t uncommon for people to hack government institutions, which creates a huge national security threat. If the Chinese government was to get hacked more often to the point where they started experiencing huge economic and political problems common in the west, than the Chinese hacking culture would have a good reason to change. It almost seems like hackers are less of a problem in China, and more of an asset for the government or a competitive advantage for companies. It’s as if hacking is inevitable anyway, so it might as well be considered an asset in the context of human capital. But why do we have to change the Chinese culture? Why not change the west? If China is experience less problems with hacking, than maybe the west needs to change.

  25. Hailin Wu

    It is, I can say, an interesting topic for me as a Chinese, especially for a Chinese who developed a anti-virus toolkit as the graduation project of my Bachelor degree. Actually, I spent a lot of time on developing viruses to verify the toolkit’s features and quality by calling Windows system’s commands and functions. There is a Chinese saying – know yourself, know your enemy, and you’ll never lose a battle.

    From what I learned in China during the last 2 decades, I do not like the way the Chinese government deals with things, for example, political corruptions, neither the social climate and the irreversible culture it brings to the people. The ingrained ideology, which might be one of our rich cultural heritages from thousands of years of Chinese history, makes us believe official power can make money, and money can buy authorities. This is the “freedom” we understand. The same goes for the issue of hacking – in this sort of land, there are plenty of opportunities. As long as there is a profit, everyone goes for the opportunity.

    However, I do not have much confidence in this article’s findings. The day they have been waiting for has unfortunately and unconsciously arrived. The American government, which has the so-called the representative of “freedom”, has camouflaged the way giving their a false sense of freedom. The people think they are free in what they want, but in reality they are very limited and restricted. The only reason they think they are free is given from the government – it is just a slogan. Because the common people do not know the truth, because they think it is illegal and a bad thing to do, because the people believe their government while we do not. They have controlled the freedom and they are the biggest Hacker. There is much to say on this topic, but the last question here is, how would the government let you know if they are doing it?

  26. Heather Allan

    Hackers originated in universities and their goals were to push computers beyond their limit. Hackers were originally people who were skilled at breaking into other’s computers, with no intention of doing harm. However hacker morality, as years passed, degraded and the first illegal hack was in 1983. When hackers are used in an ethical way, he or she is hired to hack into a computer in order to give a company important insight into possible backdoors in security. Ultimately they were intended to protect rather than corrupt. However, you never know what else the hacker may do once they have accessed your system. Black hat hackers can break into the system and steal information, or even leave a backdoor to the system. Another con is that if the hacker is inexperienced he or she might leave harmful programs. Because of the huge potential risk of hackers being unethical it has become shunned. I personally believe that hacking is a risk that is not worth taking. If it is decided that hacking can cause more good than bad then I purpose that their becomes an institution for training hackers, and screening and monitoring these hackers would be ideal as they have the power to corrupt private information. I feel as though making it legal would cause more issues than the problems it would solve. There are many companies working to protect against hackers so it seems to me that money spent on training people to stop hacking would be better. It is quite frightening to think that there are people in China being trained to extract information that should be private. I know there are both pros and cons to hacking however I feel as though the risk outweighs the advantages.

  27. theblogofbryan

    In a way, I wish that the United States Government encouraged hacking like the Chinese Government. Security vulnerabilities in the infrastructure of U.S companies are often ignored and left untouched because it isn’t a big enough concern for them at the moment. We have been raised on a “reactionary” notion to fix the problem AFTER an attack has occurred rather then proactively secure vulnerabilities BEFORE they have been exploited. The general public in America has no idea how computer technology works. When you compare our lack of knowledge to a Chinese society based on technological development and exploration, it puts us at risk. If the United States government focused on creating a more technologically savvy society (including hacking techniques) by teaching these topics starting in early education, it would in turn harden our nation as a whole. As an Information Security undergrad, I am only skimming the surface with my current hacking knowledge, I know that I would be a lot better off if I would have learned this stuff in my K-12 education.That is why I share all my labs/examples online with the public in an effort to make this great field of study more widely known.

  28. James Mahoney

    The Chinese government has been battling to remain in full authoritarian control, but many movements have surfaced since the 1990’s that have been shifting China towards democracy. As stated in the article, people in the western world simply don’t understand how much the government is involved in their sovereign affairs. The conflicting opinions between the western world and China are simply the discrepancy of ideologies. The Chinese governments want to provoke the democracy of its citizens, while in the west countries such as the USA were founded on the belief of free speech and privacy. If the Chinese government can hack information they will have a broader knowledge of political uprisings that could arise in the future. Hacking is encouraged in Chinese business because it is view as just another way to gain an advantage on rivals. If companies can’t stop unwarranted entries to their private info then they deserve to have it breached.
    I don’t think that China needs to mimic the views of west. Personally I consider that one of the biggest flaws of western culture is that we believe everywhere else in the world should try to be more like us, and always seemed to be confused when other nations don’t adopt our protocol. It could be argued that the USA does the same thing as the Chinese government in regards to espionage but with more undisclosed methods with organizations such as the CIA and NSA.

  29. Sean Annis

    I feel that China is trying to gain an advantage over the west and over other nations with regard to cyber warfare. In the reading it said that countries were already accusing each other of hacking/attacking each others military institutions. Since we are on the forefront of a huge technological revolution, it would be ignorant of any country to ignore the fact that online security is a high priority. Also China has immense competition and a massive labor pool. these two factors together give china the potential to become the biggest and best at anything they set their eye on. China could potentially wage a cyber war on the west while comfortably sitting in their offices, homes, and coffee shops.

    I do not like the discussion question that is asked because changing the Chinese culture is absurd and would be nearly impossible anyways. Technology is the way of the future, and those who understand technology the best, undoubtedly have an advantage. If anything i would say that the west needs to realize that they are losing an arms race they didn’t even realize they were in. I would suggest that the west prepare by bulking up security protocols and encouraging hackers not to hurt their government but to help it.

  30. Nathan Duncan

    I feel that the Chinese Government encourages hacking because the government has seen the potential for large scale national espionage. As stated the Chinese military scouts hacking competitions looking for new recruits to add to their army. If you look at the history of how war has fought it has constantly shifted and this may be the new future of warfare…Imagine a country fully dependent on computers for electricity, banking, economics, communication, and logistics….now imagine that all be turned off by the stroke of a hackers key. I do realize this is far fetched, but who knows? Sometime in the future this could be possible on a small scale and I believe that that the Chinese government sees the benefits in having highly talented hackers for not only monitoring their own countries citizens and for crime, but also the intentions stated above.

    To change an entire nations cultural view on hacking or anything for that matter could be extremely difficult… There are over 1Billion people in China under control of a communist state government. How can WE as North Americans even begin to change a culture we have little to no control over? The only thing that I could see that may help change the view of China on hacking is by showing them the detrimental factors that hacking has on the economy and country in general. Highlight the negatives and shroud the positives.


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