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[] Cyber-Verwundbarkeiten in China,
China News Digest (CND)

Information Infrastructure Shows Vulnerabilities: Study

[CND, 08/27/00] An investigation of Chinese computer networks has
significant weaknesses that could potentially be extremely damaging to
many segments of the Chinese society, according to an AP report on

The push to expand Internet access has progressed rapidly, to a point
where there are now over 200 "wired" cities in China. More than 300
government databases and the databases of some 10,000 corporations can
accessed nationwide. But the study pointed up the fact that this rapid
growth was not accompanied by efforts to protect the security of the
networks and the data they can deliver.

There was special concern voiced over the security of the financial data
infrastructure. The investigators found that in many cases access
passwords, account data, and proprietary operational information were
easy to obtain by unauthorized users. Security was found to be
poor at China's stock exchanges, where trading under stolen passwords is
growing problem. Analysts pointed out that current daily stock trading
volumes average in the tens of billions of yuan, creating opportunities
for relatively easy and highly profitable crimes, and possibly even the
complete collapse of the nation's financial trading systems.

As further evidence of the need for better computer security, the
investigators cited the 18-hour hacker attack recently endured by major
Beijing internet service provider

The study also postulated that China's heavy dependence upon imported
computer and network software and equipment, primarily obtained from the
United States, could constitute another threat to security. It was
suggested that the equipment could potentially have hard-to-detect
technological "bombs" built into it, making China an easy target for
information warfare, in which massive amounts of critical information
could be collected and the operation of huge, vital systems completely
disrupted. (Phil Stephens, WU Yiyi)

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