Ghostnet

For the past week, there has been quite some agitation around cyber-attacks and China (…again) with the release of a report documenting GhostNet – a suspected cyber espionage network of over 1,295 infected computers in 103 countries.

The report triggered a strong reaction in the UK where China is said to have gained the capability to shut down the country by crippling its telecoms and utilities. The reason? One of China’s leading telecommunication equipment manufactuer – Huawei – is gaining market share! The company is providing key components for BT’s new network – updating the UK’s telecoms with the use of internet technology.

Most of the fears come from Huawei’s links to the Chinese military. In addition, the People’s Liberation Army is reputed to hold an annual competition to recruit the country’s best hackers. But isn’t that the case in every major power? There is little doubt that the U.S. intelligence community has similar if not much better access to the global telecommunication infrastructure and that multinational companies have equal opportunities to carry out spying operations.