The New York Times, which today (Jan. 31) detailed a massive attack upon its computer systems, is certainly not the first U.S. company to be hit by hackers apparently working for Chinese interests.
Hundreds of Western companies, organizations and government agencies have been attacked by hackers from China over the past five years. But the Times is among the few companies — Google is another — willing both to disclose details of the attack and to accuse Beijing of being behind it …
George Smith, a senior fellow at the Alexandria, Va., think tank GlobalSecurity.org, believes corporations might be concerned that blaming China will make it harder to do business in China.
“The Chinese actually have been blamed for a long time,” Smith said. “However, many U.S. multi-nationals, unsurprisingly, have business in China and aims directed at exploiting markets there.
“You can see where such a business would think it’s in a bind if it needs permissions and cooperation from [the] Chinese central government and, at the same time, finds out it has been penetrated by cyber-espionage efforts that may originate from the same.”
There’s more, quote from Sophos and F-Secure on the nature of the business world in relation to such intrusions.
The New York Times is in a unique position. Its reputation and capabilities are based on the bedrock of truth and a relative transparency in the way it conducts news gathering and publishing.
Most of corporate America does is not built on any such foundation. US businesses are not at all transparent. Hacking, intrusions of any kind, exacerbate their already existing environments of paranoia and secrecy.