China behind massive cyber attack on US?

Without another scapegoat to pin the blame on, Americans are naming China as the culprit of a series of cyber attacks because, well, why not?

Jim Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies tells Reuters that China is likely to blame for a massive series of cyber crimes that took the network of dozens of organizations by storm. Lewis, a cyber crime expert, can’t point reporters to any evidence in particular, but notes that the organizations infiltrated in the slew of attacks had information that China might want to have.

"Everything points to China. It could be the Russians, but there is more that points to China than Russia," Lewis says.

The United Nations, as well as the governments of the United States, India, South Korea, Canada and Taiwan are included in the list of 72 organizations targeted by a series of attacks conducted over a five year span.

Security company McAgee discovered the attacks and says that a “state actor” was responsible but won’t say who. Neither McAfee nor the Chinese offered comment on if China was responsible.

Vijay Mukhi, an Indian cyber-expert, adds to Reuters that he would not be surprised if the attacks came out of China because, he puts it, “that’s what China does.” Mukhi also notes, however, that India’s government barely protected their electronic data, saying their security is something out of the Stone Age.

While some of the networks targeted in the attacks included information held by other Asian governments (such as Taiwan and Hong Kong)and the Olympic Committees of the runner ops to the 2008 games that went to Beijing, the majority of those targeted were American companies and nonprofits.

If you ask Lewis, however, it’s got to be China.

“Who else spies on Taiwan?” he asks.

Lewis has long explored cyber crime and security issues in China. He is the author of the publication Building an Information Technology Industry in China: National Strategy and just last week told CNN that “China is very active in espionage.”

"As are we," added Lewis.