China the 'most active' country conducting online espionage; says McAfee cyber-crime report

'The Economic Impact of Cybercrime' report released Feb. 21 analyzes the current costs associated with online security

An electronic display showing cyberattacks in China at an Internet Security Conference in Beijing. Sept. 12, 2017.

An electronic display showing cyberattacks in China at an Internet Security Conference in Beijing. Sept. 12, 2017. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A recent study published as a cooperative effort between the online security firm McAfee and the non-profit Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the U.S. has analyzed the current state of online security and cyber-crime across the globe.

While Russia and North Korea are identified as the most “dangerous” perpetrators of cyber-attacks in recent history, China was identified as the most active country involved cyber-espionage operations.

The report entitled “The Economic Impact of Cybercrime: No Slowing Down” defines cyber-crime as any time an online actor illegally accesses computer networks to; steal IP or personal data, commit fraud or other financial crime, or to disrupt services, according to Infosecurity-Magazine.

While North Korea and Russia have been accused of disrupting services, and the number of individual actors using online networks to defraud and steal from others has been on an exponential increase, China’s purported online cyber-crime consists primarily of illegally accessing networks to gather intelligence.

However, Chinese cyber-attacks have also been steadily increasing since 2003, with malicious ware like Titan Rain, Byzantine Hades, GhostNet and Aurora as well as others, all originating in China, reports Liberty Times.

According to McAfee, the global costs associated with cyber-crime have already reached US$ 600 billion annually, and those numbers are only set to grow.

The report even suggests that number is actually a low estimate given the parameters of cyber-crime outlined by the study. As crypto-currencies continue to proliferate, the risk and occurrence of online cyber-crime will also increase.

The study also estimates that nearly two-thirds of all netizens across the globe have had some of their personal information compromised at one point or another.

The full report can be accessed at the CSIS web page.