Cyber Security and Protectionism

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I was catching up on a bunch of article’s at the end of last week and I noticed a trend coming through on the Infowar Monitor feed. From links about Chinese-based attacks on India’s Russian embassy website to articles discussing the impact of hacking on Australian businesses, these stories illustrate the growing cyber-antagonism coming from China following claims of widespread attacks against western technology companies earlier this year.

While some critics note that this type of behaviour is not exactly new — and that some of the biggest cyberalarmists also have the most to gain in consulting contracts — one of the emerging issues will be how this state-permitted (if not state-sanctioned or state-directed) activity will impact the ICT infrastructure industry.

The CBC notes a recent move by India to ban Chinese telecom equipment,”citing national security reasons”.

Indian officials say the ban was prompted by concerns Chinese telecom equipment could have spyware or malicious software — known as “malware” — embedded in it which could give Chinese intelligence agencies access to telecom networks in India.

China itself is involved in a tussle with Europe and the United States over Beijing’s attempts to force foreign suppliers of computer security technology to disclose how it works.

The United States and Europe have said Beijing’s requirement that global technology suppliers reveal the inner workings of computer encryption and other security products to conduct business in China was protectionist.

The article goes on to note that US and European companies will be the short term beneficiaries of India’s decision. Nortel?!? Not so much.