Chinese hackers paid to paralyzing Korean sites
Regrettably online hacking has become the order of the day. Internet sites of government agencies and businesses remain vulnerable. Netizens are also concerned about their cyber security. More worrisome is that South Korea, one of the world’s most wired nations, is still not well-prepared to fend off cyber thugs.
It is shocking to hear that some local firms have hired Chinese hackers to attack their competitors’ websites. They have gone too far in routing their rivals through illegal means. They should realize that the online attacks not only violate fair trade rules but also pose a grave threat to the market economy.
Their illegal activity will inevitably infringe on consumer rights. No matter how fierce competition may be in the business world, corporations are required to play fair. Resorting to hacking or cyber attacks is a crime which destroys the established order and brings harm to all market participants.
Websites of local firms and portals have become easy targets for Chinese hackers as they can earn easy money. The hackers are reportedly based mostly in Shanghai or other cities in Jilin and Shandong provinces. They usually act on online attacks at the request of brokers working for Korean firms.
One of their typical attacks is carried out by using the so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS). This method is to overload specific websites with a massive amount of simultaneous traffic via infected computers. They are increasingly emboldened in their cyber schemes as the illegal business has become more lucrative.
One of the victims is itemBay, the nation’s largest trading site for online games. Last October, Seoul police concluded that hackers located in China’s Jilin Province waged attacks on the firm’s website for two years from 2008 at the request of its Korean rival. The case is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many companies that have refused to report their cases to the police or refer them to the media, fearing that revelations could have a negative effect on their business.
Most of all, the attackers are taking advantage of legal loopholes and their geographical locations which are not within the reach of South Korean law. They try to capitalize on dog-eat-dog competition among Korean businesses which are not hesitant to edge out rivals through whatever means available.
Such an extremely competitive business environment has provided the breeding ground for the Chinese online hackers. The solution is for local companies to sign a gentlemen’s agreement. It is also necessary for the Korean authorities to work together more closely with their Chinese counterparts to crack down on the cyber attackers.