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U.S. government enlisted ISPs to fight Chinese hackers
The Department of Homeland security shared the IP addresses of suspected Chinese hackers with American Internet service providers in a previously undisclosed attempt to thwart cyberattacks.
Earlier this year, the U.S. government gave American ISPs addresses believed to be associated with Chinese hackers “as part of a previously undisclosed effort aimed at blocking cyberspying,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Even as China and the U.S. meet this week in Washington, and as NSA surveillance revelations continue to echo, the electronic battle royale between countries continues.
In February, the government shared email addresses associated with Chinese government hacking group the Comment Crew, with American ISPs, just before the security consulting firm Mandiant made its now-famous study of Chinese hacking public.
Former U.S. officials told the WSJ that “Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials consulted with Internet providers about how to block some Chinese hacking” the same day as DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a joint memo listing hundreds of related IP address linked to the hackers.
A DHS email to the Internet companies urged them to implement the security suggestions made by Mandiant in their study.
Subsequent to this, the U.S. saw a temporary decline in Chinese hacking efforts, in part attributed to public shaming of China by the Obama administration and partly as a result of the efforts of the ISPs.
However, as any hacker, and most people with even a nodding relationship with hacking know, changing your IP address is not brain surgery. Chinese hackers did so, now the level of hacking is back at a given value of normal.
H/T Wall Street Journal | Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III
Curt Hopkins has over two decades of experience as a journalist, editorial strategist, and social media manager. His work has been published by Ars Technica, Reuters, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle. He is the also founding director of the Committee to Protect Bloggers, the first organization devoted to global free speech rights for bloggers