Two separate incidents this week show a worrying trend in China’s attitude to security. A report commissioned by Microsoft discovered that some of its products had been infected by malware on the production lines of factories used by the firm. Meanwhile, bosses from the Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE appeared at a hearing in Washington to deny claims that codes had been placed in some of their equipment destined for the United States.
One of the politicians on the committee accused the tech firms of installing beaconing – software that allows networks to self-repair errors – but these were denied by a ZTE executive, who referred to them as “glitches”. Both firms have close ties with both the government and military in China and have been under suspicion of spying in the past.
Microsoft won permission from a U.S. court yesterday allowing it to tackle the 3322.org web domain, an address known to be behind previous cyber attacks. It is, say Microsoft, from here that the botnet which runs the Nitol virus has been operating. Nitol gathers personal information from computer owners and uses it to steal money from their online bank accounts.