China and U.S. Finally Find a Cybersecurity Issue They Can Agree On

China frequently takes the blame when it comes to cybercrime, and, frankly, it often deserves it. I’ve previously written on how the PRC seeks to inspire its youth to hack foreign governments and companies. Indeed, attacks originating in China have come against everything from oil companies to major presidential campaigns. But one place where China perhaps gets some blame where it doesn’t deserve it is spam.

Even though it doesn’t appear on the “Dirty Dozen” list of top spam-producing countries, the PRC recently worked with an American tech organization to produce an anti-spam report

Coordinated by the EastWest Institute, the report recommended that the two countries:

  • establish protocols to separate legitimate messages from junk mail;
  • educate consumers on the risk of botnets; and
  • seek to prevent spam by taking such measures as encouraging Internet service providers to use "feedback loops," which allow users to blacklist senders of suspected spam.
  • "The United States and China face large moral and political dilemmas in cooperating on cybersecurity. Do we continue to see each other as enemies or rivals, or do we edge slowly forward trying to find common ground?” asked East-West Institute president John E. Mroz, underscoring the uncertainty inherent in the relationship between the countries. “We know that the economic and personal security of our citizens depends on a quantum leap in cooperation and an end to the rapidly escalating cyber mistrust."

    Interestingly, the United State is the largest sender of spam e-mail, originating 18.9 percent of all inbox clutter worldwide and making it the top offender of the Dirty Dozen. Perhaps this was a defensive move from China, an attempt to fight some of the spam we’re sending across the Pacific. What do you think?

    Posted by Laura Williams on Feb 25, 2011


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