Dec 14 2007

Chinese Hacker Civil War


It is very likely that within the next 2-5 years, a major civil war will erupt between factions within the Chinese Red Hacker Alliance. I’m making this forecast (Analyst love to use this term rather than “predict” because it is easier to fluff off when you are proven dead wrong.) based on the following reasons:

  1. The organization has all but lost its nationalistic character and is rapidly shifting/shifted toward one based on profit motive. This has caused the movement to lose much of its cohesion and sense of unity. If there isn’t an event to rekindle their patriotic spirit, the group will splinter.
  2. Increased competition between different factions to earn money, attract recruits and sell products is at an all time high. Chinese hackers are reaching a saturation point in their marketing of Trojans, viruses and training courses. This will only add to the tensions already present. Chinese hackers have moved from a circular shaped structure to a pyramid; the scramble to reach the top will do nothing to alleviate these tensions.
  3. Internal hacking attacks and threats between different cells have been documented in my book and by the Chinese themselves. The year 2004 saw the first skirmishes in this war and the environment does not seem to have improved. Combine these elements with the youthful age of the alliance and it will cause some members to act in the extreme.

What brought on this sudden prediction? It has been something I have thought on and off again since the beginning of this research. The ideology that holds them together is too difficult to maintain during periods of inactivity. What do you do with young nationalists who have no war to fight, no motherland to defend? They either get bored and move on…or start to eat their own.

A posting on Janker’s website titled “Chinese hackers, what is going on?” makes the observation that, “recently there has been turmoil inside the Chinese hacker security circle.” He sites numerous examples of Chinese hackers attacking each other and is exasperated at the state of the alliance. These examples go from December of 2004 to June of 2005. One commenter, going by the name of Kerberos, actually used the term “civil war” to describe the situation. Another website, even called it the “Hacker Warring States.” A reference to the Chinese Warring States period.

So why did I wait to have my own thoughts reflected in the Chinese Hacker community before making this prediction (sorry, forecast)? I personally think it is wrong to apply “Blue” thinking to explain a “Red” paradigm. What appears logical to us does not always fit neatly into different cultures. Western societies use linear logic while Eastern cultures often apply circular. The dialectic thought process is not always clear or easy to decipher. Fine, I just don’t get ‘em.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Chinese Hacker Civil War”

  1. 回声on 23 Feb 2008 at 3:09 pm

    the link is broken, the site exists but the article has been removed.

  2. 回声on 23 Feb 2008 at 3:13 pm

    oops that was supposed to be for the “damn pigeons” post, not chinese hacker civil war. My bad.

  3. Heikeon 23 Feb 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Yeah, those guys can be that way. Thanks telling me, I’ll take down the link.