The spate of recent Chinese hacks into major US media at NYTimes and the Wall Street Journal among others are a cogent reminder of how vulnerable US organizations and institutions are to Chinese Hack attacks. The underlying problem is the Chinese hack attacks on Google in 2009-2010 revealed that the Chinese hackers likely have the complete Internet Explore 6 and Windows XP source code at their disposal. This situation is indicated by the number of zero-day hack vectors used by the Chinese in their attacks then and ongoing today.
However, a counter argument is that the whole source code for Linux is made available upon each and every update release. And Linux systems have not seen the same amount of cyberattacks. However, the evidence is that Cyberattacks, especially from China are reaching new eights – see the 60 page Mandiant Report on Chinese Cyberattacks here.
What penetration Chinese hackers have achieved on IE7, IE8, IE9, Windows 7 and 8 is an open question. But the net result is that coupled with countless Win/XP machines still being used and ill protected PCs [call them Zombie PCs]across not just North America but around the World – well Chinese hackers have a veritable Hacking Freeway into US institutions.