China Is 'World's Most Sophisticated' Hacker, Claims Google's Eric Schmidt

By Alexandra Burlacu email: | Feb 04, 2013 01:56 PM EST

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Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has forecast that China will be the "most sophisticated and prolific" hacker of foreign companies, backing cybercrime for economic and political gain.

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Schmidt talked about China's Internet menace in his new book called "The New Digital Age," which is set to launch in April.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) obtained an exclusive review of Schmidt's book, and reported that the author is "brutally clear." According to Schmidt, China is the world's most dangerous superpower.

Several governments, organizations, and foreign companies have accused Beijing of carrying out extensive cyber espionage for many years in an effort to gather information and control China's image. China has always denied all allegations of hacking, but accusations keep piling up.

According to the WSJ, The New Digital Age takes a look at how China is exploiting an Internet that now reflects politics, business, lifestyle, culture, and virtually all aspects of life.

"The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States as a distinct disadvantage," because "the United States will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage, as its laws are much stricter (and better enforced) and because illicit competition violates the American sense of fair play," reads an excerpt of the book, as cited by the WSJ.

Schmidt further argued in his book that Western governments could do more to develop stronger relationships between tech companies and the state, following China's lead. According to him, states would benefit from using software and technology from trusted companies.

"Where Huawei gains market share, the influence and reach of China grow as well," explained Schmidt, according to the WSJ.

Schmidt's vision echoes even louder now, since in just a few days both the WSJ and the New York Times (NYT) have reported being hacked by specialists in China. The NYT has reported that Chinese hackers had "persistently" hacked into its systems for the last four months, but it had successfully fended off the attacks.

China's foreign ministry argued that the NYT's accusations were "groundless" and "totally irresponsible," and denied any involvement. A few days later, however, the WSJ made a similar claim, reporting that hackers in China had penetrated its systems in an attempt to monitor its China coverage. 

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