Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

6/22/2009
04:57 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Inside China's Spam Crisis

Approximately 70% of all domains used in spam since the beginning of 2009 have a Chinese top-level domain.

While China is cracking down on Google for displaying search results that lead to harmful content and trying to get its Green Dam Web filter on every PC in the country, it may want to consider the role that poor oversight of local companies plays in the distribution of "unhealthy" material.

In the case of spam, through which pornography, malware, and scams are spread, most of it appears to be coming from inside China. Approximately 70% of all domains used in spam since the beginning of 2009 have a Chinese top-level domain (.cn), according to Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

This is not to say the spammers themselves necessarily reside in China. Rather, these international criminals have found it profitable to take advantage of poorly regulated infrastructure in China.

"I truly believe that the Chinese government would not willingly tolerate this horrible situation," Warner said in a blog post Saturday. "My only answer is that it must not have been properly brought to their attention so far."

Warner characterizes the situation in China as a spam crisis. The problem, he explains, is threefold.

First, some Internet registrars in China are not responsive to complaints, making it difficult to shut down domains used by spammers. One reason, he speculates, is that these registrars operate reseller businesses and aren't interested in policing their customers' operations. He points to Ename and Xin Net Technology as registrars that have been tarnished by the actions of their resellers.

Second, he says that some of China's network operators are equally unresponsive to complaints. He cites CHINA169-BACKBONE CNCGROUP, CHINANET-BACKBONE, and CNCNET-CN China Netcom as examples.

Warner doesn't believe these companies deliberately serve criminals. "We believe that criminals use their network[s], and these companies have not yet found a way to effectively receive our complaints and remove these criminals from their networks," he said.

Third, he says that China's law enforcement community needs to be more engaged with the rest of the world. "It is unacceptable in the International Community to allow one's country to continue to serve as a haven for spammers of illegally counterfeited pills, illegally counterfeited software, and illegally counterfeited watches and handbags," he said. "It is also unacceptable to provide hosting services for numerous international criminals to place their servers on networks in your country."


InformationWeek and DarkReading.com have published a report on data-centric protection. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33185
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS contains a buffer overflow in the set_range test in TestBitmap which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33186
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS in test-crypto.cpp contains a stack buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-31272
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS before commit 3844e8569689dd476064a0759d704bc64fb3ca2c contains a directory traversal vulnerability in tar/unzip that may lead to command execution or privilege escalation.
CVE-2021-31660
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 85da504d2dc30188b89f44c3276fc5a25b31251f contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.