Though the story of computer network attacks by Communist spies sounds like a plot line from a Hollywood action film, a new report has found that one-third of cyberattacks actually originate in China.
According to Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM), a digital technology platform developer, China accounted for 33 percent of cyberattack traffic all over the world during the third quarter of 2012, taking the top spot. China was the No. 1 source of cyberattacks in the previous quarter as well, but doubled its percentage of attacks.
Following China is the U.S., accounting for 13 percent of cyberattacks in Q3 2012, and Russia, with 4.7 percent. Both percentages changed little from the previous quarter, with a 1 percent increase for the U.S. and a 1.6 percent decrease for Russia.
The surge of cyberattacks coming from China since 2011 is not really surprising, considering its history of corporate espionage through network attacks.
Last year, Bloomberg reported on a boom of Chinese corporate espionage. Though not all cyberattacks coming from China are necessarily on corporations, nor do they always mean to spy, there have been several publicized cases of Chinese citizens being accused of spying on U.S. companies.
In 2010, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) accused China of executing an attack against the company’s internal network. According to Wired.com, the hackers were seeking source codes from not only Google, but Adobe and several other companies. According to Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of threat research for antivirus and Internet security company McAfee, that attack was unprecedented.