Radical Instrument

IT is changing the exercise of power. Radical Instrument is picking up the signals.

School of Hack (Chinese version)

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Courtesy of Fergie’s Tech Blog:  this report on the $34.8M “hacker training” industry in China, derived from this China Daily story. The China Daily piece also cites $1B in losses in China in 2008 due to cybercrime, attributed to theft from personal accounts.

Not really convinced that you would get a lot out of course that runs maybe $30 … maybe access to a few tools that can be clumsily deployed, absent any other skills. The math is interesting – at the thirty-dollar rate, $34.8M buys you over a million “courses.” Assume for a moment that the courses are in Chinese (could be wrong there)…with a total combined Internet user population in China and Taiwan of ~300M, and assuming one course = one user, that’s not a bad rate of penetration. It’s a rate roughly equivalent to Amazon’s share of the U.S. retail market.

I previously referenced this Bloggingheads discussion between Evgeny Morozov and Ethan Zuckerman on cyberwar. Listen about midway through or check out Evgeny’s previous Slate article for a description of how a non-expert can get access to the right tools fairly easily.

Written by Mark

August 5, 2009 at 10:11 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Whether or not that’s true, the shutdown of this site does signal that China is having to navigate a difficult balance with cybersecurity issues as Internet use grows. On the one hand, the growth of nationalist hacker groups has afforded the government the advantage of plausible deniability for activities ranging from campaigns against Tibetan exiles to sophisticated penetration attempts of U.S. government and industry databases. On the other hand, the sheer volume of trained hackers (or untrained, armed with a few easy-to-use tools) combined with a growing e-commerce market makes for … a fertile (if illicit) opportunity, sized at $1B in 2008 and fuel for a $35M “hacker training” industry. […]

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