A former senior U.S. information security official says there are nearly three-quarter million personal computers in the United States taken over by Chinese hackers. “This is a fact that should get everyone’s attention,” Paul Strassmann told Government Executive magazine columnist Bob Brewin. Strassman, who was director of defense information in the early 1990s, is now back at the Pentagon as a senior advisor, according to Brewin.
“As of the morning of Sept. 14, there were exactly (remember, Strassmann is an engineer and likes precision) 735,598 computers in the United States infested by Chinese zombies,” writes Brewin in his Monday column.
Zombies are malicious software packages downloaded by unsuspecting users from infected e-mail messages or Web sites.
They infect computers at a very basic level, making them hard to find and root out, and they enable the hackers who wrote them to create large networks of “slave” computers that can be used in massive, if unsophisticated, cyber attacks using a technique called Denial of Service, or DoS.