How did they get their hands on Microsoft’s closely guarded source code, you might ask?
Well, two Chinese IT security companies, Topsec and Cnitsec, are licensed to access and use Microsoft’s source code. In yet another example of incredibly blurred lines between the government and business in China, those companies gave the source code to the government.
This is worrying on so many levels. China is very active in cyber warfare and Microsoft software powers 90% of the world’s computers. With access to Microsoft source code, who knows how many computers are vulnerable to Chinese hackers?
China’s cyber warfare activities came to the fore when Google revealed Chinese hackers attacked their systems, targetting Chinese dissidents in particular. These hackers were tied to the Chinese government. But cyber attacks from China — and there is often little way of knowing whether they come from the government or not — are increasingly commonplace.
If confirmed, this is also a big embarrassment for Microsoft, and yet another example of the perils of doing business in China.
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