East European Hackers Can Beat Up East Asian Hackers (and a personal note, lifehacking q)

Interesting techno-cultural study in a pirates-vs-ninjas kind of way. Apparently East European hackers tend to focus on technical excellence, while East Asian hackers go for overwhelming numbers. Sadly I doubt it’s possible to control for experience level, as Asian computer crime is comparatively new compared to the Cold War-honed skills of Eastern Europe.

Lifehacking: I’m wondering if it’s possible to selectively tune human hearing, boosting or reducing certain bands, by exposing the ears to suitably filtered sounds — in other words, e.g boost or reduce high-frequency hearing by spending lots of time listening through headphones that boost or roll-off the high end. (The Etymotic 4S that were stolen from me, for example, rolled off after 16kHz. They still sounded awesome.) Does anyone know about the interaction of stochastic resonance effects with short- and medium-term hearing?


“East European hackers create customized malware with the capabilities typically hard-coded internally without external third-party tools, the report notes. Robust anti-debugging techniques and complex command-and-control structures are hallmarks of Eastern European groups. While Eastern European malware is not always innovative, it often incorporates several exploits designed by others in creative ways, Kellerman wrote.

On the other hand, fewer anti-debugging techniques are used by East Asian hackers, who are more interested in speed and productivity. Backdoors also tend to be simpler, he noted, stating that “East Asian malware is thrown together quickly using already-existing components.”

“East Asian hackers on the other hand tend to use cheap, hosted infrastructure usually from mass ISPs that are easy to set up and manage,” he said in the report. “They are not necessarily concerned with being identified as the attacker as they do not go great lengths to hide their tracks like the East European hackers do. This was shown in the recent LuckyCat incident which was traced back to Sichuan University which is a known training school for East Asian military.”

While East Asian groups tend to work for other organizations interested in their skills, hackers from Eastern Europe generally operate in small, independent units, and are focused on profit, he wrote. Their infrastructure tends to be developed by them specifically for their own use in attacks.

“They (Eastern European groups] tend to want to be in control of their entire infrastructure and will routinely set up their own servers for use in attacks, develop their own DNS servers to route traffic and create sophisticated traffic directional systems used in their attacks,” according to the report. “If they do go outside, they will carefully select bulletproof hosters to support their infrastructure. It is their hallmark to maintain control of the whole stack similar to the business models pioneered by Apple.”

“In general, the East Asian hackers are not at the same skill level of maturity as their East European counterparts,” Kellermann concluded. “The East European’s are master craftsmen who have developed a robust economy of scale which serves as an arms bazaar for a myriad of cyber munitions and bulletproof hosting infrastructures,” he said. Comparing the two to real-world military tactics, Kellermann added that East European hackers act like snipers when they launch campaigns, whereas the East Asian hackers tend to colonize entire ecosystems via the “thousand grains of sand approach”.”


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