Shanghai Security Chase Off CNN Crew Filming Presumed Hacking Headquarters; BBC Journalist Detained

Mandiant China hacking headquarters in Shanghai

Mandiant identified “Unit 61398” as a headquarters of sorts for Shanghai-based hacking outfit APT1, and traced it to a 12-story building in Pudong district.

Are they right?

Judging by Chinese security’s reaction, the answer is probably. In the below video, watch as officers, like T-1000s, chase after a CNN crew trying to make their getaway in a car. “Keep driving, drive away, drive away,” one of the voices in the car says. Another adds, very annoyed, “Drive away.”

“They said it was a military installation of some kind,” reporter David McKenzie explains.

The Brits are having a tough time, too. According to BBC, reporter “John Sudworth went along to investigate but was stopped and briefly detained.” See above for more info on that.

Imagine: authorities don’t want foreigners snooping around their military buildings.

Meanwhile, China has hit back, claiming the US is the bigger hacker. According to the Chinese Ministry of Defense (brought to us by Atlantic Wire):

China is one of the main victims of cyber attacks. According to statistics, the Chinese armed forces access to the Internet user terminal suffered a large number of foreign attacks, [and] according to the IP address of the display, a considerable number of attack sources from the United States, but we did not [use this] a pretext to accuse the U.S. side.

It’s probably true, by the way, that people everywhere are hacking the hell out of one another.

Also, this, translated by CNN:

“There is still no internationally clear, unified definition of what constitutes a hacking attack,” Geng said. “There is no legal evidence behind the report subjectively concluding that the everyday gathering of online information is online spying.”

Which, again, is true. We all agree that in a perfect world, spying on someone, either in the real or virtual world, is bad and no one should ever do it. But in this real world, companies and governments are constantly gathering information on one another all the time. This is the environment we live in, that we’ve willfully, in many ways, surrendered ourselves to: a closely integrated world with interlacing, overlapping networks, a widened public sphere, and evolving, expanding boundaries of privacy. The best defense is offense. Everyone is being hacked, so maybe, in a way, no one is.

Although we readily admit this: it completely and totally sucks to lose information, especially to a competitor. People have every reason to be upset, as long as they don’t get hypocritical about it.

(H/T Alicia)

    12 Responses to “Shanghai Security Chase Off CNN Crew Filming Presumed Hacking Headquarters; BBC Journalist Detained”

    1. RationalizingMuch?

      I’m a bit put off by the tone here. Mandiant provides fairly solid evidence of serious hacking and the cases were pretty egregious. A government is going after the private newspapers of another, seeking not inside information, but information on those who are expressing freely on the international stage. And you dismiss this as just run of the mill international security?

      “It’s probably true” that the US is a bigger hacker? Anything to back-up this assertion?

      China is one of the few world powers that actively censors the internet. It takes umbrage at any perceived slight. And it seeks out dissidents actively. Take a step back and recognize how horrifying this could be.

      • RhZ

        I agree. All this ‘well they all do it’ is bullshit. Not bs as in entirely false, but like every other time this tactic is used, its a question of degree.

        I mean, who cares about China’ torture program? Bradley Manning is in jail, right?

        Where is Alpart when you need him?

        • Jonathan Alpart

          Who the hell are you? At least I have the balls to put my actual name to my opinions.

          You’re mocking an argument I’ve made before, I see. The point of which being that a lot of people are quick to point the finger at China while ignoring our own glaring (and sinisterly and increasingly similar) domestic problems. Do I think that China is perfect because America has flaws? No. But I like to call out when pots call kettles black, too. That makes me wumaodang in your eyes, I guess?

          So about this hacking business? Is the Chinese government hacking the New York Times? I don’t know? Probably? Does that mean they are a more “evil” state than ourselves or of our allies? Hell no. Politics are a dirty game and nobody plays fair except the losers. Please show me an example of how America for example has taken the high road when it comes to international affairs. I’d love to see that. How about the murders of Iranian nuclear scientists last year? Hmm, I wonder who did that? But that’s not nearly as bad as snooping around in some computers on Manhattan island. Especially they didn’t even take any information related to Wen Jiabao. Good grief.

          “China is one of the few world powers that actively censors the internet.” – RationalizingMuch?

          Absolutely. And don’t think that America’s politicians are not insanely jealous of these powers. SOPA or PIPA anyone? China was just “fortunate” enough to come from a historical and political background where censoring the internet came quite naturally and without much fuss. America and the UK have a lot of liberal and progressive thinking to unravel, redirect and subvert before it can do the exact same fucking thing, only in the name of Corporations instead of the State (which is looking more and more like the same thing).

          Anyway, you called – I answered. Anything else?

          • RhZ

            “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – MLK Jr.

            You are really a piece of work. There are hundreds of people who are being detained in their apartments, illegally, by the state right now, a form of psychological torture that isolates them from everyone and has effects that will last their whole lives. Where are the hundreds of dead Iranian nuclear scientists, Jonathan? Add to that the thousands who have been beaten, imprisoned, tortured and murdered for complaining about corruption, or the dirty water and air they must breathe and get cancer from, or the lack of political rights. LXB writes an article saying that China should change its political system, and gets 13 years. An article. Another guy writes a poem, one poem, which leads to years of imprisonment, torture and harrassment. Where is the equivalence?

            There are thousands who have been harrassed, imprisoned, and murdered over the past 20 years for their involvement in Tiananmen. 20 years Jonathan, where you never know when they will show up and beat you, or threaten you, or follow you everywhere for months on end. They will follow your child to elementary school. They will tell you they will rape and kill your wife. And I am not even scratching the surface here. These people have no way to respond, nothing to do except to suffer under this tyranny, unless they flee (and then your master DVD will call them all sorts of names).

            Where’s the fucking equivalence, Jonathan? I know all about the sins of the US, and yes there are many sins. But why the fuck does it matter that the US tortured people in Columbia and Guatemala 20 years ago, when what we are talking about is the fact that the Chinese secret police tortured and killed someone yesterday? Does the former fact make the latter fact ok? No, it does not make it ok.

            If you want to talk about the problems in the US or the sins of the US, go to a forum where this is the topic of conversation. Here we are talking about China. And if you want to play a little comparison game, where, oh this isn’t bad because some other country once did something worse, then fuck you.

            • Jonathan Alpart

              “Tools take themselves too seriously on internet forums, and present themselves as experts in the most pretentious way possible.” – Thomas Washington III

              What is your point, RhZ? I’m a piece of work because I talk about other countries on a China forum, RhZ? Because I don’t take every opportunity to shit on a country that I take full advantage of by living inside of it, RhZ?

              Wait, so, Tiananmen – which happened 20 years ago – is still on the table – but Columbia and Guatemala – which also happened 20 years ago – is no longer relevant? (Please, go to Columbia! I’m looking forward to your report of how great that country is doing today.)

              “LXB writes an article saying that China should change its political system, and gets 13 years. An article. … Where is the equivalence?”

              Here: BM releases a video that makes the American military look bad, and is put in solitary confinement … for 1,000 days and counting. A video.

              I think it’s all so interesting that this “discussion” got started talking about internet censorship. Based on your behavior, and the behavior of others like you, I have a seriously hard time believing that you actually give a shit about internet censorship as you so strongly pretend.

              I have different opinions than you, so in your mind that gives you the right to bully, taunt and insult me. Honestly, how is that not just the virtual/online equivalent of how China treats its own dissidents? If you really respected openness and discourse, you’d at least discuss these things with respect for other voices.

            • RhZ

              I am not censoring you, you schmuck, I am calling you a douche nozzle.

              Anyway, I am done with you. Thanks for playing!!

              Oh, and say hello to DVD when you pick up your wumao check this week.

    2. Mat Ryan

      ” The point of which being that a lot of people are quick to point the finger at China while ignoring our own glaring (and sinisterly and increasingly similar) domestic problems.”

      Why do you assume people ignore their own glaring problems just because they dont talk about them on a China- focused blog? Do you know these people, and what they have to say about their own countries problems? Also you seem to assume everyone else all come from America, why?

      • Jonathan Alpart

        Mat, I’m referring to an ongoing debate that’s bled over from past discussions onto this one. RhZ mentioned me by name:

        “Where is Alpart when you need him?”

        Based on this thread alone, there’s nothing here that really warranted my response; you’d have to be familiar with other things that have been said here in the past.


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