The New York Times reports that the foreign ministries of the Czech Republic, Portugal, Bulgaria, Latvia and Hungary have been hacked by the Chinese ("traced to Chinese hackers"). As we've said before, however, "hacked," as used in popular media, is an incredibly broad term meant to encompass a wide variety of malicious online activity, when in fact its actual connotation is much narrower, signifying a sort organized, targeted attack against an individual or institution. In our digital age, we'd do well to employ more specific words when the occasion calls for it -- "phishing," for instance, which is what appears to have happened with the above European countries.
Hackers have infiltrated the local government website of the city of Shaoxing, Zhejiang province (sx.gov.cn) and replaced four of the five pictures in the "featured images" slider with mooncakes that display unflattering messages against the Chinese government.
North Korea Tech and Tech in Asia have a wonderful story about the perils of hacking -- you can end up hooking the wrong fish.
On June 25 -- the anniversary of the Korean War -- affiliates of Anonymous sought to take down North Korea websites, but wound up spraying fire at friends. "Confusion at start of attack," writes North Korea Tech:
Edward Snowden sat down with the South China Morning Post yesterday, causing the editors of that Hong Kong-based paper to somewhat lose their minds with SCOOP FEVER. (Which article do I link to? The 3:31 am one that has EXCLUSIVE splashed across the headline -- even though Snowden's spoken with several media outlets already -- or the one from 19 minutes later, or the one from 7:37 am on the same subject? There's another version from earlier, 12:52 am.)
In a Q-and-A with the Guardian, Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower who is now in Hong Kong, talked about his motivations, the “authoritarian mindset” of spies (such as himself), and why he does not expect to ever return to the US as a free man. He also said this about hacking, specifically the hypocrisy of... Read more »
It's tough being a cyber spy. You don't get to do any real spy work -- by which we mean shoot a gun, or sneak around dark mansions, or race around in BMWs -- but instead face a daily 8 to 5:30 grind in front of computers, probably in cubicles.
Groupthink is an amazing thing. The publicity surrounding attacks on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Facebook, Apple, et al. proves nothing except the saw about propaganda: if you say something often enough, it becomes truth. A quick scan through English-language China news reveals that on the basis of one report, it... Read more »
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?
On the heels of Mandiant’s eye-opening report on alleged Chinese hacking under the auspices of the People’s Liberation Army, Facebook and Apple have said they too — like literally everyone else — have been “hacked.” Some Apple employees reportedly dipped their fingers into cyber traps designed to infect their computers with malicious software. “The same software,... Read more »
The People’s Liberation Army may have been funding a massive group of Chinese hackers since 2006, according to a 74-page report by the US-based security firm Mandiant. Reading like the backpage of a Michael Crichton novel, the report details how a large hacking group, APT1, based in the Pudong district of Shanghai has been responsible for hundreds of... Read more »
Google chairman Eric Schmidt has a new book ready to debut in April, The Digital Age, co-written by Jared Cohen, formerly of the State Department. As the Wall Street Journal puts it succinctly, the book is clear about one thing: “China is the most dangerous superpower on Earth.” Specifically, Schmidt writes that China’s hacking culture —... Read more »
Anything the New York Times can do, the Wall Street Journal can do better. Reporting: The Wall Street Journal said Thursday that its computer systems had been infiltrated by Chinese hackers for the apparent purpose of monitoring the newspaper’s China coverage. If you’re not being hacked and monitored by the Chinese, you’re just not important... Read more »
Chinese hackers, possibly using phishing software, reportedly broke into the New York Times's computer network four months ago and installed malware that enabled them to access the personal computers of 53 employees. All indications are that the attack is a response to the paper's investigation, led by Shanghai bureau chief David Barboza, into premier Wen Jiabao's family fortunes. The NY Times says its computers were compromised as far back as September 13, just as they were wrapping up reporting for the Wen piece, which was published on October 25.
China Digital Times has noticed something very strange happening on Twitter: several high-profile China watchers have reported receiving warnings about attacks on their accounts. Which shadowy cyber prankster would dare try such a thing? Or is this the work of a more sinister agent of the People’s Republic branch of Anonymous? It seems wrong to... Read more »
Confession time: I’m petrified of Anonymous. As someone who is hopelessly clumsy when it comes to web hosting and IT, I know how easy it can be for an experienced hacker to ruin my day. But then again, I have nothing to hide. I — unlike Fang Binxing — did not engineer a “Great Firewall”... Read more »