Category Archives: China Weakness

China, Corporations and Internet Censorship

The Chinese government has developed sophisticated methods to monitor and repress the social-media activities of its ‘netizens’. Internet censorship in China also reflects the tangled relationship Beijing presently has with Western internet companies.

Prepared by: ISN staff

This week we have tried to determine just how much the internet and social media empower individuals or aid and abet corrupt and coercive regimes. Our unsurprising conclusion is that such media is Janus-faced – it does indeed liberate and repress. In the latter case, governments have become increasingly sophisticated in how they use the internet to maintain their grip on power. In this respect, the Chinese government’s manipulation of social media to monitor and repress the activities of its ‘netizens’ stands out as a representative case study – a negative case study, unfortunately, that also reflects the tangled relationship Beijing presently has with Western internet companies.

Social unrest, social media, and Chinese censorship

Control and manipulation of mass media outlets has been part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CPC) mandate for generations. However, the emergence of the internet and social media such as Facebook (not to mention micro-blogging sites like Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter) prompted a change in the CPC’s approach to monitoring and censoring media outlets – i.e., it decided to decentralize its traditional oversight of China’s mass media. But it was only after a number of ‘ mass incidents’ (the official term for civil unrest in China) that Beijing developed a strategic approach to protect CPC ideology in cyberspace.

via China, Corporations and Internet Censorship.

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Hacked: How China is stealing Americas business secrets

Sen. John Kerry is fed up with Chinas penchant for looting technology from U.S. businesses — up to $400 billion worth of data each year. When will it stop?POSTED ON FEBRUARY 16, 2012, AT 3:52 PMChinese gamers at an internet cafe: Sen. John Kerry D-Mass. says Chinese hackers are illegally stealing business secrets from American firms. Photo: Imaginechina/Corbis SEE ALL 54 PHOTOSChinese Vice President Xi Jinping, slated to be the next leader of the worlds most populous nation, is getting an earful from U.S. officials over Chinas shady business practices. During Xis first official tour of the U.S. this week, Sen. John Kerry D-Mass. accused a Chinese company of bankrupting a U.S. competitor by ransacking its software. And thats just the tip of the iceberg, alleges Kerry, implicating China in “cyber-attacks, access-to-market issues, espionage [and] theft.” And, indeed, a flurry of recent reports indicate that Chinese hackers, backed by the government, are stealing business secrets from the U.S. Here, a guide:

via Hacked: How China is stealing Americas business secrets – The Week.


Hacker Attacks on U.S. Reveal China’s Weakness, Lack of Innovation | Espionage & Cyberwar | National Security | SecurityNewsDaily

It must have been a merry Christmas and a happy New Year for professional cyberwarriors, as extensive new Pentagon plans focusing on Internet security were revealed in mid-December, just after a week’s worth of stories appeared in the business press about massive information theft by Chinese hackers.

On the surface, the combination of media reports and defense posturing seem to indicate a new Chinese digital offensive against American interests. Dramatic as that may sound, these events are merely part of the status quo in the brittle relationship between the Chinese economy and innovative American companies, and not the first shots of a digital Pearl Harbor.

via Hacker Attacks on U.S. Reveal China’s Weakness, Lack of Innovation | Espionage & Cyberwar | National Security | SecurityNewsDaily.


CHINA Either China’s Communist Party opens up to democracy or falls – Asia News

» 06/16/2011 12:31 – CHINA – Either China’s Communist Party opens up to democracy or falls

by Willy Wo-Lap Lam

An analysis of China’s domestic political situation shows how, increasingly, moderates want to take part in the decision-making process. However, they face the all-out opposition of the party, which fears losing its leadership role. Social unrest is just around the corner.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – In what pundits have billed as a battle between David and Goliath, Chinese citizens appear to be pushing back on the all-powerful party-and-state apparatus that increasingly seems out of touch with popular aspirations. Efforts to challenge the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) supremacy are mounting even as the police, state-security agents, and the quasi-military People’s Armed Police (PAP) are stepping up enforcement of draconian methods to muzzle destabilizing or “disharmonious” voices. Moreover, the leadership under President Hu Jintao is apparently spearheading a nation-wide campaign to resuscitate authoritarian norms (See “The Death of Factions within the Chinese Communist Party?” China Brief, May 20).

The past few weeks have witnessed horrendous incidents of ordinary Chinese resorting to drastic steps to vent their frustrations against the authorities. Most eye-catching has been the worst outbreak of disorder in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR)—home to six million ethnic Mongolians—since the end of the Cultural Revolution. Since early May, when two Mongolian herders were killed after being run over by Han-Chinese truck drivers, protests involving several thousand residents have rocked the city of Xilinhot and the nearby counties of Zhenglan and Xiwu. The demonstrators, who included livestock farmers as well as college students, were protesting over the alleged exploitation of herders—most of whom being ethnic Mongolians—by Han-Chinese controlled mining companies (AFP, May 29; The Associated Press, May 29).

Unlike Tibet or Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia had largely been free from ethnic violence for the past 30 years. Given the existence of an underground nationalistic movement in Inner Mongolia, which seeks union with Mongolia just to the north of the IMAR, regional officials including Party Secretary Hu Chunhua have sought to defuse tension caused by the incident by vowing to “firmly uphold the dignity of the law and the rights of the victims.” Hu also vowed to help affected herders seek compensation from mining companies, which were responsible for polluting the grasslands. (South China Morning Post, May 30; People’s Daily, May 30; Apple Daily [Hong Kong], May 31).

Equally disturbing to the CCP leadership has been a series of at least five bombings the past fortnight in the provinces of Jiangxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Heilongjiang and Shaanxi. Most of these incidents, which led to the death of ten people in total, appeared to be perpetrated by individuals with anti-government grievances. The most talked-about mishap took place in the city of Fuzhou, Jiangxi. On May 26, suicide-bomber Qian Mingqi set off three bombs in two government buildings in this medium-sized city. At least one other person apart from Qian was killed and six were injured. In Chinese Cyberspace, however, Qian received massive support and sympathy due to the fact that he was a victim of “land grab,” a reference to the confiscation of citizens’ properties by officials acting in collusion with developers. Qian said shortly before his quasi-terrorist act that he had petitioned Jiangxi and Beijing officials for ten years, but to no avail (Cable TV [Hong Kong], May 29; New York Times, May 27; Ming Pao [Hong Kong], May 29).

“Mass incidents” featuring confrontations between protesters and police have also been reported over the past month or so in provinces and cities including Jiangsu, Guizhou, Hunan, Hebei, Gansu, Henan, Guangdong, Tibet, Liaoning, Beijing and Shanghai (The Guardian, May 19; South China Morning Post, May 29; Kansas Star, May 29; Apple Daily [Hong Kong], May 13).

While it is too early to tell whether this spate of unrest will prod the authorities toward either liberalization or enhanced repression, it is noteworthy that a number of respected “public intellectuals” have chosen to push forward political reform by using established institutions and channels. Several editors, lawyers, professors and NGO activists have in the past month declared their intention to register as candidates for elections to grassroots-level legislatures. They include five opinion-leaders who are running for seats in district-level People’s Congresses (PCs) in Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing. The three Beijing-based candidates are think-tank researcher Xiong Wei, China University of Politics and Law professor Wu Danhong, and veteran editor Yao Bo. Li Chengpeng, a popular journalist and political commentator, plans to run in Chongqing, while human-rights writer Xia Shang is hoping to become a deputy in a Shanghai district-level PC (Ming Pao, May 28; Radio Free Asia, May 27; Central News Agency [Taipei], May 28).

In an apparent attempt not to provoke the authorities, these intellectuals have stuck to relatively neutral themes such as “promoting social equality and justice,” which is Premier Wen Jiabao’s favorite motto (See “Beijing’s Blueprint for Tackling Mass Incidents and Social Management,” China Brief, March 25). Most stated their “electoral platforms” in personal blogs and other social-media vehicles. For example, Chongqing’s Li said he hoped to help the city’s residents “realize their legitimate wishes and aspirations, supervise the government and implement social [reforms].” Beijing’s Xiong vowed to improve the social-security benefits and civil rights of “migrants” who lack permanent residence status in the capital (Chinareviewnews.com, May 29; Sina.com, May 26).

According to veteran human rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong, who is providing legal assistance to these would-be candidates, “more citizens devoted to the public interest are considering taking part in the polls.” Xu, a former district-level legislator, added, “The mere act of running for office” would give a boost to reforms. People’s University political scientist Zhang Ming pointed out that the government should encourage more citizens to realize their democratic rights. “However, it is true that the [political] atmosphere is tight,” he said. “The authorities are accustomed to controlled elections and they may not want [public intellectuals] to take part” (Taiwannews.com, May 28; Ming Pao, May 28).

Indeed, it is too early to say whether Li, Xiong and others can really become official candidates. This is despite the fact that Beijing has, since the early 1980s, allowed—at least on paper—all Chinese to contest polls for becoming PC deputies at the level of counties, medium-sized cities and districts within big cities such as Beijing or Shanghai. For instance, in early May, unemployed worker Liu Ping, 47, was stripped of her rights to run for a seat in the legislature of the city of Xinyu, Jiangxi Province. A former employee of the Xinyu Steel Works, she has a track record of fighting for the rights of workers. Last year, Liu repeatedly went to Beijing to hand in petitions to central-level departments after having been dismissed by her work unit. Xinyu authorities claimed that she could not run for elections on the grounds that she had been detained for ten days by local police for “illegally petitioning Beijing” (Caing.com, May 29; Southern Metropolitan News, May 9). Political observers in Beijing have pointed out that the authorities are nervous about liberal intellectuals and human rights lawyers running for elections partly because of memories of the 1989 democracy movement. Two years earlier, a number of activists, including Peking University student leader Wang Dan and Li Shuxian, wife of physicist and democracy theorist Fang Lizhi, had contested—albeit unsuccessfully—in polls for seats in Beijing’s Haidian District PC (RFA, June 11, 2005; Boxum.com, May 30, 2005).

Beijing’s reactions to the growing number of independent-minded intellectuals taking part in PC polls could depend on which way the political wind is blowing. Despite the party-state apparatus’ apparent lurch toward conservative ideas, quite a few official media outlets have published articles appealing for an open mind toward political pluralism. Writing in the Guangzhou-based Southern Weekend, Zhang Lihua said, “Criticizing [the authorities] is also a kind of patriotism.” Zhang, who is a member of the CCP Committee of Deqing County in Fujian Province, argued, “criticizing [the party and government] doesn’t mean opposing [them]; and opposing [certain policies] is not the same as being an enemy [of the administration].” Zhang added that “the entire society should treat yizhi [nonconformist] thinking with an inclusive attitude.” Zhang was repeating the viewpoint of a much-discussed article in a late April edition of the People’s Daily. Apparently reflecting the viewpoint of the minority of CCP liberals, the piece pleads with the authorities to “adopt a tolerant attitude toward yizhi thinking.” Citing Voltaire’s famous dictum about safeguarding the freedom of speech of one’s opponents, the article said that the “mentality that ‘you are my enemy if you think differently’ is a reflection of narrowness and weakness – and of no use for the construction of a harmonious society” (Southern Weekend, May 19; People’s Daily, April 28; Financial Times, May 10).

That the party may be undertaking a sizeable leap backward—at least in terms of ideology and tolerance toward dissent—however, is evidenced by a commentary that the CCP Central Commission on Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI) published in the People’s Daily on May 25. The CCDI, which is in charge of discipline and fighting corruption, said “upholding the CCP’s political discipline is a serious political struggle.” The commentary scolded unnamed party officials for “speaking out of turn—and pursuing their own agendas—regarding the basic theories, paths and principles of the party.” It even accused certain party members and cadres of “fabricating and spreading political rumors,” which had resulted in “the distortion of the image of the party and country” (People’s Daily, May 25; Ming Pao, May 26). There was speculation in Beijing’s political circles that the CCDI might be targeting Premier Wen, who recently asked the public to be wary of “the vestiges of feudal society” as well as the “pernicious influence of the Cultural Revolution” (The Economist, May 26; South China Morning Post, May 26).

In an editorial on the Qian bombing incident in Jiangxi, the official Global Times editorialized that “opposition to retributive killings” should be recognized as a “universal value.” “Murderers are penalized everywhere, which shows that prohibiting killing is a universal value among all mankind, which towers above everything.” The party mouthpiece noted that sympathy for the perpetrator of the “terrorist act,” as expressed by postings on the Internet, was symptomatic of “the confusion of values in Chinese society.” The paper also claimed that since “China is on the way to becoming a society ruled by law,” all disputes should be settled by legal means (Global Times, May 28; Ming Pao, May 29).

It seems beyond dispute, however, that the bulk of mass incidents in China have erupted because members of disadvantaged sectors are unable to redress wrongs such as “land grab” through proper legal channels. Moreover, party-and-state departments are seen as themselves breaking the law when they carry out the systematic intimidation and detention of globally respected human rights activists such as artist Ai Weiwei. If relevant authorities continue to use trumped-up pretexts to bar moderate intellectuals from taking part in grassroots elections, the CCP leadership risks being accused of desecrating “universal values” that are enshrined in both the United Nations Charter and China’s own Constitution.

via CHINA Either China’s Communist Party opens up to democracy or falls – Asia News.


Glass Dragon: China’s Cyber Offense Obscures Woeful Defense | threatpost

Contrary to the image of China as a nearly invincible cyber powerhouse, Beresford says in an interview with Threatpost Editor Paul Roberts, that the fast-growing nation suffers from woeful cyber security practices at home that leave, literally, thousands of networks and databases vulnerable to even trivial, remote attacks. Beresford, who publicized holes in domestic Chinese SCADA systems in

 

Dillon Beresford Security Consultant

 

September, 2010, said the country’s aggressive cyber offense abroad, he said, is in stark contrast to an almost total lack of basic cyber defense at home that has left both classified and unclassified government networks vulnerable to attack and compromise.

Dillon Beresford, a security researcher

via Glass Dragon: China’s Cyber Offense Obscures Woeful Defense | threatpost.


Officials in China to monitor public wi-fi use

 

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A green tea, a laptop … and someone monitoring you. Photo: Colleen Kinder/New York Times

BEIJING: New regulations that require bars, restaurants, hotels and bookstores to install costly web-monitoring software are prompting many businesses to cut internet access and sending a chill through the capital’s game-playing, web-grazing literati who have come to expect free wi-fi with their lattes and green tea.

The software, which costs businesses about $US3100 ($2840), provides public security officials the identities of those logging onto the wireless service of a restaurant, cafe or private school and monitors their web activity.

Those who ignore the regulation and provide unfettered access face a $US2300 fine and the possible revocation of their business license.

”From the point of view of the common people, this policy is unfair,” said Wang Bo, the owner of L’Infusion, a cafe that features crepes, waffles and the companionship of several dozing cats. ”It’s just an effort to control the flow of information.”

It is unclear whether the new measures will be strictly enforced or applied beyond the swathe of central Beijing where they are already in effect. But they suggest that public security officials, unnerved by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa partly enabled by the internet, are undaunted in their efforts to ramp up controls.

At public cybercafes, which is where China’s working poor have access to the internet, customers must hand over state-issued identification before getting on a computer.

The new measures, it would appear, are designed to eliminate a loophole in ”internet management” as it is called, one that has allowed laptop- and iPad-owning college students and expatriates, as well as the hip and the underemployed, to while away their days at cafes and lounges surfing the web in relative anonymity.

It is this demographic that has been at the forefront of the microblogging juggernaut, one that has revolutionised how Chinese exchange information in ways that occasionally frighten officials.

The Dongcheng Public Security Bureau did not respond to requests for comment, but according to its publicly-issued circular, the measure is designed to thwart criminals who use the internet to ”conduct blackmail, traffic goods, gamble, propagate damaging information and spread computer viruses”.

During a survey of more than a dozen businesses, none said they were prepared to purchase the software, which is designed to handle 100 users at one time.

via Officials in China to monitor public wi-fi use.


China Number One in Internet Use—And Abuse | China | Epoch Times

Domestic Internet use grows alongside censorship and aggressive cyberattacks abroad.

People at an internet cafe in Beijing, China in May 2011. China now has 485 million citizens capable of accessing the Web, more then any other country.

Set to surpass every other country in Internet users, China now has 485 million citizens capable of accessing the Web, the China Internet Network Information Center reported on July 19. This figure reflects growth of over 27 million people since the end of 2010 and a growth spurt of 36 percent for the 12 months.“The 28th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China,” also estimated that 500 million Chinese will be online by the end of 2011, making it number one globally.Weibo, for example, has become the favorite site of Chinese netizens.

And despite that users are subject to a slew of censorship restrictions, in the first half of 2011 its users increased from 63 to 195 million, an increase of 208 percent in six months. The overall percentage of netizens who use Weibo rose from 13.8 to 40 percent.Other areas of rapid growth were: 318 million now with mobile access and 195 million who use microblogs.Yet China’s Internet remains heavily censored. The most recent example is this month’s deliberate lid put on news of former Party.

boss Jiang Zemin’s apparent death. Online searches for his name, which is the character for “River,” or for the mere numeral “301,” which designates a military hospital for Party officials, turn up empty on Weibo.Statements by Chinese and US officials over the past two years have highlighted the stark differences in the two countries’ approaches to the Web.America sees the Internet as a resource for innovation and free expression, while the Chinese regime believes that heavily policing and deleting content is necessary to its rule. Common agreement cannot even be reached on the simple phrase “protecting computer networks,” given that sharing information in China is often a political question, and “protecting” networks can be another euphemism for censorship.Simultaneously, while the Communist Party has developed a heavy-handed approach to containing and controlling the domestic Internet, they have also incubated an environment where Chinese hackers readily reach out to strike at other countries—particularly the United States. Many analysts suspect that the attacks from China are led and organized by the state, because of their sophistication and persistent nature.On July 14, a US Deputy Defense Secretary speaking on cyber-security stated that cyber-attacks have risen sharply this past decade. In March alone, a foreign intelligence service was able to steal 24,000 files from a US defense contractor; the US did not say which country stole the materials, but in every other major case of its kind it has been China.Analysts in the field believe that the Communist Party has a branch of its military dedicated to launching these cyberespionage operations.

A Sky News reporter went to China in May and discovered that China employs a large army of computer hackers, as a paramilitary resource capable of generating over a billion cyberattacks monthly, with the US Defense Department fending off several million every day.A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal places China front and center in concerns over cyberattacks against the United States. Richard Clarke, the author, writes: “…thegovernment of China is systematically attacking the computer networks of the U.S.government and American corporations. Beijing is successfully stealing research and development, software source code, manufacturing know-how and government plans.”

He referred to “systematic penetrations of one industry after another” by Chinese hackers, and suggests that hackers from China—undoubtedly with the backing of, or perhaps under the aegis of the state—have planted “digital bombs” in the American electrical grid
.

via China Number One in Internet Use—And Abuse | China | Epoch Times.


Chinese Hacker-CYber Timeline: June 23, 2011

Created by: veteran4life:- GatoMalo@uscyberlabs.com

This timeline covers almost all of 2010 – to get a full up to date time-line email me : GatoMalo@uscyberlabs.com. This time-line opened my eye’s and helped connect the dots like 2003 Microsoft opens up source code to China (Titan Rain-starts part of Moonlight Maze operations-) to get MS-Office sold. The Chinese do not like any code that they did not create, all code has back-doors and the west will use it to destroy China, or so goes the Chinese paranoia. – Cyber Chronology

ENJOY THE TIMELINE:

Chinese Hacker-Cyber Timeline 1994 -2010

Year

Major Incident
1994 -1996 Formation, Expansion and Exploration –
1997
  • The Green Army (China’s first hacker group) is formed
  • China Eagle Union’s preliminary web design registered as Chinawill and title “Voice of the Dragon”.
1998
  • Anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia ignites retaliation from Chinese hackers and provide the catalyst for the creation of the “Red Hacker Alliance
  • Moonlight Maze – The name Moonlight Maze refers to an incident in which U.S. officials accidentally discovered a pattern of probing of computer systems at The PentagonNASA,United States Department of Energy, private universities, and research labs that had begun in March 1998 and had been going on for nearly two years. Sources report that the invaders were systematically marauding through tens of thousands of files — including maps of military installations, troop configurations and military hardware designs. The United States Department of Defense traced the trail back to a mainframe computer in the former Soviet Union but the sponsor of the attacks is unknown and Russia denies any involvement. Moonlight Maze is still being actively investigated by U.S. intelligence (as of 2003).[1]
1999
  • Cyber conflict between People’s Republic of China’s and Taiwan over “Two State Theory”
  • Commercialism is introduced into the Green Army
  • August- Taiwanese and Chinese Hacker War- ERUPTS
2000
  • Denial of Nanjing Massacre leads to attack on Japanese web Sites
  • Taiwanese elections spark conflict with mainland hackers
  • November – Chinese Hacktivist threaten DDOS on Taiwan National Day
  • Hacker activity marking the anniversary of the firstSino-US Hacker war squashed by the Chinese government. Chinese hacktivist appear to goUnder Ground.
  • Beginning of “reckless desire” within the alliance the Green Army falls apart from financial disputes
  • Honker Union of China founded by Lion
  • China Eagle Union founded by Won Tao
  • Javaphile founded by CoolSwallow and Blhuang

2001
  • The Red Hacker Alliance attacks Japan over incident
  • The Japanese Web Site hit over Prime ministers visit to controversial monument.
  • April- First “Sino-US Hacker War” erupts after US EP-3 and PLA F-2 Collided and US crew Detained
2002 Attack on Taiwanese company Lite-On by Javaphile

2003

  • Titan Rain – was the U.S. government‘s designation given to a series of coordinated attacks on American computer systems since 2003. The attacks were labeled as Chinese in origin, although their precise nature (i.e., state-sponsored espionagecorporate espionage, or randomhacker attacks) and their real identities (i.e., masked by proxy, zombie computer, spyware/virus infected) remain unknown. The activity known as ‘Titan Rain’ is believed to be associated with an Advanced Persistent Threat.
  • August- Reports of Chinese hackers against Taiwanese government and commercial sites.
  • The Chinese government grants licenses to open Internet cafe chains to just 10 firms, including three affiliated to the Ministry of Culture, one linked to the politically powerful Central Committee of China Youth League and six state-owned telecoms operators.
  • Microsoft opens up source code to China to get MS-Office –

2004

  • Chinese hackers hit Japan government web site over dispute over Diaoyu Island.
  • July Chinese hacker attacks against Taiwan continues
  • November- Media reports of attacks against several US military installations.

2005

  • Honker Union of China reforms
  • December- In early December 2005 the director of the SANS Institute, a security institute in the U.S., said that the attacks were “most likely the result of Chinese military hackers attempting to gather information on U.S. systems.”[1]
  • March- Several attacks from sites in allegedly in China against multiple sites in Japan.
  • August- Media reporting of Chinese Espionage condemned “Titan Rain
  • September- According to media staff in Taiwan National Security Council is targeted via social engineering e-mails.
  • China purchases over 200 routers from an American company, Cisco Systems that allow the government more sophisticated technological censoring capabilities. In October, the governmentblocks access to Wikipedia.

2006

  • British MPs targeted. (Guardian, Smash and Grab, the High Tech Way)
  • June- Chinese hackers strike at Taiwan MoD.
  • July- Media Report US State Department is recovering from a damaging cyber attack
  • August- Official State hostile cyber force have downloaded up to 20tb (Terra Byte = 1024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte -20 terabytes of data)
  • August- Claims of Congressional Computers being hacked are made
  • November- US Naval War College computers infrastructure reportedly attacked.
  • January-  a group of former senior Communist party officials in China criticize the internet censorship, warning that it could “sow the seeds of disaster” for China’s political transition.
  • February-  Google agrees to block websites, which the Chinese Government deems illegal in exchange for a license to operate on Chinese soil. The search engine responds to international criticism by protesting that it has to obey local laws.
  • May-  Chinese Internet users encountered difficulties when connecting to Hotmail, Microsoft’s popular email service. Microsoft says the break in service is caused by technical problems, but there is widespread speculation that the incident is linked to state censorship. In the last week of May, Google and many of its services also became unreachable.
  • July-  researchers at Cambridge University claim to have broken through the Great Firewall of China – the government imposed blocks on large portions of the web.
  • November-  the Chinese language version of Wikipedia is briefly unblocked before being shut down again the same month.

2007

  • WASHINGTON —  The Chinese government hacked a noncritical Defense Department computer system in June, a Pentagon source told FOX News on Tuesday.
  • Pentagon investigators could not definitively link the cyber attack to the Chinese military, the source said, but the technology was sophisticated enough that it indicated to Pentagon officials — as well as those in charge of computer security — that it came from within the Chinese government.
  • 2007 German Chancellery compromised and China accused of being the perpetrator. (Der Spiegel, Merkel’s China Visit Marred by Hacking Allegations)
  • 2007 US Pentagon email servers compromised for an extended period. Cost to recover $100 million. Paul, Ryan. “Pentagon e-mail taken down by hackers.” Ars Technica. 22 June 2007 )
  • 2007 Oak Ridge National Laboratory targeted by Chinese hackers (Stiennon, Haephratic Technique Used to Crack US Research Lab)
  • June- OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) Computers attacked via malicious e-mail.
  • August- Reports emerge of cyber attacks of Germany.
  • September- Reports emerge of cyber attacks of UK.
  • September- Reports emerge of cyber attacks of NZL (New Zealand).
  • October-US Nuclear Labs targeted by malicious e-mail.
  • December- MI5 Issues warring on Chinese Cyber Attacks
  • January- Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, pledges to “purify” the Internet. He makes no specific mention of censorship, saying China needs to “strengthen administration and development of our country’s Internet culture.”
  • March- access to the LiveJournal, Xanga, Blogger and Blogspot blogging services from within China become blocked. Blogger and Blogspot become accessible again later the same month.
  • June-  American military warn that China is gearing up to launch a cyber war on the US -plans to hack US networks for trade and defense secrets.

2008

  • March- Reports emerge on cyber attacks on Australia.
  • May- Reports emerge on cyber attacks on India.
  • May- Reports emerge on cyber attacks on Belgium
  • May- US commerce Secretary laptop investigation for data infiltration.
  • June- US elections campaign hacking reported.
  • November- Hacking of White House Computers alleged.
  • November- Massive intrusion on NASA systems released.
  • December- French Embassy Web site attacked in protest over meeting with Dali Lama
  • April-  MI5 writes to more than 300 senior executives at banks, accountants and legal firms warning them that the Chinese army is using Internet spyware to steal confidential information.
  • June- Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, makes his first tentative steps online by answering questions on a web forum.
  • August- China faces widespread criticism for Internet censorship in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. The government surprises critics by lifting some of the restrictions, making the websites of human rights organizations such as Amnesty International accessible for the first time.

2009

  • March- GhostNet – China’s large-scale cyber-spying -China’s global cyber-espionage network GhostNet penetrates 103 countries. A vast Chinese cyber-espionage network, codenamed GhostNet, has penetrated 103 countries and infects at least a dozen new computers every week, according to researchers.
  • 2009 Three largest resource companies in Australia, including Rio Tinto compromised.(Rio Tinto hacked at time of Hu arrest)
  • 2009 Google Aurora attacks target user data and source code. (McAfee blog)
  • April- Compromise of systems across 103 countries by Chinese cyber spies while Chinese govvernment denies invollment in GhostNet.
  • April- Daily attacks reported against German government.
  • April- The Chinese government denies reports of hacking the Australian Prime Ministers e-mail
  • April- Reports emerge of Chinese hackers targeting South Korea official with social engineered e-mail.
  • March-, Bill Gates weighs into the Internet censorship row, declaring that “Chinese efforts to censor the Internet have been very limited” and that the Great Firewall of China is “easy to go around”. His comments are met with scorn by commentators on the web.
  • March-, the government blocks the video-sharing website YouTube after footage appearing to show police beating Tibetan monks is posted on the site.
  • June-, China imposes an information black-outin the lead up to the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, blocking access to networking sites such as Twitter as well as BBC television reports.
  • June-, China faces a storm of criticism over plans to force all computer users to install Green Dam Internet monitoring software. The plan is dropped in August.
  • June-Lord West, the British security minister,warns that Britain faces the threat of a “cyber cold war” with China amid fears that hackers could gain the technology to shut down the computer systems that control Britain’s power stations, water companies, air traffic, government and financial markets.
  • August-, the US Government begins covertly testing technology to allow people in China and Iran to bypass Internet censorship firewalls set up by their own governments.
  • December-, the government offers rewards of up to 10,000 Yuan (£888) to users who report websites featuring pornography. The number of pornographic searches rockets.

2010

 

via cyber.amoreswebdesign.com_AmoresWebDesign -Cyber BlogAmoresWebDesign -Cyber Blog » Cyber Security & Warfare Blog.


Chinese software vulnerable to hackers: How long till LulzSec and Anonymous notice? – International Business Times

With news out that parts of China’s networks are currently vulnerable to cyber attacks from hacker’s, analysts have begun to speculate how long will it be until the hacker groups Anonymous and LulzSec take advantage.

 

Google -vs- China

The bug in China‘s software

A report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security today revealed that parts of the software systems used by China to run its weapons, utilities and chemical plants systems suffer from an inherent bug in their coding.

The bug reportedly creates a crack in the systems cyber security that could potentially be exploited by hackers.

After the weakness was discovered DHS reportedly contacted China warning it over the bug in its software.

China are not the only country that could be affected. The software was designed by Beijing-based Sunway Force Control Technology Co. Sunway’s products, while most widely used in China, are also used by certain Western companies — meaning that they are just as vulnerable.

According to experts, the hole in security is so severe that a successful attack could potentially cause lasting damage on critical parts of China’s infrastructure.

Sunway has since clarified that it has already developed software patches to plug the security holes.

Unfortunately, the company also admitted that it will take the software’s users weeks, maybe months to install the new security fixes — a rather large window of opportunity for any opportunistic hacker.

LulzSec and Anonymous

The hacker collectives LulzSec and Anonymous have both gained notoriety this year for perpetrating high-profile hacks and cyber attacks against numerous companies and government agencies.

Despite both having been born from the older hacking collective 4Chan both operate under very different principles.

Anonymous

The older group Anonymous, has always marketed itself as “hacktivist”. The group in general targets organisations or companies it feels have done wrong.

Most recently Anonymous has targeted the Turkish government, protesting its continued censorship of the internet.

In a statement released earlier this year the group openly stated its motivation writing:

“We are anonymous. Over the last few years, we have witnessed the censorship taken by the Turkish government, such as blocking YouTube, Rapidshare, Fileserve and thousands of other websites.

“Most recently, the government banned access to Google services. These acts of censorship are inexcusable.

“The internet is a platform for freedom, a place where anyone and everyone can come together, discuss topics, and share information, without fear of government interference”.

With China’s propensity to block websites and ongoing feud with Google, it certainly wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility for Anonymous to target China for similar reasons — indeed swap Chinese for Turkish and the statement could be seen to ring equally true.

LulzSec

Despite originating from the same source as Anonymous, the hacker collective LulzSec operate under very different principles — if any.

As the name would suggest — Lulz being a reference to lolz which means lots of laughs — LulzSec’s primary motivation for its attacks seems to be simple entertainment.

While the group did originally claim that its attacks on Sony were a punishment for the company’s extended PlayStation Network outage, it has since committed numerous hacks offering no reason past “just for Lulz”.

Most recently the group has released the email, social networking and password information of 62,000 apparently innocent internet users, simply because fans on its Twitter page asked them to.

Similarly, earlier this week LulzSec hacked the games company Bethesda Sofwork’s website just to win an argument on Twitter.

The group has already shown willingness to target high-profile government departments and agencies. Only this week it reported successful attacks on the U.S. Senate and CIA’s websites.

With this in mind, it seems highly unlikely that the group would pass up the opportunity to target one of the most humourless regimes in the world in its moment of weakness.

via Chinese software vulnerable to hackers: How long till LulzSec and Anonymous notice? – International Business Times.


Defense minister denies China behind cyber attacks

SINGAPORE – China’s defense minister on Sunday denied that Beijing was behind cyber attacks on foreign targets and said the country was also a victim of Internet hackers.

“It is hard to attribute the real source of attacks and we need to work together to make sure that this security problem won’t be a problem,” Defense Minister Liang Guanglie told a security forum in Singapore.

“Actually in China we also suffered quite a wide range (of) and frequent cyber attacks,” he said through a translator.

“The Chinese government attaches importance also on cyber security and stands firmly against all kinds of cyber crimes,” he said.

“It is important for everyone to obey or follow laws and regulations in terms of cyber security,” said Liang, who joined calls for global coordination to deal with cyber security.

The United States and Britain called Saturday for international cooperation against threats to cyber security following a fresh spate of attacks on government and corporate targets.

A few days before, Internet giant Google said a cyber spying campaign originating in China had targeted Gmail accounts of senior US officials, military personnel, journalists and Chinese political activists.

China said Thursday it was “unacceptable” to blame it for operation.

US aerospace giant Boeing said Friday on the sidelines of the Singapore conference that it was under “continuous” cyber attack but there had been no breach of its databases.

via Defense minister denies China behind cyber attacks | Inquirer News.