China

"Still a Developing Country"

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chinese computer

Someone in China is hacking into the computers of American congressional offices. They've hit several congressmen in the last couple years.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) gave a speech on the floor yesterday described the incursion on his offices computers in 2006. The first target? "The computer of my foreign policy and human rights staff person." Why?: "My suspicion is that I was targeted by Chinese sources because of my long history of speaking out about China's abysmal human rights record."

China's defense:

"Is there any evidence?" Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular news conference in Beijing. "China is still a developing country."

Apparently, the country that maintains an elaborate censorship regime on Internet access at home, and manufactures huge amounts of computer hardware for use abroad is utterly bereft of gifted hackers. Go figure.

Via Ars Technica

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  1. Bah, they probably just wanted to figure out how big a campaign donation to give him.

  2. The funny thing is we probably have nerds who work at the NSA, and between drinking their RockStar Pomegranate, picking their zits in the bathroom, and watching clips of Sailor Moon, probably attempt to hack Chinese stuff. But I would imagine the NSA ensures they can’t be traced back here.

    See, that’s what the guy meant by “still a developing country”; they aren’t as good at lying yet.

  3. Episiarch stole my comment.

  4. Hey, remember when Israel hacked Syria’s defense net so they never saw the Israeli bombers that blasted their nukle plant?

    Wasn’t that great?

  5. So, Katherine Mangu-Ward is shilling for Big WANG.

  6. Been a long time since I’ve seen a Wang terminal.

  7. Been a long time since I’ve seen a Wang terminal.

    There are people you can pay to show them to you.

  8. But I would imagine the NSA ensures they can’t be traced back here.

    Do you think they could hide their snooping by making it look like the hacking is coming from China?

  9. Episiarch stole my comment.

    It’s not property, so I can’t steal it.

  10. I must admit, I prefer the small google pictures of cute asian girls to the large shirtless man when we talk about gays.

  11. If I recall my reading correctly, congressmen are prime targets of espionage because they are awful with security.

    TallDave,

    Is that how Israel did it? I thought it was because of a bug in the system that one of their spies exploited.

  12. To me, the most disturbing thing here is that our great leaders in Washington haven’t yet discovered that storing sensitive information in removable media instead of on the internal hard drive renders hacking impossible.

  13. I remember when Jeff Goldblum installed a paralyzing virus on the alien mother ship’s main computer without even knowing what OS, processor, or hardware they were using. That kicked ass.

  14. Chris.

    Well, duh, all you need for that is a program that displays a bar gradually filling up.

  15. I remember when Jeff Goldblum installed a paralyzing virus on the alien mother ship’s main computer without even knowing what OS, processor, or hardware they were using. That kicked ass.

    No, aliens use Macs, and those who use Macs are aliens.

  16. Is that how Israel did it? I thought it was because of a bug in the system that one of their spies exploited.

    Could be. I’ve seen a couple versions.

    Personally, I think they used IPOTEOZ.

  17. No, aliens use Macs, and those who use Macs are aliens.

    This is true. My girlfriend is a legal alien and has a MacBook and an iPod touch.

  18. Whoops, joke handle.

  19. Their defense reminds me of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

    Epi,

    It’s kind of like how we spend so much time taking sides in other countries’ elections, and spend lots of money to help our chosen candidate, but then freak out when foreigners make so much as a peep about ours.

  20. Heard of security updates? go to Start -> All programs -> Windows Update

    This is just another excuse by the criminal Republicans to get congress to pass a law allowing big brother to spy on your internet activity. They’ve been trying for a while now.

  21. Bob,

    But you could be a terrorist. Never mind that a terrorist wouldn’t do something so obvious as to go to martyr.com. Relax. Its for the children.

  22. Heard of security updates? go to Start -> All programs -> Windows Update

    Hahahahahahahaha!

    Security!

    Windows!

    Hahahahah!

  23. J,

    I must admit, I prefer the small google pictures of cute asian girls to the large shirtless man when we talk about gays.

    Um, I think that we are viewing that “Help Susette Save Homes” ad in a totally different manner.

  24. Ooops! Now that I posted that the cute ad you mentioned showed up.

  25. I remember when Jeff Goldblum installed a paralyzing virus on the alien mother ship’s main computer without even knowing what OS, processor, or hardware they were using. That kicked ass.

    Or any number of espionage thrillers that show a code being decrypted one digit at a time.

    So, who was working with the aliens, Intel or Motorola?

  26. Dammit, I keep getting Susette!

  27. There’s lots of problems with saying “X tried to hack into my computers”.

    It’s not that the Chinese aren’t trying to hack into anything they can; they are. It’s just that tracing internet-based attacks is very difficult, because it’s so easy to forge the return address on packets, or redirect attacks through numerous proxies. So even though it appears that a Chinese address is attempting to access your system, it could just as easily be a Russian on the other end of the connection, or French, or Brazilian, or, *gasp*, even American!

    Various mouthpieces of the national-security complex have been raising the spectre of an impending cyberwar with China. Wired’s Threat Level has been doing an excellent job of debunking the nonsense:

    http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/06/no-chinese-hack.html

  28. To me, the most disturbing thing here is that our great leaders in Washington haven’t yet discovered that storing sensitive information in removable media instead of on the internal hard drive renders hacking impossible.

    Only if you remember to remove the media.

    Even more secure: Don’t connect the computer with the sensitive information in it to the Internet.

  29. No, aliens use Macs, and those who use Macs are aliens.

    I don’t know what OS they were running but hardware-wise they seemed to favor Alienware! I’m here all night!

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