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March 30th, 2009

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11:23 am - The Chinese COMMIES are SPYING on YOU

"A security expert says that a vast cyber spy network unearthed by Canadian researchers is a "smoking gun" which affirms suspicions in the west about Chinese computer espionage."

Want to keep this article in my archives, so I'm copy/pasting this thing under the cut.  You can either click the link above or click my lj-cut here to read the article (there's a video at the link though, so you may want to go read the original.

A Toronto-based research group announced this week that a shadowy, malicious computer bug called GhostNet has so far infected 1295 computers in 103 countries with the aim of spying and relaying private information back to its owners.

While the Citizen Lab research group, based at the Munk Centre for International Studies in Toronto, didn't directly blame China's communist government for the virus, a former CSIS agent said Beijing is clearly responsible.

"They stopped short, unfortunately, at sort of pointing a finger directly at the Chinese government," said security expert Michel Juneau-Katsuya.

"But an associated group ... working with them is quite clear: it is the Chinese government."

Juneau-Katsuya told CTV Newsnet Sunday evening that GhostNet is tantamount to an "act of aggression from the Chinese," who have been pursuing a covert information war since 1999.

"Now we have a smoking gun," he said.

The cyber detectives discovered that many of the targets were computers in the embassies and foreign affairs offices of governments in South Asia and South East Asia.

A computer at NATO was also infected by the malware, which has the ability to scan files, monitor emails and even snoop in a private room by switching on a computer's webcam.

The virus was discovered after researchers launched a sting based on suspicions that the Dalai Lama's office was under attack from computer hackers.

Dermod Travis, who works with the Canada Tibet Committee, said computers at the group's Montreal offices have been targeted by hackers in the past.

"This is a daily occurrence that we see coming at our computers," he said, echoing that China's government is likely to blame.

"We know how to treat them and delete them, but we do have to be vigilant on a daily basis," he said.

"Like you and other Canadians today, I'm shocked at how vast this particular operation is."

Travis added that the Canadian government should be concerned of GhostNet's ramifications on civil liberty and privacy.

"Clearly, this particular operation has gone on far beyond the Tibet movement to ... other countries."

Rafal Rohozinski, one of the report's authors, said the research team first allowed one of their own computers to be infected as a "honey pot."

Then, they tracked the virus and discovered that it had spread a wide net across Asian countries, said Rohozinski, who works with the SecDev Group of researchers.

"Its purpose was not criminal but rather for extracting information," he said, adding the hackers could intercept emails and read files stored on the computer.

"The access to information they had was limitless."

"While the Citizen Lab research group, based at the Munk Centre for International Studies in Toronto, didn't directly blame China's communist government for the virus, a former CSIS agent said Beijing is clearly responsible."
<-- Why do they (and a lot of people I find) feel this unrepressable urge to emphasize China's COMMUNIST government everytime they refer to it?  I think most people know it's a COMMUNIST government.  We don't read "The USA's democratic government did this", "The Canadian democratic government did that", etc., etc.  Are they taking us for morons or what?

"The virus was discovered after researchers launched a sting based on suspicions that the Dalai Lama's office was under attack from computer hackers. Dermod Travis, who works with the Canada Tibet Committee, said computers at the group's Montreal offices have been targeted by hackers in the past. (...) 'Clearly, this particular operation has gone on far beyond the Tibet movement to ... other countries'."
<-- Pft, the Chinese government doesn't need to hack your computers to know what you're up to, they have all their international students doing the spying for them according to those annoying FLG pests (yes, the Epoch Times IS a newspaper of the FLG, those sneaky bastards.  I can't believe such blatant propaganda against a sovereign government is allowed to litter the streets of my capital city and even on my university campus.  If an anti-Canadian government equivalent paper was allowed in China I can just imagine what the news medias here would be headlining), along with the several thousand spies in Canada alone remember?  Better watch out, you might find a paycheck from the Chinese COMMUNIST government in my drawers one day with a note from President Hu and Premier Wen themselves thanking me for my hardwork in infiltrating into the land of maple syrup.  Next time I should ask them for a pay-raise considering I'm still needing to look for a minimum-waged full-time job this summer just to pay my rent, tsk, tsk.

Thanks to my friend for showing me the article, needed that good laugh, and to quote her, "...They don't have to be that obvious with the fear tactic, geeze", it's like the Cold War all over again.  The Red Commies are after you, they're in your closet and under your bed, keep your night-light on or they'll...uh...force you to nationalize your companies and...er...work in factories for minimal wages!!!!

(APHetalia: Mathew, lol, what can I say except watch out for Yao's awesome hacker skills XDD)

[Edit]: Upon re-reading this article aside from a phrase "an associated group...working with them is quite clear: it is the Chinese government" there is no evidence to say WHY they suspect China to be behind this.  They don't even tell us what associated group this is, what's their name, what do they do, how do they know it's the Chinese government, where's their evidence? Over the years I've heard of dozens of international virus attacks on the net that can retrieve personal data from computers and sometimes change them around, where is the evidence linking this particular one to the Chinese government?  I think a LOT of countries would be interested in the information from foreign embassies and even Tibet-related organizations, not just China.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
I thought Canada had a communist government too?

/being silly
[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
Lol, well once upon a time we were getting there, now laser-eyes Harper is ripping us away from it, right in the nick of time to smack into the brick wall of the current economic crisis. I think if I had to choose a "Western" government that's most left-leaning and closest to Communism (or socialism) it'd have to be France, although I hear they're head over heels in debt these days and the people are still bitching they they have to work too hard and there's not enough benefits =O

But you know, apparently some ppl in the USA thinks Canada's a socialist country XDD Compared to the US Canada's definitely more left-leaning though, I wish they'd just lean on the right sectors like putting more money into healthcare and education instead of random crap that doesn't do anything *pout*
[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
AAAAHHHH Socialism! O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O
[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Which one's worse in your opinion; socialism or communism? (Or capitalism if we want to through that in there, lol. Although I think capitalism is comparable to socialism as communism is comparable to democracy [why doesn't democracy have an -ism at the end?? Ruined my flow *pour*] since 2 refer to economic policies and the other 2 refer to governing/political systems...ah my head's spinning @__@)

Here, have a socialist Maple Leaf Flag to nightmare over MWAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!! We reds gotta stick together!
[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
On why the chinese government is suspected, CNN wrote this:

"The discovery of GhostNet grew out of suspicions that the office of the Dalai Lama had been hacked.

His staff sent a foreign diplomat an e-mail invitation to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader, but before the Dalai Lama's people could follow up with a phone call, "the diplomat's office was contacted by the Chinese government and warned not to go ahead with the meeting," according to the Cambridge report.

The investigation resulted in both reports. Both found links to computers in China, but the researchers did not conclude who they thought was behind the "malware," or malicious software."


The cybersecurity experts who say they discovered GhostNet said China was a player in the field, but did not blame Beijing for the attacks.


Hackers gained access to computers in the Dalai Lama's office by tricking computer users into downloading attachments in e-mail which had been carefully engineered to appear safe, according to the authors of the Cambridge report, titled, "The snooping dragon: social-malware surveillance of the Tibetan movement."

"The attackers took the trouble to write e-mails that appeared to come from fellow Tibetans and indeed from co-workers," say the report's authors, Shishir Nagaraja and Ross Anderson. Once the attackers gained an initial foothold, "they also stole mail in transit and replaced the attachments with toxic ones," they add.

The Dalai Lama investigation led to the discovery of hundreds more infected machines in locations from The Associated Press in Britain and Deloitte and Touche in New York, to the ministries of foreign affairs in Indonesia, Iran and the Philippines. The office of the prime minister of Laos was also snared, as was a single non-secure computer at NATO, "Tracking GhostNet" claims.

I have not enough information to seriously take sides. I just register the news. And I know that a lot of facts and finds can be interpreted to support whatever the interpreter wants it to support. With my personal background I sort of understand your motivation for these posts, but usually they do little to tip my mood balance in China's favor.
[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
For your first quote, just because it's the Dalai Lama's computer that got hacked doesn't make the perpetrator the CCP by default. I would seriously question the intelligence of the Chinese authorities if they contacted some diplomat who had planned to meet the Dalai Lama yet hasn't yet released a press release on it to the public. That's absolute stupidity, a 5 year old child would know that a) that would set off alarm bells in peoples' heads and b) it would give away the fact that you somehow have access to their internal information of which you are not suppose to.

As for your last 2 quotes I fail to see how that implicates the Chinese government in any way more than the article I posted. Cybersecurity experts say China's a player, ok, how do they know? What're they going by? What's their proof? Who are these experts? What're their credentials? If these experts have links to say agencies such as the CIA I'd question how unbiased their findings are as well as the motivations behind such findings.

The last quote, how do they know it's the CHinese government who would take the time to make up some email to send around to them? There's probably thousands of hackers in the world, some of the best probably reside in agencies like CIA, CSIS, and every other intelligence agency in every single country. Just because it's the email was circulated in a Tibet-related organization the default perpetrator is the Chinese government? That's like saying, oh oops, the USA government's network got hacked, the perpetrator's HAS to be Osama Bin Laden.

Like I said, nothing that proves anything, from either your article or mine, no substantive evidence of anything. Now I'm not saying it's impossible it's China, certainly it's possible, but they can't be default place the blame on China using the words of some anonymous "experts" and expect us not to question, but apparently they do because when China's concerned people DON'T question. Like last year with the Tibet riots too, they can post up photos of Nepalese police beating Free Tibet protesters and say it's Chinese authorities because they KNOW people over here won't question it, they won't dig into it, they'll glance at the headlines and go "Oh dear, those Chinese are at it again". They don't have to back up their stories and can use "reliable sources" offered by the Dalai Lama whose names we can't ever know because god forbid they'd get a lung taken out by the PLA in China if their names are revealed. Our schools here taught us critical thinking, I'm applying it. Just because the country's on the other side of the planet and has a government which operates in a different way than our's doesn't mean our medias can do half-assed coverages and not expect questions.

Whether they tip your views or not that's really not the purpose of my posts. Political posts on my personal journal are more for me to express my views (and often vent some frustration and exasperation). Whether you read them or not and your reactions to them are minimally my concern unless I somehow break a law with a post or something.

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