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Vast Electronic Spying Operation Discovered

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the whaling-for-political-advantage dept.

Security 303

homesalad writes "Researchers in Toronto have discovered a huge international electronic spying operation that they are calling 'GhostNet.' So far it has infiltrated government and corporate offices in 103 countries, including the office of the Dalai Lama (who originally went to the researchers for help analyzing a suspected infiltration). The operation appears to be based in China, and the information gained has been used to interfere with the actions of the Dalai Lama and to thwart individuals seeking to help Tibetan exiles. The researchers found no evidence of infiltration of US government computers, although machines at the Indian embassy were compromised. Here is the researchers' summary; a full report, 'Tracking "GhostNet": Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network' will be issued this weekend." A separate academic group in the UK that helped with the research is issuing its own report, expected to be available on March 29. Here is the abstract. They seem to be putting more stress on the "social malware" nature of the attack and ways to mitigate such techniques.

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303 comments

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gnaa (-1, Flamebait)

incesticide (1517875) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372325)

gay nigger association of america

spy on this: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372357)

eat my asshole you dirty chinks

Re:spy on this: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27373209)

The Chinese: really little dicks, really BIG botnets!

In Soviet China, little dick laughs at American woman!

Chinese women have 3 tight slits - two on the face, one 'tween the legs.

Really? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372393)

The U.S. and other governments have been doing things like this for years...

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372579)

This doesn't sound like Echelon or Carnivore, but more like spyware being installed on computers.

Re:Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372699)

[citation needed]

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372897)

Does that make it good, just, or laudable?

Evil is evil, no matter who does it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372973)

Yeah, but the US government doesn't need to infect so many computers - instead they just listen in on all traffic that goes through the US.

And for traffic that doesn't go through the US, well, isn't it strange how often undersea lines "accidentally" get broken when there are US ships in the area?

From TFA (1, Insightful)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372409)

the abstract mentions that the attack was done using malwares. Firstly, I expected Chinese hackers (read govt.) smarter than this. Secondly, almost every government that allows internet reach its people have some some kind of surveillance and spy network in place. And its getting pretty obvious from the new laws that we are seeing popping up in various countries these days.

Re:From TFA (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372693)

the abstract mentions that the attack was done using malwares. Firstly, I expected Chinese hackers (read govt.) smarter than this.

Considering how effective it was, why use a different technique? I mean if they get something really super-hot, they would save it for more critical times. Until every copy of Windows is patched, firewalled, run thru Tor, buried in peat and recycled as firelighters, why bother?

Re:From TFA (2, Insightful)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372711)

Why exactly you think they will leave the non-windows untouched?

Re:From TFA (4, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372761)

Windows is much more prevalent and the low hanging fruit. I don't think Mac and Linux will be totally ignored, but the bulk of the effort will go where the bulk of the target are, and in a normal office environment that means Microsoft Windows, Office and Internet Explorer.

Re:From TFA (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373031)

The most secure US government network I've seen (datacenter for a Three Letter Agency) used a mix of NetWare servers and a mainframe. While client machines can be compromised, I suspect someone was thinking along these lines when it came to the servers. Linux and Mac aren't particularly obscure or uncommon, but the US governemtn probably has the address of every programmer who ever worked on the NetWare kernel. I don't know what OS the mainframe was running, but there are several where, like NetWare, the total number of humans worldwide with kernel hacking knowledge is "dozens".

Re:From TFA (4, Informative)

gobbo (567674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372723)

the abstract mentions that the attack was done using malwares. Firstly, I expected Chinese hackers (read govt.) smarter than this.

The bulk of Chinese intel is heavily distributed. The world's largest families don't need to rely on 007 agents; they can aggregate huge quantities of data by getting observant volunteers from the chinese diaspora to send bits of info back home through regular channels, like aunt Ping or even uncle James. It's so distributed it doesn't look like spying, and it isn't really, in the traditional sense.

This has driven counterintelligence agencies in 'western' democracies and republics to distraction. There are hardly any spooks to catch, mainly just a giant global gossamer net of informers, and enormous compiling and analysis operations in China. The 'agents', who are barely agents if at all, have strong deniability and can always fall back on complaints of harassment due to ethnic targeting. (Google the issue, it's amusing.)

I think it's brilliant, even if wholly dependent on the chinese sense of family ties. A malware attack is a similar approach: it doesn't look like the work of spies, at first, and it's broadly distributed. So, it's plausible that it could be a chinese intel operation, just from the M.O.

Re:From TFA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372857)

The bulk of Chinese intel is heavily distributed. The world's largest families don't need to rely on 007 agents; they can aggregate huge quantities of data by getting observant volunteers from the chinese diaspora to send bits of info back home through regular channels, like aunt Ping or even uncle James. It's so distributed it doesn't look like spying, and it isn't really, in the traditional sense.

This has driven counterintelligence agencies in 'western' democracies and republics to distraction. There are hardly any spooks to catch, mainly just a giant global gossamer net of informers, and enormous compiling and analysis operations in China. The 'agents', who are barely agents if at all, have strong deniability and can always fall back on complaints of harassment due to ethnic targeting. (Google the issue, it's amusing.)

I think it's brilliant, even if wholly dependent on the chinese sense of family ties.

You understand that you are pulling this out of your ass, do you?

Re:From TFA (1)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373321)

If Chinese people do it, it's spying. If westerners do it (such as via twitter, or even wikileaks) it's just social media.

Target operating system? (4, Interesting)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372429)

Infection happens two ways. In one method, a userâ(TM)s clicking on a document attached to an e-mail message lets the system covertly install software deep in the target operating system. Alternatively, a user clicks on a Web link in an e-mail message and is taken directly to a âoepoisonedâ Web site.

Unless I missed it, I don't see Windows mentioned...but I'm going to go out on a limb here and figure the targeted OS is Windows.

Transporter_ii

Re:Target operating system? (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372541)

I don't know. It surprised me that the Dalai Lama even used computers. But if he did, they'd probably are Macs. He just seems like that kind of guy

Re:Target operating system? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372559)

Macs? I'd think he'd be a Linux type of guy.

Re:Target operating system? (5, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372891)

Macs? I'd think he'd be a Linux type of guy.

Mac, for sure. If someone knows the sound of one mouse button clicking, the DL is it!

Re:Target operating system? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27373119)

Macs? I'd think he'd be a Linux type of guy.

And I suppose you are thinking of the Enlightenment window manager?

Re:Target operating system? (1)

Logic Worshiper (1480539) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372621)

Mac? I thought material goods were impure...

Re:Target operating system? (3, Funny)

heritage727 (693099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372869)

His real problem is that none of his emails have attachments.

Re:Target operating system? (2, Interesting)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373195)

It surprised me that the Dalai Lama even used computers.

Dude - the Dali Llama is on Twitter [twitter.com] . He's also one of the most wired religious leaders in the world, and appears to have a Blackberry (if his Twitter updates and anecdotal reports of emails are to be believed).

Re:Target operating system? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372569)

Unless I missed it, I don't see Windows mentioned...but I'm going to go out on a limb here and figure the targeted OS is Windows.

If it's a targeted attack you'd target whatever the target is using. Even if what you said was true, it's not proof of anything except that the Dalai Lama doesn't use Mac or Linux.

Re:Target operating system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372951)

LOL come on, stop playing with words, and admit it s not as easy, or even not feasible in certain cases, to hack some educated target running Linux, *BSD, or another OS which is not a toy, via email.

Target the OS with the back door? (3, Interesting)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373097)

I wonder how much Microsoft's Malicious Software reporting tool would be to help in targeting specific systems?

Botnet fighters have another tool in their arsenal, thanks to Microsoft. The software vendor is giving law enforcers access to a special tool that keeps tabs on botnets, using data compiled from the 450 million computer users who have installed the Malicious Software Removal tool that ships with Windows.

See: http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/04/29/Microsoft-botnet-hunting-tool-helps-bust-hackers_1.html [infoworld.com]

Microsoft had not previously talked about its botnet tool, but it turns out that it was used by police in Canada to make a high-profile bust earlier this year.

Someone care to expand on the above??? I've googled some but came up with nothing so far.

 

Re:Target operating system? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372675)

There's Ballmer saying that Linux is Communism, when it turns out that in fact Windows is Communism (actually Socialism with Chinese characteristics).

On Monday, tell your boss that if you don't switch to Linux ASAP then the pseudo-communists have won.

Re:Target operating system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372915)

Hmmm. Billy still gives chinese gov. the source code to Windows, and there is DOUBT about it being Windows? Even without the source code, it would be easy, but much easier with it.

Laugh now, the next century belongs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372483)

*in Japanese* The fact that you didn't make me Sulu shows remarkable racial sensitivity.
*holding eyes at a slant* I'm Sulu!
*in Japanese* Laugh now, the next century belongs to us.

Bankrupt them (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372497)

It seems pretty obvious that we're going to end up in an economic war with China. Some little official is going to do something stupid and then we're going to have to bitch-slap them.

If you freeze Chinese assets in US banks, deny them access to telecom links, port and air landing rights, etc., China would be bankrupted in about a year. And whoever replaced the Communist party would have better manners.

Re:Bankrupt them (3, Insightful)

migla (1099771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372553)

You can't bitch slap China. China owns the USA to a large extent. They could bankrupt the USA.

Re:Bankrupt them (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372607)

China owns the USA to a large extent.

I would like to see how they intend to come over here and get it.

Re:Bankrupt them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372631)

I think they call it electronic bank transfer.

Re:Bankrupt them (1)

ssintercept (843305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372735)

hilarious!

PS-i burned myself when the cigarette fell into my lap from laughing!

Re:Bankrupt them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372633)

Common misconception.

China does not have to get anything it owns to pwn you. They just have to stop buying your treasury bonds and you'll go down in a blink.

Re:Bankrupt them (3, Insightful)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372661)

China does not have to get anything it owns to pwn you. They just have to stop buying your treasury bonds and you'll go down in a blink.

If China stops buying our treasury bonds, they won't be able to support their export economy. Sure, they could destroy us economically, but they would fare no better. It's economic MAD.

Re:Bankrupt them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372745)

China does not have to get anything it owns to pwn you. They just have to stop buying your treasury bonds and you'll go down in a blink.

I take it you haven't seen the latest South Park episode.

Re:Bankrupt them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372851)

not even that... they just have to say they are going to stop buying them.

Re:Bankrupt them (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372635)

China owns the USA to a large extent.

I would like to see how they intend to come over here and get it.

With their 3 million troops, 860 warships, 60 submarines, 400 nuclear missiles and 1400 fighter aircraft.

Re:Bankrupt them (4, Insightful)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372725)

With their 3 million troops, 860 warships [...]

So they're going to pile ~3,500 troops per warship, cross the entire Pacific Ocean, and launch some kind of amphibious assault against the continental US? We had a hard enough time crossing the English Channel.

[...] 60 submarines, 400 nuclear missiles and 1400 fighter aircraft.

A submarine isn't capable of taking territory. Fighter jets can't make the 10,000 mile round trip. And nuclear missiles are a death sentence for us both.

Re:Bankrupt them (3, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372837)

Uhhhh - the Chinese are smarter than that. They know they can't come over here and take what they want using military power. That is the very reason they are attacking us asymmetrically. Google around for Assasin's Mace. China has been at war with the US for years already, and the US is to stupid to know it, let alone defend itself. But, Sun Tzu was more akin to the Communist Chinese than to any Americans, so they understand him better than we do.

Re:Bankrupt them (1)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373317)

To completely and utterly destroy the US economy, all they need to do is not buy NEW government bonds. How do you think the US deficit is financed, exactly?

Re:Bankrupt them (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372629)

It would destroy their economy to do so... Reminds me of a quote about the definition of allies being two nations with hands so deep in each other's pockets that they cannot fight.

Re:Bankrupt them (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372653)

Technically true, but it would actually go down like this:
  1. China calls in all of the USA's debt
  2. USA says "Go get fucked"
  3. World War III begins
  4. Money becomes irrelevant shortly before Homo Sapiens are rendered such

Re:Bankrupt them (1)

madcat2c (1292296) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373049)

No, things like gold would be required to do business...since Fort Knox holds 147.399 million troy ounces, and the fed reserve bank in New York holds 160 million+ troy ounces of gold, for a total of 307.399 million troy ounces, and at today's prices that's a minimum of $283 Billion in hard gold. You can bet that the government would seize all gold (like it did in the 30's).

It would go like this...China and Americas economy would collapse...china has billions of people to feed, and would move to seize any farmland it could...Americas money value would deflate to its holdings in gold and commodities (silver, copper, etc), it would be rough but we would be ok. There would be a scramble to open manufacturing in America as Manufacturing in Asia would not be possible. Countries that have little or no commodities reserves would wither and die...massive immigration would happen. It would be unpleasant to say the least.

Re:Bankrupt them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372845)

I am so tired of hearing this... China does not OWN the U.S. China is a third world country, with a less than one percent of it's population counting as first world. Additionally, China OWNS a little over 1.5 trillion in U.S. bonds; most of those bonds are not "callable" at the moment. And even if they were, the bonds are held in dollars, meaning â" not recommending â" the U.S. could print a trillion dollars and say: "here you go." That is why a weaken dollar scares the Chinese (and the rest of the world). The dollar is still the world's reserve currency, and for good reason, longevity, political stability, and the passiviness of the U.S. population (we will not take to the street with pitch-folks, even when we can SEE WE ARE BEING SCREWED, can anyone say Election 2000). This is important, because investors NEED to know they will be made whole if anything goes wrong, such as FRAUD and THEFT. And this is in my humble opinion what has occured in the last ten years on a massive scale. Could you see any other country taking the actions the U.S. has? Well empirical evidence says NO! That is why people invest in the U.S. and will continue to do so.

And again - not a recommending - but if I am not mistaken, the U.S. did print a trillion dollars out of thin air last week. So paying China is the least of our problems. China will always be a second-rate player, until they can 1, take raise the lifestyle of of the majority of the population to at least middle-class standards (rapidly shrinking in this country) and project military power around the world to protect their assets and allies. We all like having a big friend when necessary. And people need to know that when the going gets tough, someone has your back. The U.S. has proven, that it is prohibitively expensive to be a Big Friend. And, remember, for the vast period of these years of huge military cost and buildup has been to "show the flag". No other country has been able to successful sustain it. The U.S. will as long as its population is content with doing without the things that those resources could buy. And nothing seems to be changing on that front.

The one true lesson from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is that the U.S. can do really stupid things and stay relatively in tack.

And for those of you who are cheerleading the end of the U.S. century, well most of the world does not join you, as this economic crisis has illustrated, as goes the U.S. goes the rest of the world . And, of course, nature hates a vacuum. Who would you like to step up: Russia, China, the French, English? Don't think so. The overwhelming benefit the U.S. has is that we have so many of the world's population in our shores. And, more importantly, we can change drastically without tearing ourselves to pieces, as Election 2008 has shown. That is why people invest in us. And China owns 1.5 trillion in our debt.

So turn off the TV or at least turn the channel. The Revolution Might Be Televised, but not on that channel.

Re:Bankrupt them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372563)

Do they have an "Anonymous Idiot" ID to post under? If so, please use it next time. China OWNS the US. Get that through your head: OWNS or if you prefer pwns.

The US bankrupting China is a hell of a laugh - and it isn't even April Fools yet.

Commenters ? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372499)

Im wondering how many posts here are submitted on behalf of the Chinese Government?
They can join and influence our conversations but we can never join theirs..

Re:Commenters ? (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372593)

I'm not afraid of the Chinese Government. I just got mod points.

Re:Commenters ? (2, Funny)

Anaerin (905998) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372701)

And yet, you burned them posting in the very thread they'll be needed most. You fool. You damn crazy fool.

Re:Commenters ? (1, Offtopic)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372955)

If you type "I am extremely" into Google, the bottom suggestion from their auto-complete will be: "I am extremely terrified of chinese people" with 303,000 results.

Slashdot may need to give out more mod points.

Re:Commenters ? (2, Interesting)

Steve Franklin (142698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372833)

Look at the comments under any YouTube video on Chinese suppression of Tibet and you'll see the Chinese government in action: especially lies about Tibet always having been part of China. The funny thing is, the Chinese aren't physically adapted to living under diminished oxygen conditions, so they can only stay there for a few years and then have to be replaced by other Chinese. In the long run they can't win.

Sanctions overdue (1, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372507)

Sanctions against China are way overdue. Our gov't and big businesses are just feeding that monster.

Re:Sanctions overdue (4, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372567)

Yeah, it's definitely the government and big business. It couldn't possibly be hundreds of millions of Americans spending hundreds of billions of dollars, demanding cheap products made in China.

Re:Sanctions overdue (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372691)

That is only happening because america's excessively strong intellectual "property" dogmatic bullshit prevents real manufacturing taking place on american soil (because you get immediately sued into the ground by vampiric lawyers). The best way to compete with china is to break the WIPO propaganda machine (the chinese sure as hell aren't stupid enough to pay more than lip service to western intellecutal monopoly laws), and reestablish independent american manufacturing - which you do by weakening patent recognition. The perennial solution offered by already-rich-and-wanting-to-stay-that-way "captains of industry" of strengthening the patent system is exactly the wrong thing to do, a "beatings will continue until morale improves" solution.

Re:Sanctions overdue (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372873)

Errrr, you're about half right. Stupid people do demand and buy the cheapest thing they can find, even if it's melanine laced. So, yes, they are at fault for not recognizing or demanding quality. On the other hand, government and big business has been actively exporting American jobs for quite a long time now, along with American technology, American money, and American education. Yeah, the idiot "consumer" takes his share of the blame, but the coordination comes from higher up. Who was it, exactly, that gave China it's "most favored trading partner" status? Oh yeah, that same traitor who sold missile technology to China, later sold to N. Korea, then exported to the mideast for use against Israel. Hmmmmmmm.

Re:Sanctions overdue (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372917)

Consumers may prefer cheaper products but I haven't met a single person in the whole world that has ever demanded a "made in China" product. Ever.

Re:Sanctions overdue (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372935)

Nobody "demands" it. They just want whatever is cheapest. If China were sanctioned and therefore no longer the cheap answer then nobody would think twice about having to pay more to get stuff from somewhere else. They might buying less or whatever based on the amount of money they have available but I seriously doubt anyone would care that they could no longer get cheap low-quality crap from China.

Re:Sanctions overdue (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373353)

Yeah, it's definitely the government and big business. It couldn't possibly be hundreds of millions of Americans spending hundreds of billions of dollars, demanding cheap products made in China.

Okay, so you believe supply and demand is the sole determining factor. Then please explain the "war on drugs", the bailouts, the DMCA, and the PATRIOT act. It clearly isn't the people that decide.

Re:Sanctions overdue (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372577)

Sanctions against China are way overdue. Our gov't and big businesses are just feeding that monster.

That won't happen until (and if) we get our own manufacturing base back on track and can wean ourselves off the Chinese tit of cheap imports. That, or grow some balls and raise the tariff structure to prevent the destruction of our remaining domestic industries. I don't see that happening in the near future: the Feds are too corrupt at this point and don't really care about our future (or even, I'm convinced, understand why a dependent cannot ever be a truly free nation.)

Right now, any noises we make towards sanctions are just that: noise. All they have to do is threaten to send fifty or sixty million "refugees" here and that's that.

Re:Sanctions overdue (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372687)

That won't happen until (and if) we get our own manufacturing base back on track and can wean ourselves off the Chinese tit of cheap imports.

Why should Americans, or the citizens of any modernized educated enlightened society, perform repetitive labor?

That's a job for robots... and a teething phase for wanna-be-modern societies.

That, or grow some balls and raise the tariff structure to prevent the destruction of our remaining domestic industries.

Tariffs opearte by raising the final costs to the consumer. By your cavalier attitude I assume you are willing to accept that (how thrilling it is to be grandiose with other peoples' money!). The much larger downside that you should not accept, is the reestablishment of repetitive-labor jobs currently performed in China. Keeping that work in China keeps the pollution in China (a fact which they accept). And keeping that work in China signals to all Americans that "you will not be able to earn a living doing mindless work".

Presently, a lot of Americans are laboring under the delusion that they should somehow get a house, car, TV, medicine, and internet in exchange for installing wingnuts all day on an assembly line.

Re:Sanctions overdue (2, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372911)

Uhhh, Utopia is just a dream. In the year 25,000 SOMEONE is going to have to dig ditches. And, wipe baby's asses. And, cook dinners. And, manually move stuff around. What's more, if we ever DO develop robots to the point that we rely on them to do everything for us, we will be joining the Elves and the Atlanteans in the list of by-gone races. Maybe the Monkeys will learn from our mistakes? Unless, of course, the robots just take over for themselves.

Re:Sanctions overdue (2, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373397)

That's not typically how imporovements in technology work, though. The jobs don't go away or become fully automatic, they just become less labor intensive.

Take ditch digging, for example. 200 years ago digging a 100 meter long ditch, a meter deep could probably take a few dozen men with shovels a few days. Now, one guy with an excavator can dig the same ditch in a day or two all by himself.

There will always be a need for humans to decide what gets done. Technology helps with actually doing it.

Re:Sanctions overdue (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372939)

And keeping that work in China signals to all Americans that "you will not be able to earn a living doing mindless work".

Presently, a lot of Americans are laboring under the delusion that they should somehow get a house, car, TV, medicine, and internet in exchange for installing wingnuts all day on an assembly line.

High-sounding but irrelevant verbiage having no bearing on the facts. I mean, how grandiose you are in dismissing one simple fact: working our manufacturing economy was how Americans managed to have a standard of living envied by most of the world. How do you think wealth is created? By magic? Hardly: it's by building and selling things to other countries, it's called trade. The fact is, we've been doing a lousy job of that for the past thirty-odd years and that's why our standard of living is dropping and unemployment is increasing. Suppose we took your idea to its logical conclusion, and ended up with an entirely automated production system with no need for people at all. We'd all be unemployed at that point. No thanks. Fact is, there are millions upon millions of people that are perfectly happy installing wingnuts for a living, and there's not a goddamn thing wrong with that. Sure, in your idealized world we'd all live up to our "full potential" (whatever that is) but the reality is, most people are all they're ever going to be.

Open your eyes, and dispense with the notion, nay, the fiction, that a nation can be an industrial superpower without the industry. People with blinders on call that a "service economy" but it's really a synonym for "third world hellhole." Now, it may be that you're willing to live in some socioeconomic armpit (my girlfriend came from one: I could let her tell you what that means) but I'm not. Let me tell you, I've spent thirty years as an engineer working in our industrial sector, and we need it.

China may be willing to accept pollution (for now) but that doesn't mean that you must accept pollution in order to have an industrial base. We cleaned up our act and still managed to become a superpower. So can they, and eventually the cost of Chinese-made products will increase to reflect that. So the question is: will we still be around, or will we be just another third-world country ripe for the plucking?

You decide. But at this point in history, there's only one way to create wealth, and you don't do it by not working. Robots may be more efficient at manufacturing some products than human beings, but keep firmly in mind that civilization does not solely revolve around manufacturing trade goods efficiently. People have to figure in there somewhere. That's China's biggest problem right now: their people are little better than organic robots. In any event, if you look at efficiency as the only reason for industry, then you're no better than the typical American CEO slimeball that sold his own people down the river for a quick buck.

Re:Sanctions overdue (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27373247)

Why should Americans, or the citizens of any modernized educated enlightened society, perform repetitive labor?

Because there are many people who can't do anything else useful.

Re:Sanctions overdue (5, Interesting)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372867)

Hi. This is reality calling, ding-dong. If you increase tariffs against China, you will (a) immediately increase the prices of all goods, (b) you will seriously increase your tax rates, because your government will no longer be able to fund its debt by selling its Treasuries to China (because China will have no more greenbacks coming in). You won't have a domestic industry to take up the slack, because you will have destroyed domestic demand. Seriously, buy a copy of the Wealth of Nations, for the love of God. Oh, not to mention the risk of provoking a war with China; and if you think that's going to be an easy fight, I have more bad news for you.

Re:Sanctions overdue (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372989)

Oh, not to mention the risk of provoking a war with China; and if you think that's going to be an easy fight, I have more bad news for you.

Right, which is why I said, "I don't see that happening in the near future."

Re:Sanctions overdue (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373315)

But apart from that you're happy with wiping out your country's economy and permanenty damaging its economic prospects? Look, protectionism on the face of it seems like a good idea. In practice it's the worst idea possible.

that's some craptastic propaganda there (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373311)

i especially like the reference to the cuban mariel boatlift at the end there. emphasis: CUBAN. china's going to send 60 million refugees to the usa? really? on what? airplanes? rafts? pffffffffft

all the indignation about "buy american" and chinese labor conditions is exactly that: empty indignation. when it comes down to actually buying the crap you need, you go to walmart, and buy the cheapest stuff. end of story

oh sure, there's people with enough disposable income and reams of time to actually go out of their way to buy harder to find, more expensive stuff. i salute all 10 of you. as for the other 300 million of you who will give lipservice to a "cause" while you go on buying you crap at walmart, i see only one thing: reality

and you talk about tariffs. even more retarded efforts on your part. lets make lots of stuff more expensive for vague geopolitical goals of doubtful impact. yeah, you have a lot of support from the average joe who now has to spend much more of his scant income in order to do that. protectionism just makes us poorer, and the chinese poorer. and speaking of tits and weaning, the chinese atuocracy was weaned on the tit of poverty and suffering. so by making eveyrone poorer, you've just tightened the autocrats grasp in china, and also moved US closer to autocracy. you're a fucking genius

china makes the cheapest stuff. therefore we will buy it. therefore, we need ANOTHER WAY TO CHANGE CHINA. understand? you're feeble graps of pulling the strings on international trade is not the way

the big problem here is not that i don't share the noble goals of those who wish to defeat chinese autocracy, chinese autocracy is evil and needs to be defeated. my problem is with the cottonheaded idotic ways people think you go about doing this. buying more expensive stuff IS NOT THE WAY

so, how do you defeat the autocrats? you continue buying their cheap stuff, they get rich, then they clamor for change in their own country. how does chinese autocracy end? with a rich china. furthermore, with a rich china, guess what? the price differential for making stuff in the usa versus china simply disappears, putting american manufacturing back into competitiveness, especially since you don't have to put it on a supertanker to get it here

the whole philosopphical schizm between you and i is that you think you change someone else by denying them something. meanwhile, i change them by giving them something. my way is superior, your way gets nowhere

Re:Sanctions overdue (1)

Anaerin (905998) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372673)

Congratulations. You've just bankrupted the US.

Perhaps, next time, you might not want to impose sanctions on the government that holds by far the largest share of the US debt:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Foreign_Holders_of_United_States_Treasury_Securities-percent_share.gif [wikipedia.org]

You impose sanctions, they call in that debt. And who else do you really think is going to loan you the money to pay that back?

There is no "call in debt" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372737)

That isn't how treasury bonds work. There is no "call in debt" they are Bonds that are not instantly redeemable. Ten Year Bonds gets paid off in Ten years etc.

All they can do is attempt to sell all their bonds on the open market and destroy their value. In that case they cut off their onw nose to spite themselves.

US Debt... (4, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373017)

Perhaps, next time, you might not want to impose sanctions on the government that holds by far the largest share of the US debt:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Foreign_Holders_of_United_States_Treasury_Securities-percent_share.gif [wikipedia.org]

You impose sanctions, they call in that debt. And who else do you really think is going to loan you the money to pay that back?

The US/China relationship is not as much of a black-and-white situation as nationalistic extremists both in the USA and China would like it to be. If the Chinese 'call in' all of that debt at once in some way, shape or form, there is no way the USA could pay up. Effectively the US would have to default, i.e. welch on the debt. That would wipe out an awful lot of hard earned Chinese wealth. Some of the noises coming out of Beijing lately only confirm that the Chinese are getting nervous even at the mere suggestion of the possibility of a US default. Another thing to consider is that the Chinese are very dependent on exports to the USA and it's NATO allies who are likely to eventually follow the USA's lead, however grudgingly, in any major conflict of any kind with China. If the Chinese were to 'call in' this debt it would be self defeating exercise, as likely to harm the Chinese them selves as much as it would harm the USA. The economies of these countries are very intertwined.

Re:Sanctions overdue (1)

Beve Jates (1393457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373037)

Uh... Think about what you just said. The debt the US owes could be exactly the sanction used against them. Fix your fucking government or we don't pay.

The debt doesn't hurt the US at all. They still have the money. It's China that's in a bad position.

Re:Sanctions overdue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372769)

Yeah, when you look at things on an objective level, the Chinese Govt. are on the same level of evil as pre-1945 Germany, pre-1943 Italy and the USSR...
Tibet *should* be given a vote on their future, the international community should signal that it is completely unacceptable to support or assist a facist state such as China, and should bring extremely harsh an unremitting sanctions against china until free and fair elections are held.

Ain't gonna happen though because a) they have nukes and b) they own the american government's debt, or a fairly large amount of it at any rate. So the US and other "free" nations will continue to do what China says whilst they have all that debt.
I say just refuse to recognise any debts China may hold and let them know in no uncertain terms that we have missile defences all around you, nukes ready to go in seconds and your time is up.

What, the USA holds some sort of patent (1)

munch117 (214551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372835)

on spying on the rest of the world? Does "ECHELON" [wikipedia.org] ring a bell?

Re: feeding the monster (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372919)

You're not the least bit worried about the monster closer to home, thrashing around in your own back yard? I'd say "sanctions" against our own monster(s) is way overdue....

hilarious (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373371)

i just love the way people poopoo american foreign policy and big business

as they gas up their SUVs

and go shop at walmart

the problem is not big business

the problem is not the american government

nothing but empty cruft compared to the real problem: the behavior of the american consumer

you convince them to spend $10 a gallon on gas, you convince them to buiy their crap at 2x the price. go for it

stop blaming esoteric entities when the real problem is sitting right there, in front your computer, reading this post

YOU AND YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR

Russian Crooks are already there (5, Interesting)

PineHall (206441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372527)

"What Chinese spooks did in 2008, Russian crooks will do in 2010 and even low-budget criminals from less developed countries will follow in due course," the Cambridge researchers, Shishir Nagaraja and Ross Anderson, wrote in their report, "The Snooping Dragon: Social Malware Surveillance of the Tibetan Movement."

I would guess that the Russian crooks are doing it today with very targeted attacks. We just have not discovered it, or if discovered the financial institutions attacked have covered it up.

Isn't China big on the (pirated) Microsoft.. (1)

JoshDmetro (1478197) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372549)

products. Why try and trick someone into installing malware when Microsoft sells the latest version of Windows with built in backdoors for our governments to spy on us. [zdnet.com.au]

Sorry bad link here it is... (1)

JoshDmetro (1478197) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372639)

zdnet [zdnet.com.au]
neowin [neowin.net]

China Is A Nice Distraction: +1, Helpful (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372605)

More likely the operation is run out of the office of the world's most dangerous person [whitehouse.org] .

I hope this helps the Chinese authorities.

Yours In Communism,
Kilgore Trout

Re:China Is A Nice Distraction: +1, Helpful (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372669)

Very, very niave.

Re:China Is A Nice Distraction: +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372831)

You made sure your tinfoil hat is shiny-side out, right? That's the only way to make it effective.

Infrastructure (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372647)

Is infrastructure in place to punish those responsible for such invasions?

What could the affected countries do against China to discourage them from doing this again? I don't think its act-of-war level but I think its at least sue-for-billions-and-billions-and-billions worthy.

Re:Infrastructure (1)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372901)

are you kidding me? the only "punishment" that might occur is through military action.

and that would be a bad idea.

Obi-Wan steps in... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372677)

  • Researcher: Let me see your network.
  • Obi-Wan: [with a small wave of his hand] You don't need to see his network.
  • Researcher: We don't need to see his network.
  • Obi-Wan: These aren't the systems you're looking for.
  • Researcher: These aren't the systems we're looking for.
  • Obi-Wan: He can go about his business.
  • Researcher: You can go about your business.
  • Obi-Wan: Move along.
  • Researcher: Move along... move along.

"GhostNet" What a wacky idea.
ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD!

US not infiltrated? *wink* *wink* (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372703)

"They said they had found no evidence that United States government offices had been infiltrated."

That kind of tells you something, doesn't it. It's made to look like it's from China but it's really from the US. :)

Re:US not infiltrated? *wink* *wink* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372885)

Mod Parent Up

In other news: (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372709)

The Dalai Lama has (or needs) an office? WTF?

Re:In other news: (2, Funny)

HatofPig (904660) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372883)

Do you assume he arranges all of his international trips and conferences sitting cross-legged on the side of a mountain?

Skype Monitoring (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27372773)

It is definitely not only China that employs some monitoring techniques on its citizens' Skype accounts. Last year during Myanmar's Saffron Revolution, my Burmese roommate organized information sessions and candle light vigils on our small, liberal arts school's campus, taking care to remain anonymous or using my name as a proxy for his actions. The only Burmese contact he had at the time was Skyping with his ex-girlfriend, a student at a nearby liberal arts school who organized protests of greater scope on her campus. After about 3 days he mysteriously received a call from his mother who sounded scared (remember, most non-satellite phone lines were all but taken down during the protests) assuring him that she was OK but he needed to stop everything he was planning on campus. My roommate had no choice but to stop his involvement in the protests.

We Need Chuck Bartowski (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372823)

In case they try to compromise the Intersect.

Re:We Need Chuck Bartowski (1)

LuxMaker (996734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372941)

Too late, Chuck already got clipped by Windows.

Re:We Need Chuck Bartowski (1)

dexotaku (1136235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373197)

Chuck has a Mac, though..

Re:We Need Chuck Bartowski (1)

LuxMaker (996734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27372981)

And I forgot to add that it is as pathetic as it sounds.

Why is IT so messed up? (1, Flamebait)

1s44c (552956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27373075)

Why is it that companies allow the bad guys to p0wn their computers? Sure windows is a pile of horse-crap but it's possible to implement good firewalls and application proxies and to run the proper applications on proper OS's.

Perhaps if we get rid of all the 'professional manager' types and fake idiots types in IT things will improve.

This is not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27373131)

Google Titan Rain, unlike some previous posters statement to search Assassins Mace or something similar that only shows mostly tinfoil hat type sites, TR is/was a real known threat, that may or may not have effected US gov systems and Commercial entities.... that is all I will say as that information is already known publicly....

Vast Spy System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27373243)

:...has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries"

That doesn't seem really vast...to be honest I've seen small botnets that are bigger.

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