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Evidence Weakens That China Did the Recent Cyberattacks

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the reasonable-doubt-abounds dept.

Government 197

click2005 notes an article in The Register calling into question the one piece of hard evidence that has been put forward to pin the Google cyberattacks on China. It was claimed that a CRC algorithm found in the Aurora attack code was particular to Chinese-language developers. Now evidence emerges that this algorithm has been widely known for years and used in English-language books and websites. Wired has a post introducing the Pentagon's recently initiated effort to identify the "digital DNA" of hackers and/or their tools; this program is part of a wide-ranging effort by the US government to find useful means of deterring cyberattacks. This latter NY Times article notes that Google may have found the best deterrence so far — the threat to withdraw its services from the Chinese market.

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Don't Be Foolish (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908112)

Let's check out the official Google word from the official legal chief officer of Google [blogspot.com] :

Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Emphasis mine. Nowhere is he talking about a CRC algorithm or even fingerprinting the attack to a particular country. Instead, the obvious question is simply this: Who else would hack one of the most successful companies in the world only to read the e-mails of Human Rights Activists in China? What possible gain could anyone else have from this information?

I'm not saying hard evidence has been provided one way or the other (I'm not even sure it could be proven one way or the other unless someone claims ownership) but the only evidence the accuser offered up was this. Not that the "algorithm was only known to Chinese" nor anything as simpleton.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (5, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908224)

Someone who is trying to discredit China?

Re:Don't Be Foolish (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908406)

China doesn't need discrediting. They are already pretty much rock bottom.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (5, Funny)

DeltaQH (717204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908420)

Someone trying to say that someone is trying to discredit China?

Re:Don't Be Foolish (2, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908518)

Who else would hack one of the most successful companies in the world only to read the e-mails of Human Rights Activists in China? What possible gain could anyone else have from this information? ...
Someone who is trying to discredit China? ...
Someone trying to say that someone is trying to discredit China?

All of the above?

Politics does have a tendency to produce gang-bangs.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (5, Funny)

lewp (95638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908668)

Politics does have a tendency to produce gang-bangs.

Go to school for Computer Science, they said... Get a good job, they said...

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908734)

Who else would hack one of the most successful companies in the world...?

I suppose the US government wouldn't need to hack, it would just ask for the information from third parties or would recruit the help of the telecoms, right?

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909146)

Someone who is trying to discredit China?
China does a good job of discrediting itself. Deny and 'don't answer the question' Someone trying to say that someone is trying to discredit China?
Well that would be you then. Are you admitting something?

Re:Don't Be Foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909332)

hehe, one more than one occasion, Chris Dodd and Ted Kennedy double-stuffed a waitress. I kind of miss old TK. Before he cut back on cocaine and booze, he was a fucking riot.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908526)

You just can't see past the end of your nose, to the possibility that it was someone trying to discredit someone who tried to say that someone is trying to discredit China.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908580)

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (4, Funny)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909166)

Wait til I get going! Now, where was I?

Re:Don't Be Foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909452)

[China].

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908998)

You assume I had credit to begin with!

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908688)

I have it on authority that it was the same group in the U.S. who planned the Sept 11 attacks!

... or I just made that up.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

Smooth and Shiny (1097089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908810)

Either way, in Soviet Russia, China discredits YOU!

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909170)

INCONCEIVABLE!! ;)

Re:Don't Be Foolish (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908450)

Right, of course. I was framed! Poor Chinese, all they want to do is run people over with tanks and everyone has to keep bothering them.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908666)

I think the other evidence (packets contained lead and melamine) also links the attack to China.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (2, Insightful)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908590)

Or someone wanting to collect information that they might be able to sell to an operative working on behalf of the Chinese government/police. The right data can be very valuable if you can contact the right people to sell it to...

Re:Don't Be Foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909242)

In Soviet Russia, China discredits you!

Re:Don't Be Foolish (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908232)

This is one of those situations like when the feds deal with the mob. You know it has to be them, there is no way there isn't...but without "proof", all you have are unsubstantiated claims.

Sometimes the justice system prevails...and sometimes it gets in its own way.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908564)

I'd rather have a self-hamstrung justice system than one that lets the powerful people at the top do whatever the fuck they want to do.

Bureaucracy is a pain in the ass, but it's a damned good defense against evil men in powerful places.

Centralized control is perfect except for that small detail of not always being able to trust the point man.

I'll avoid a Godwin offense.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908672)

I completely agree...i was just pointing out that the very laws designed to protect the innocent can often protect the guilty.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909460)

I'd rather have a self-hamstrung justice system than one that lets the powerful people at the top do whatever the fuck they want to do.

Well, luckily I live in the USA, so I don't have to decide - I get both.
I mean look at the O.J. Simpson trials - the prosecution couldn't even frame a guilty man!

This isn't a court of law (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908576)

Google doesn't have to prove things beyond a reasonable doubt. More to the point they don't have to prove it beyond any and all doubt no matter what, which is the standard many geeks seem to use. Internally, they only have to prove it to their own satisfaction, which it would seem they've done.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1, Funny)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908686)

The hackers weren't the most intelligent. If they would have properly encrypted their code (hell, even a ROT-13), then these groups trying to decipher their algorithms would be breaking the DCMA.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909180)

and sometimes you just have to fall back on mail fraud.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908284)

Yeah because people never hide things and lie to push their own agendas.

Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

If I were the US government, these are the kinds of accounts I would access to test cyber warfare tools.
Like you aren't saying it was China, I'm not saying the US government was behind it but just that the evidence
seems circumstantial and very convenient. The evidence was also circumstantial and very convenient when used
as justification to invade Iraq.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (-1, Offtopic)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908352)

and just like in Iraq, once we get in there and tear everything up then the proof we are expecting will just be sitting around all over the place.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908364)

That's just what they want you to think!

Re:Don't Be Foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908578)

And you'd be doing it using command and control servers inside China, right? Right?

Let's Be Foolish (5, Interesting)

weszz (710261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908316)

So... Throwing this out there...

  hypothetically could it have been the Human Rights groups in China?

Yes it would be an odd move as it could put themselves and their friends in quite a bit of danger, but it could also be high reward, if other countries fall for it and do something about it (if they could)

I know it's bad to think about the victim as possible being the one who set things up, but from time to time we need to at least explore the idea, or you will get played repeatedly.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908330)

Exactly. Thread over. Nothing else to say.

I certainly didn't think it was the Chinese because the attacks supposedly originated in China. I thought it was the Chinese because it was after the accounts of Chinese Human rights activists.

Unless THAT part can get discredited, I will still point my finger.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909330)

Are you prepared to respond properly if they pull it?

Re:Don't Be Foolish (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909532)

Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909566)

The finger certainly points in the direction of the chinese. HOWEVER, It could just as easily be the US, the chinese rights groups or any other group looking to discredit china. Without proof all you have is likely suspects and given we are supposed to believe in freedoms such as "innocent until proven guilty", what does that make us if we act the way we "think" they themselves are acting.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908388)

Let me play devil's advocate here for one second.

You are assuming that the only party interested in following or harassing the human rights activists are the Chinese government. It's not hard to think up *other* persons or groups that might be interested. Judging from the ultra nationalist kooks we have, we can imagine private nutcases who think of themselves as more patriotic than the government, who think the Party is much too wishy washy on the issues of class traitors and much too interested in appeasing the West.

That's just the second most likely scenario. Other, more exotic scenarios are possible as well. In a world with so many people connected to the Internet, virtually every kind of crackpot you can imagine is out there. All it takes is one with an Internet feed.

I think we have a preponderance of evidence situation here. On the whole, the most likely culprit is the Chinese government. But it's not quite to the "beyond a reasonable doubt" stage. You look at the whole web of evidence: the motivations, track record of past behavior, known propensities to industrial espionage, methods used, means and opportunity. Virtually every single datum is likely to have an innocuous explanation. It's the overall picture that convicts.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908390)

And that drunk communist on the steps of the Reichstag proves the communists were trying to destroy Germany.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (2, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908422)

I agree with you, but I'd like to point out that that is not proof at all. When making accusations that can damage the relations of the two largest economies in the World, we should be damn sure of what we are doing. Google seems to be, but they also have more information than the rest of us. We are speculating.

In this case, I am still troubled by the apparent incompetence of the Chinese Government. Why did they think they could do this and get away with it? Didn't they realize that it could damage important and profitable relations with American companies and the Government? It seems like they could gain very little from reading a few individual's e-mails.

We shouldn't rule out the remote possibility that China is essentially being framed by an entity that can benefit from the US and China fighting. More likely, I think the breaches came from China but were not approved at a very high level (in which case someone is in deep shit). Either way, the US should tread carefully without proof.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908624)

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Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

data2 (1382587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908744)

Well, if i were to hack google and wanted to distract from myself, I would have done the same. I think having parts of the source code of Google, Symantec, Adobe, Juniper and others is worth so much, it's hard to grasp

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

gnieboer (1272482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909270)

That evidence seems pretty flimsy to make multi-million dollar decisions. Someone tried to hack some email accounts, and Google doesn't want to do business in that country based on circumstantial evidence?

I see two possibilities
1- Google founder (can't remember which one) has wanted out of China for a long time and cares about morals vastly more than $$$, and this particular incident gave him just enough leverage to push a decision over the top, even though it's barely defensive with the provided evidence.

2- Google's intrepidly independent and talented workforce got pissed off and did a little counter-hacking to figure out where the attack vector was coming from. They (on their own initiative) invaded proxies and discovered hard evidence that the root of the attack was Chinese gov't IPs. Management, when presented with this data, decided (wisely) to pretend it didn't exist, as the counter-hacking broke Chinese law and would get a lot of their employees Chinese jail time if not execution. So their press release mentions only the most bland evidence.

Personally I prefer #2, though must admit #1 is probably more likely.

Re:Don't Be Foolish (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909558)

It COULD be Baidu trying to eliminate competition. Although the fact that their domain was hacked makes that theory very unlikely.

Xenogooglia Run Amok (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908238)

This CRC-16 implementation seems to be virtually unknown outside of China, as shown by a Google search for one of the key variables, "crc_ta[16]". At the time of this writing, almost every page with meaningful content concerning the algorithm is Chinese:

Oh. My. God. I just reran the search [google.com] and it's changed. The top results are in English! It's the British that are attacking Google! Wait, one of the links is to a Blogspot site. Sweet Jesus, the attacks are coming from inside Google's own employee base! But wait, if you click crc_ta[16] [slashdot.org] enough times then Slashdot will show up in the list. Meaning Slashdot is the attacker on Google!

Oh Great Britain, Slashdot and even Google themselves, why have you forsaken us?

Google's pageranking engine returns a good enough set of available crawable webpages. It does not indicate guilt or scan all of human knowledge. Using it as any sort of evidence in a huge international scandal is less than prudent.

Re:Xenogooglia Run Amok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908758)

You fool, it's obviously Microsoft:
  - they have a partnership with yahoo
  - they wana be the next baidu
  - i shoud've made a haiku
  - they're the only ones l33t enough to hack the (other) b0rg
  - this whole scheme is a perfect exemple of FUD
  - they hate google
  - they're evil
  - it's slashdot
  - Cowboy Neal

Re:Xenogooglia Run Amok (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909410)

You missed out

??? prophet!

Re:Xenogooglia Run Amok (2, Insightful)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908958)

So based on the name of a variable the attack is from a certain geographic location?

The 'who else but the Chinese Government would want access to human rights activist accounts' argument is a little thin. So suddenly if anyone's account gets hacked, we can just immediately assume it's a group that opposes them and then pull our business out of an entire market?

Seems pretty dubious to me

BTW, why are there 5 FAs to read. Holy sheit

Re:Xenogooglia Run Amok (2, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909188)

Meaning Slashdot is the attacker on Google!

We slashdotted China? Wow, I'm impressed!

Re:Xenogooglia Run Amok (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909616)

Your post is the second result on Google. Congratulations.

If Google retires in China (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908294)

I wonder what impact if any, the Android platform will have in China. Could China prohibits selling handsets that contain android os?

---
Irvin DLP

Re:If Google retires in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908712)

Android belongs to the Open Handset Alliance, and not Google.

digital DNA is years old (3, Informative)

walkoff (1562019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908302)

We were using and describing digital DNA in the mid to late 80s although the terminology used was slightly different as we /stole/ the term FIST from ham radio to use for it. it's actually an interesting technique although we weren't that sophisticated as we only looked at command streams and lingustics to identify country of origin and style of attack and group M.O. rather than pin pointing the actual attacker. It was actually used successfully in a few virus and trojan incidents and I stil have at least a partial copy of the NARK database I collated at the time.

weakened evidence... of what? (3, Insightful)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908408)

Evidence weakens that Joe Stewart's analysis shows that the CRC algorithm used in the attack was developed by Chinese programmers.

As other folks have pointed out, this is NOT the basis of Google's or others' assessments that the attacks originated from within mainland China, and in no way does it weaken the evidence regarding the origin of the attack.

F-China (2, Insightful)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908410)

Why all the pro-China posts lately on Slashdot?

We getting astro-turfed by Red China?

They claimed, of course they didn't do it, and seem to never mention by name the laws that Google must abide by.

Screw them.

How do you say "Propaganda" in Chinese?

Re:F-China (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908546)

"How do you say "Propaganda" in Chinese?"

Slashdot

Re:F-China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908584)

Maybe because the entire American way of life today is built around China?

Virtually all Americans live in a household full of Chinese-made goods. Their clothes are Chinese-made. Their computers and gadgets are Chinese-made. Pick any item in your house, and there's a very good chance that it was made fully, or at least partially, in China.

The unemployment that's rife throughout America is thanks to the Chinese manufacturers making the aforementioned goods

Then again, the entire American economy is still going thanks to the Chinese buying American debt.

Americans can't help but feel a certain love for the Chinese. After all, it's the Chinese that make America today possible.

Re:F-China (1, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909028)

I'd like to point out that this is not true if you really look at things objectively. The reason that this perception exists is the "Made in China" branding that they slap on everything. Of course, many cheap things have their final assembly occurring in China. However, if you were to break down the item's manufacture on a value-added basis, you would hardly that it was primarily made in China. More to the point, all of the really expensive things we buy (houses, cars) or the things we buy a lot of (food, other consumables) are produced domestically (no matter what country you are from).

People around the world should not get caught up in alarmist thinking and remember that the people who are getting screwed are the citizens of China, and that they are getting screwed by their own government, who manipulates the value of their currency in order to keep it artificially low. This is the best argument against allowing Chinese imports, not the (minimal) harm it does here, but the massive harm it does over there.

Re:F-China (0, Troll)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909112)

I like Chinese. They only come up to your knees. Yet they're wise and they're witty and ready to please.

Re:F-China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909122)

It has nothing to do with China. China is just the cheapest manufacturer. We could replace 'China' with any other developing nation that has a low cost of business and labor. It might raise our prices marginally, but not that much. Ultimately, China is doomed as the primary exporter of goods to the US... why? Because the cost of global transportation is going to rise dramatically in the future. It will be far cheaper to manufacture in Mexico and drive the goods a few hundred miles into the US than it will be to manufacture in China and ship six thousand miles to the US.

Re:F-China (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908586)

Screw them.

I agree. Right now I'm training an army of American hackers that are going to roll over China. Check out this video [youtube.com] of my protege at work. That madd h4xx iz a freebie for you, the more advanced stuff (like photoshopping a cat's head onto a dog's body) will cost ya. USA #1 baby.

Re:F-China (5, Funny)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908800)

How do you say "Propaganda" in Chinese?

Quietly.

Re:F-China (3, Informative)

chiguy (522222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909016)

Why all the pro-China posts lately on Slashdot?

I've noticed this too. I try to be objective about Chinese and American relations. We're definitely frienemies, but lately I've noticed subtle push-back from the pro-China folks.

Like my comment in a previous post got modded to +4 insightful but then ended back down to +2:


Google should also check where all their laptops were manufactured. And make sure each BIOS is clean.

There's a battle going on on /.

Re:F-China (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909178)

And the United States suckers will lose again, as they losing all the other battles against China.

Re:F-China (4, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909048)

Beware, the chinese astroturfers also have modpoints.

Re:F-China (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909306)

Yeah, I just noticed that. The post went from 2 points to four points, back to 2 in 15 minutes.

The Chinese code matches _exactly_ (5, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908444)

As someone who has been reverse engineering quite a bit of software recently, I can tell you that the assembly code from the attack and the Chinese version of the algorithm match completely. In other words, the output looks like exactly what an (optimizing) compiler would've produced given that source code. Note the operations performed inside the loop and the use of stack allocation for the table (and therefore the required initialization every time the function is called).

As far as I can see, none of the English versions are similar. Sure, they implement the same algorithm, but the chinese implementation matches the attack code, not just the algorithm,

Re:The Chinese code matches _exactly_ (5, Informative)

the_povinator (936048) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908498)

To add to this: the analysis on the original "research blog" was also more specific than the register article. He said:

By decompiling the algorithm and searching the Internet for source code with similar constants, operations and a 16-value CRC table size, I was able to locate one instance of source code that fully matched the structural code implementation in Hydraq and also produced the same output when given the same input

The Register people seem to have accepted similarity in code, without going to the trouble of checking the outputs.

Re:The Chinese code matches _exactly_ (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908662)

Of course would you want to bet that even if it matched another implementation that it wasn't a Chinese programmer?
The first deep programing book I ever read was Data Structures + algorithms = Programs. It has influenced my code style just as the fact that my first programing teacher was an old Fortran programmer. Yes I often use i for for loops to this day even though I know it is now considered bad form.
So if I wrote an attack would would we say it couldn't have come from the US because some of the algorithms mach those that where taught is Switzerland?

Re:The Chinese code matches _exactly_ (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908890)

Of course would you want to bet that even if it matched another implementation that it wasn't a Chinese programmer?

You seem unclear on the purpose of evidence. Its purpose is to distinguish between hypotheses. There are two hypotheses here. 1) Some hacker based in China did the hacking. 2) The first hypothesis is not true (the "null hypothesis"). An implementation that everyone knew about and anyone could have used doesn't distinguish between hypotheses #1 and #2. Hence, it cannot be evidence for hypothesis #1. An obscure implementation that has only been seen in China, favors hypothesis #1.

Re:The Chinese code matches _exactly_ (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909394)

I do see the difference.
The thing is that even if the implementation is most commonly seen in China that is also evidence. And as the grandparent post pointed out the implementation does exactly match the implementation as often taught in china.
My point is that with the mobility of knowledge we have today that a match or that implementation being documented else where isn't definitive one way or the other.
 

Epic lulz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908458)

stupid fucking google, sergey brin fucks goats.

imagine that... (0, Troll)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908496)

our largest trading partner isnt secretly trying to destroy us.

how is it these "china is coming to kill us all through the tubes" articles make it to slashdot? they have no nerdworthy content. One may go so far as to simply claim its masturbatory whitewash more suited for the daily fare of Fox news.

to play devils advocate, yes the aurora code was fascinating reading and research, and this article was at least somewhat meritous if only to discredit the present aire of distrust and fear of china.

Re:imagine that... (1)

fandingo (1541045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908866)

Canada is the principle trading partner of the US. We also have fantastic relations with them, disproving your entire point. http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/top/dst/current/balance.html [census.gov]

simplistic over view (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909386)

While what you say is true to a point, it neglects what this trade *is*, and the fact that China is just barely below trade with Canada at this point, and will over take it real soon now.

Canada exports to the US (and to a greater level daily to China) mostly raw materials, not much different except in scale from some third world colonized nation. There are exceptions of course, they do manufacture cars and parts, etc, and some modern networking ear, etc, but by the numbers, petroleum exports top the list.

http://internationaltrade.suite101.com/article.cfm/canadas_top_exports_imports [suite101.com]

  Whereas on the other hand, China exports to the US almost completely value-added manufactured items, i.e. economic multipliers, things that build their internal economy to a greater degree than just raw resource exporting. Raw resources for export don't make the top ten list for them, and I doubt they want to do much of that, they would rather use the stuff they got themselves..along with everyone else's stuff they can get their hands on:

http://www.uschina.org/statistics/tradetable.html [uschina.org]

Raw resource exports are a short range economic windfall,"fat city" type thing.. long range, sorry, an exploited colony is an exploited colony...

Re:imagine that... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909088)

They're not coming to destroy us. They are doing this to crack down on their own dissidents, because quite frankly, all this new-fangled communication media scares the shit out of them. After all, look at all the trouble it has caused in Iran! Imagine another tiananmen square protest, but this time using Twitter and GPS to avoid the soldiers... can you begin to see why China is desperate to do anything they can to keep these people from communicating with each other? Suddenly you have flash mobs that are much quicker to organize and move than the creaky Chinese bureaucracy. Combine that with the end of the Faustian bargain "Give us economic prosperity and we'll stop complaining about democracy" brought about by the global economic meltdown, and China could have a really big problem on it's hands. They are just being proactive in trying to prevent that happening... wouldn't you?

Re:imagine that... (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909586)

I know right. Why should anyone worry about a country that loathes personal freedoms? They just want to be left alone after all. Poor old China, always getting the shaft.

The code is in the paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908522)

Did anybody notice the C code in the C language in the paper?

http://www.fjbmcu.com/chengxu/crcsuan.htm

function is called cal_crc

seems like C is the thing that hacker needs to speak... I mean, yeah, there're comments in Chinese, but I mean, com'on when was the last time you read code with comments that's NOT in Chinese??

Stop messing with my brains. (2, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908574)

Please stop finding and posting evidence contrary to my preconceived notions! Enough already. As it is I am trying to contain my cognitive dissonance and I can do without all these pesky counter evidence, thank you. Next you will ask me to believe that Microsoft is not 100% evil and Apple is not 100% cool and Google is not 100% non-Evil (tm).

Digital DNA? (1, Informative)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908588)

How hard is that? Parse /var/log/secure, do a lookup and see where the attacks are coming from.

121.172.227.78 KR KORNET, Namdong-gu, Incheon
218.200.163.148 CN China Mobile Communications
222.173.194.10 CN CHINANET SHANDONG PROVINCE NETWORK
203.250.137.143 KR kreonet.net
209.151.248.213 US Cyberverse, Los Angeles Colocation and Datacenter
190.144.126.227 CO TELMEXLA.NET.CO, Bogota
203.134.223.248 IN HFCL INFOTEL, Punjab
194.246.101.52 FR Transnode

Wow. No Brazil today. That's odd.

Re:Digital DNA? (3, Insightful)

Domint (1111399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908760)

How hard is that? Parse /var/log/secure, do a lookup and see where the attacks are coming from.

Right, because there's no such thing as proxies.

i'd fully support china (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908602)

if the executed fags.

It doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908644)

We just don't know. It could be an attack by Chinese hackers. It could be a false flag operation by the CIA posing as Chinese hackers. It could be Russian hackers pretending to be the CIA posing as Chinese hackers. It could be an internal hack to give Google more leeway in China. It could be an internal hack to give Google an excuse to leave China. It could be a publicity stunt by human rights activists. No public announcement can be trusted if so much is at stake. The only people who will ever know for sure are the ones who did it.

This is what non-technical people don't get about computer networks: The only thing which matters is hard security. "This is forbidden" is not security. The intruders can be anywhere in the world and they can, if they're careful, avoid leaving traces. The only defense against that kind of threat is making intrusions as hard as possible. There is no meaningful legal defense. You can raise a diplomatic fuss, but it will not get you anything.

IP Addresses (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908660)

The smoking gun I'd heard about was the IP Addresses [arstechnica.com] of the command servers, not this CRC algorithm.

While these machines could be rouge agents in the Chinese Gov't. infrastructure they're even less likely to admit a security compromise that than espionage.

Re:IP Addresses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908932)

>> While these machines could be rouge agents in the Chinese Gov't.

The whole Chinese government is rouge.

Re:IP Addresses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908942)

The smoking gun I'd heard about was the IP Addresses [arstechnica.com] of the command servers, not this CRC algorithm.

While these machines could be rouge agents in the Chinese Gov't. infrastructure they're even less likely to admit a security compromise that than espionage.

Why all the harping on different flavors of Red Chinese?

Re:IP Addresses (1)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909034)

While these machines could be rouge agents in the Chinese Gov't. infrastructure they're even less likely to admit a security compromise that than espionage.

Of course they're rouge agents. It is Red China, after all...

Re:IP Addresses (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909434)

Huh, and here I thought all the Rouge agents came from Cambodia!

Cui bono (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908682)

Set aside the industrial espionage charges. Who benefits from the hacking of the activists' and journalists' accounts? The PRC and its enemies. The usual suspects like the Russian mob, Nigerians, etc. have little, if anything, to gain from this and certainly not enough to offset the harm that could happen if a company with Google's expertise brought scrutiny to them.

Re:Cui bono (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908814)

Who benefits? Any number of people/groups/parties. Let's go crackpot for a moment: The Europeans did it. By setting China and the US up against eachother, they increase the likelihood that the Chinese accelerate the dumping of their dollar reserves, which will devalue the dollar and drive investments to Europe.

OK (1)

koan (80826) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908792)

What other nation or group has motivation for hacking into human rights organizations for Tibet and China? Who else would see that as a threat?

Google is monitoring its own results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908798)

if you search the following in google.com

'Aurora' code circulated for years on English sites

the first result shows 22 related articles, but if you follow the link, it returns nothing. i guess something is going on.

http://news.google.com/news/story?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&q=%27Aurora%27+code+circulated+for+years+on+English+sites&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ncl=dq-hKpjDVjltfwM&ei=FUVfS-uyIpLf8Qb0v_CHDA&sa=X&oi=news_result&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQqgIwAA

OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30908904)

It was f'n China. The same fingerprint has been left all over US tech companies that DO point back to China. They got busted with their hands in the cookie jar and now will do anything to cover it up. Give us all a break you commie bastards.

"Deterring" a whole class for the misdeeds of one (3, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30908914)

Do you recall how unfair you thought it was when your third-grade teacher punished the entire class for the misbehavior of one student because she couldn't identify the perpetrator? That's exactly what Google is doing. It's not "deterrence" at all. At best it's indirect deterrence, since it doesn't affect hackers directly; what it affects is the entire Chinese "class" by withdrawing from its network and e-economy, hurting or diminishing the many in an attempt to change the behavior of just a few.

Re:"Deterring" a whole class for the misdeeds of o (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909570)

Isn't that a basic principal of communism?
Share the risk.

Watch who they put to death (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909020)

If you want to know if the hacks were done with Chinese government approval, watch and see who they put to death for it. As with the contaminated baby formula, China has a strong tradition of swift trials and swifter executions for those citizens who through unauthorized behavior embarrass them on the world stage. Strong enough that it makes them rather transparent when denying something they actually did do.

Skip the NY Times (2, Informative)

Kylere (846597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30909272)

As an FYI, skip the NYTimes version of this story, I have had 4 users walk in today with infected systems. It appears that NYTimes has pulled another screwup in security land http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10351460-83.html [cnet.com]

Just for kicks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909316)

Let's say the attack did originate in China, how many attacks originate in Russia, Brazil, hell how many originate in the good ole US of A?

I understand the argument that says "well it was Chinese Human Rights activists attacked" - but what about the recent Climate researcher email hack? Did everyone suddenly place blame on the U.S. as it really fought to slow down any sort of real climate agreements?

Maybe, I'm kind of new to this but were Chinese Human Rights activists even the only ones whose emails were hacked or do we have a number for emails hacked into and what percentage were actually Human rights activists?

I'm really skeptical about this as it seems as though its being blasted all over media outlets to try to persuade us about something. This is especially suspicious when you see what has been going on recently with U.S. China relations.

Sorry these things are starting to bug me, its cool for France and Britain to try to pass laws to keep Muslim women from wearing Burqas, but we are all up in arms when Chinese people are kept from watching American pr0n and advertisements.

Insanity.

did the hack REALLY happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909402)

I'll settle for evidence of the in trusion. Consider this crazy far out alternative hypothesis:

1) Google needs content. Content is what drives clicks - and they are the masters at deriving profits from clicks. The censoring of Tianamen plus other juicy human rights issues limits the traffic that Google can drum up. Google needs growth to maintain its crazy stock price valuation.

2)How can Google get to use this censored content? How can Google find an excuse to drop the censorship-easy- claim they have been 'wronged' and position their action as a response. This way Google maintains the moral high ground AND opens up traffic.

Without any proof either way, we are victims of smoke blowers.

Aside from the particulars of this case, consider the following analogy- suppose you come across this intelligent population that has until now not seen the internet. The world is intensely curious about this new tribe living on an isolated island that has learned to do things without technology and whose members live to be 200 years old. (For argument's sake, let's call these people the Na'Vi). Google wants to put these people on the net so that the world's insatiatiable curiosity can be quenched (and google can derive billions of clicks on their ads in the process). Should Google be allowed to invade the space of the Na'Vi?

GuaGua Catatsa!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30909424)

Mikono tepito cartelopo munaca tetasky jukiolli jutmoi deyiuma!!!! Ticate!!!

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