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Two Chinese Schools Reportedly Tied To Online Attacks

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the hacking-the-googles-was-just-the-midterm-exam dept.

Security 172

squidw* writes "Online attacks on Google and other American corporations have been traced to computers at two educational institutions in China, including one with close ties to the Chinese military, say people involved in the investigation. From the NY Times: '... the attacks, aimed at stealing trade secrets and computer codes and capturing e-mail of Chinese human rights activists, may have begun as early as April, months earlier than previously believed. ... The Chinese schools involved are Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School, according to several people with knowledge of the investigation who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the inquiry. Jiaotong has one of China’s top computer science programs. Just a few weeks ago its students won an international computer programming competition organized by IBM — the “Battle of the Brains” — beating out Stanford and other top-flight universities. Lanxiang, in east China’s Shandong Province, is a huge vocational school that was established with military support and trains some computer scientists for the military.'"

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Kill all the gooks! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210114)

Beware of the yellow peril! Be a patriotic American and kill a gook today!

Re:Kill all the gooks! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210336)

Niggers. That is all.

The racist 1940s (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210344)

>>>"Beware of the yellow peril! Be a patriotic American ...!"

+1 funny. (dark humor)

People who admire FDR always forget this part of his presidency, where he locked-up American citizens and deprived them of their rights to property, trial by jury, free speech, and so on. Why? Simply because these Americans looked like asians. - In many respects FDR was our worst president. I know that's an unpopular view, nevertheless that's what I think.

I hope IF we have another war with the Asian continent (i.e. China) that we do a better job of obeying the Constitution instead of ignoring it.

Re:The racist 1940s (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210424)

What about the German Americans? You can pin everything on racism all day long, but much of the same distrust of Japanese people were also directed towards people of the same race.

http://www.foitimes.com/internment/ [foitimes.com]

Re:The racist 1940s (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210638)

What are you talking about? Everyone knows that whites can't be the victims of racism. Their vast majority of 1.5 billion people (out of 6.7 billion) clearly makes them responsible for all racism and racist behavior.

Re:The racist 1940s (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211570)

>>>What about the German Americans?

You can't be serious? It's not the same. Almost my entire state consists of German American citizens (Amish, Quakers, Mennonites, et cetera), but my grandparents were not forced out of their homes and locked-up in concentration camps during the war.

The Japanese-Americans were.

And also even if the German-Americans had been rounded-up into camps, does that make it any better? FDR's decision to do that still violates the first ten amendments to the Constitution, as well as the protected rights in the State Constitutions. He should have been impeached for breaking constitutional law, if not during the war, then certainly after it was over. (IMHO). Unfortunately he didn't live long enough.....

Re:The racist 1940s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210438)

There won't be a war with China. They don't need to resort to military action.

Have you been to an American college lately? It varies by region, but you'll notice that about 60% of the students in the important STEM programs are Asian (mostly Chinese, with a smattering of South Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese), and most of them are not American. The same goes for professors. It depends on the school you're considering, but it's typical to have 40% to 50% of the professors coming directly from an Asian nation, even if they received their education in the US.

What's worse, Americans themselves who want at least some sort of an education are avoiding these actually-useful STEM programs, in favor of getting near-useless liberal arts or "business" degrees of various kinds. Other large groups of Americans, mainly black and Hispanics, go out of their way to shun education from their early years.

Within a generation, the vast majority of people in the United States capable of performing math or performing engineering or developing high technology will not be Americans. They will be these Asian students, after they have rising through the ranks of American colleges and corporations, becoming the leadership. And as everyone knows, those who control the American corporations control American politics, as well as exerting huge influence over international relations. So war won't be a necessity, and won't even be in China's best interest, due to how entangled they will have become with the American corporate leadership.

Re:The racist 1940s (1)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210450)

Goddamn, I'm 22 and don't know shit about history (relative to other topics), but I thought about this as I read the OP. In its own dark way, it's kinda funny...

Re:The racist 1940s (5, Insightful)

littlewink (996298) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210492)

Chinese immigrants to the USA are far less patriotic (to the USA) than were Japanese immigrants to the USA during WWII. In fact, somewhere between one-third and one-half of Chinese immigrants are already spying/aiding for the Chinese mainland in some way. Ask any sample of Chinese immigrants to the USA about where their loyalties lie. At the very best they are ambivalent.

In a war with China the USA would have serious problems with its internal Chinese population. The lessons of the unjust Japanese imprisonment in WWII would not apply. We would be forced to imprison the Chinese. That would not be a racist act but a reasonable and necessary one.

You have made the mistake of comparing two situations that appear to be similar but that are in fact quite different.

Re:The racist 1940s (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210546)

In fact, somewhere between one-third and one-half of Chinese immigrants are already spying/aiding for the Chinese mainland in some way.

Can you provide a better source for this claim than the dark spot between your buttocks?

Didn't think so.

Re:The racist 1940s (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211626)

I live in a community where a large majority of Nisei were. My family understood their plight and stored many of their things (hiding them would have been treason) during the rounding up and shipping out to the Salinas Rodeo (where they were penned overnight like cattle, before being crammed like sardines into trains and shipped to beautiful Nevada.) My best friend's Father was in the 522nd and the man was as patriotic as anyone I ever met. What we did to them was terrible, what they did for us won the war.

Chinese immigrants have been coming here for years, and they've fought in our wars and worked in our intelligence, energy, and defense services. 1/5th of the world is chinese, that's a lot of room for diverse opinions.

Re:The racist 1940s (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211632)

>>>We would be forced to imprison the Chinese.

Which is an illegal act. We can imprison or deport Chinese citizens, but the Constitution does not allow you to do things like this to chinese-American citizens (like my coworkers and best friend and his wife). The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land and you can not simply ignore it.

Else we would be a lawless society.

Re:The racist 1940s (1)

jmrives (1019046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211652)

In fact, somewhere between one-third and one-half of Chinese immigrants are already spying/aiding for the Chinese mainland in some way.

Care to enlighten us as to where you got these (albeit, very broad) statistics? Certainly, a carefully conducted study of this "fact" would be very newsworthy.

Re:The racist 1940s (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210556)

I hope IF we have another war with the Asian continent (i.e. China) that we do a better job of obeying the Constitution instead of ignoring it.

You mean as well as the constitution is upheld in the war already being waged on the Asian continent, in respect of imprisoning people the US deem "terrorists"? Most likely we're going to see more loopholes used, akin to "if it's not on US soil, it doesn't matter to the Constitution...".

Re:The racist 1940s (3, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210606)

You're saying this like this was a bad thing. We did the same thing in Canada. As a 1st generation descendant of German/Japanese parents let me just say. Given the opportunity at the time, plenty would have been happy to follow the orders of the fatherland and/or the god-emperor to do whatever it takes to kill you from within.

Not the *worst* president... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211656)

In many respects FDR was our worst president. I know that's an unpopular view, nevertheless that's what I think.

Of course it's an unpopular view. Woodrow Wilson was just as racist and far more damaging a president that FDR ever was. FDR only screwed up our country. Wilson sowed the seeds of WWII (increasing our enemies by one Japan in the process), the war in Indochina, screwed up domestic race relations, created the Federal Reserve...

WTF China (-1, Troll)

Merakis (959028) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210124)

All hail our red computer programmed overlords.

Dang (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210128)

Now I have to give my chicken ball orders their own tin foil hat to block the chinese hacking signals until my digestive tract can destroy the transmitters.

Its getting harder and harder for us paranoid folks these days :(

Re:Dang (1)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211038)

See I was with you, but then your choice of the word "paranoid" threw me off. You're one of -them- trying to sow the seeds of doubt. You won't get through my tin foil!

i would like to think... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210134)

that china has the common sense to execute queers outright. fags are a drain on society.

Hum. (5, Insightful)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210158)

I'd like to say I'm shocked by the previous 4 moronic comments, but this is slashdot, so I am not. So they confirm where the attacks came from, where does it go from there? Banning the IP range of those schools from Google services? I somehow doubt they'll find a way to directly pin this on the Chinese government, regardless of if they did it or not.

Re:Hum. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210280)

They won't do nothing because China will simply tell the US that it won't be borrowing any more money unless it obeys China's wishes.

Re:Hum. (2, Insightful)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210404)

so the USA recognises Taiwan and removes most favored status for China, Dont forget China needs its external markets as much if not more than the USA needs China to buy the USA's gilts.

Re:Hum. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210568)

China can still sell to Europe. It's not as big a market, but it can tide them over. But where will the US buy? I mean, who's going to sell to them if they already showed they can't pay?

Re:Hum. (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210454)

They don't loan to us, we can't buy their stuff. We don't buy their stuff, they don't grow. Their whole economy is predicated on manufacturing for Western markets.

Re:Hum. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210458)

Wow, Commodore64_love. How long have you been in the US? Your English is really bad. Are you one of those Chinese hackers?

Re:Hum. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210612)

They won't do nothing because China will simply tell the US that it won't be borrowing any more money unless it obeys China's wishes.

So, they will do something, because China will simply tell the US that it won't be borrowing any more money unless it obeys China's wishes?

Re:Hum. (3, Informative)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211172)

China's already started dumping its T-bills. Strangely, this doesn't seem to be getting a lot of play in the media...I wonder why?

Times of India [indiatimes.com]

Reuters [reuters.com]

Re:Hum. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211528)

So? Other countries will be glad to buy the T-Bills. This is a non-issue. See this post [slashdot.org] and its child posts..

Re:Hum. (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210284)

Actually, banning all of China, Russia, Brazil, etc is pretty common practice for a long time if you don't do international business. A google search gives you the IP blocks to use.

Re:Hum. (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210326)

Pinning it on the Chinese government in public would be claiming an attack by one government on another's citizens and infrastructure. This would be one of the scenarios that Home Land Security is preparing to defend against. It's presumed that 'terrorists' would be the attackers, but if it turns out the terrorists are Chinese it would shift the direction of momentum for such groups as Homeland Security. With the USA in a semi-permanent state of war against terror, if this is tagged as terrorism, it stands a good chance of crumbling trade agreements to bits. Of course that can't be allowed to happen politically, so the offensive parts of this will be swept under the political rug, and in the worst case situation, China will claim to have punished some errant students. There is far more involved than some IT attacks. Rest assured that business and political interests will ensure that a bit of 'file sharing' won't get in the way of those other interests. So, where do we go from here? not page 1, page 7 of the local section if we're lucky enough to see it in main stream news at all.

Re:Hum. (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210598)

>>>it would shift the direction of momentum for such groups as Homeland Security

Here comes the Nightwatch.

Re:Hum. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210400)

Who knows, maybe the government ain't responsible for it after all?

Let's be honest here, think back to your school years. I dunno about you, but I grew up with the (motion) picture of the evil Russian and the heroic US agents and spies that steal (and steal back) $secret from Russian developers, or sabotage the development of $evil_weapon. I can well imagine that the Chinese movie market pushes out the same kind of propaganda, with US for Russia and China for US.

Now, unlike us who had, at best, analog modems with 900something baud (if that), these kids have fast internet connections at their disposal. Security is actually WORSE than it was in our youth, when the only servers you'd find were by definition pretty secure because they were ran by highly trained professionals (because no ordinary company and certainly no ordinary person could cough up the dough to run one) instead of being set up by idiots that got a crib sheet for setting one up in their evening school class. And let's not even consider the millions of people online who think TCP is the Chinese Secret Service or something like that.

I can see how it could be tempting to a teenager with the tools and the knowledge to go and cause havoc to "that evil power".

Re:Hum. (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210528)

>>>analog modems with 900something baud

(puts on nitpicker's hat) - The fastest analog modem was 3429 baud with a bit rate of 33.6 kbit/s. I would have killed for 900-something baud. That would be faster than the DSL I'm using now (700-something).

(removes nitpicker's hat) - Wow. I get so anal when I wear that thing. Anyway I agree with you that this was probably just some school exercise, and some of the kids got a little carried away with their "leet" skills. It doesn't mean the Chinese government was involved. (Although one could argue the military and government are the same thing.)

Re:Hum. (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210980)

> (Although one could argue the military and government are the same thing.)

No, but it would be pretty hard to argue that the military is not a proper subset of the government.

However, in any case, since they have been exposed, the Secretary will disavow an knowledge of their actions. Good luck, Mister (Chinese equivalent of Briggs, Hand, or Phelps).

(cue Lalo Shifrin's theme)

Re:Hum. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210428)

shut your fucking filthy sewer. i was one of the earlier posters you're talking about. and if you can prove that fags aren't a drain on society i will never post it again. but you won't because it's the truth. sorry that you can't handle the truth.

Re:Hum. (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210520)

Name one measurable way they drain society.

Re:Hum. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210850)

They leave shit on his dick.

Re:Hum. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211590)

they spread disease by their risky lifestyle. that makes them a liability. it's a fact and you know it.

Re:Hum. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210792)

Very sad, actually. I am one of many opposed to what Chinese gov. is doing, but to be racists against the people is a very different thing. Sad that kids are being raised this way.

Re:Hum. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210796)


So they confirm where the attacks came from, where does it go from there?

The usual with anything dealing with international politics. A lot of posturing, threats, and promises, but very little in the way of action.

I somehow doubt they'll find a way to directly pin this on the Chinese government, regardless of if they did it or not.

Who's "they"? Google? Google has already tried to do that. Same with the U.S. media. John Markoff was on NPR yesterday talking about how it couldn't have just been students because "they used unknown IE exploits, which points to professionals". That just made me laugh. Gee John Markoff, did you forget your own reporting from the last 20 years where it was the American kids using "unknown exploits" (Mitnick, Robert Morris) to break into American businesses?

Who it was that ACTUALLY did these attacks I doubt we'll ever know. China will try to sweep it all under the rug, Google will try to use this as a way to look like they're trying to face up to China, and the media will use it as another opportunity to sell some eyeballs. I sure as hell wouldn't just assume it couldn't have been a single, or a small group of individuals though. These guys [wikipedia.org] this guy [wikipedia.org] (just to pick a couple well known examples) proved that wrong more than 20 years ago. It could also be a collusion of individuals and foreign governments, like for instance this guy [wikipedia.org]

Re:Hum. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210984)

They already did pin it on the Chinese govt. Han Chinese are homogeneous. Their govt is an extension of their nationalism.

S

Finally, (-1, Offtopic)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210164)

The title of a China-related news has the adverb "reportedly". What's the world coming to?

Re:Finally, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210204)

A question mark at the end of the title does the job more efficiently.

Act Of War (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210168)

It seems clear that if the Chinese government is ultimately responsible for these heinous attacks, it is an act of war, and should be responded to forcefully and directly.

This is just like terrorist acts prior to 9/11. We should not wait for the digital Pearl Harbor to occur before we act.

Re:Act Of War (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210190)

Is that you? Ms. Clinton?

Re:Act Of War (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210230)

You do realize that by those standards of treating industrial/state espionage as an act of war you should also be including countries like france, germany, israel, russia, south africa and so on? Not to mention the dozens and dozens of countries the US regularly performs hostile intelligence operations on? So you're really hoping for WWIII? Welcome to the real world, kid.

Re:Act Of War (3, Insightful)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210244)

I would like to know what the U.S. contingency plan is for war with China. Look at almost any product in the U.S. today, and it is from China. If we declare war with them, do we suddenly have no more imported goods? This is not a scenario that I like to ponder.

Re:Act Of War (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210288)

I would like to know what the U.S. contingency plan is for war with China. Look at almost any product in the U.S. today, and it is from China. If we declare war with them, do we suddenly have no more imported goods? This is not a scenario that I like to ponder.

Simple. You'll buy products from American corporations. Double benefit: on one hand, you rescue American companies out of the economic depression and on the other hand, you make Chinese companies lose.

Re:Act Of War (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210806)

Simple. You'll buy products from American corporations. Double benefit: on one hand, you rescue American companies out of the economic depression and on the other hand, you make Chinese companies lose.

Where are the factories? Where are the means of production? Where are the steel mills? The U.S. has a lot of rebuilding to do.

Re:Act Of War (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210308)

Instead of shipping across the Pacific, we'd simply ship across the Atlantic, and buy stuff from Europe, Africa, and India. It might cost a little more to buy from those areas, but the goods will still fit our needs.

And China would be hurt from the sudden lack of income from the US and the EU. It would probably throw them into an economic depression.

Re:Act Of War (2, Interesting)

Omestes (471991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211526)

Or, sweet Jesus, we can work on actually manufacturing our own crap again. Not that I think we ever would stoop that low. Yes, making our own crap would raise costs, but it also would create jobs which would mean more net money to buy crap. But then again someone would have to settle for mere millions (and the intangible of adding to the long term stability of the US) instead of billions and the joy of being able to play the fiddle while the US collapses into a third world nation.

That isn't the question at all (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210406)

The question is, who do you get to buy your debts?

 

Re:That isn't the question at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211320)

How about we Americans flog our elected officials for getting us into debt in the first place! Lets cleanup our own house before we shove a broom handle up someone else's ass.

Re:Act Of War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210476)

Massive Nuclear Strike. It's the only way to fight 1.2 Billion people. Why wonder, it's always been our strategy for war with China.

Re:Act Of War (1)

pitchaxistheory (844824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210718)

The answer to your question is Fallout 3. But the problem is, where are all the Vaults?? Oh right... Vault-Tec lost it all on Lehman Bros. bonds... We're screwed!... (I jest. I JEST!!)

Re:Act Of War (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211246)

Simple! Stop exporting wheat, pork, beef, chicken feet to China. They may have to worry about food again.

Re:Act Of War (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210290)

The scary part is that the parent is modded insightful instead of funny. There are many documented cases of the CIA, NSA, US Department of Commerce and other US entities (both governmental and non-governmental) committing industrial espionage in various forms (breaking into networks, tapping into video conferences, phone tapping, planting microphones and cameras, ...). See e.g. the list under "Published cases" in the Echelon report [europa.eu] by the European Parliament.

So please stop acting like Virgin Mary already, it doesn't become you.

Re:Act Of War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211668)

You sound like North Korea! "Act of War! Act of War!"

I'm not worried (-1, Troll)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210194)

Barack Obama (PBUH) will discuss this with the Chinese government and they will tell the students to refrain from this sort of activity in the future.

They are anti-American... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210208)

Anyone who has experienced being in a class with any large number of Chinese students (that actually came from and lived in China, just to be clear) will tell you that many of them are deeply programmed to be anti-American. I used to read "USA sucks China rules" on the desks in the library all the time at SUNY Buffalo. I don't blame the students but it's true nonetheless.

Yeah. So what? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210228)

Seriously, so what? China is in a cold war with the west. Sadly, the west has not woke up to this. This is just one more of their approaches. And to be honest, it is SMART on their part. The west is working hard to avoid another cold war, but we are in it and losing it. If China was a democracy, then it would be different. However, you will note that all of the nations that are not full democracies are coming together, and they are winning.

Re:Yeah. So what? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210656)

I disagree that we are at war, because the economic-political situation is not the same. During the Euro-American versus Soviet Union Cold War, which initiated in the late 40s, there were two diametrically opposed philosophies: A free uncontrolled market (us) versus a government-controlled market (them).

However in the last few decades things have changed. The Euro-American market is still privately owned, but the government is pulling the strings more-and-more with each passing year (called socialism). Heck we have a carmaker that is now called "government motors" in some circles since the government owns a majority stake in it.

The Chinese market is very similar to the EU and US markets: Privately owned businesses but with government control. Our economies are more alike than different, with the only caveat being our government-controlled marketplace is democratically elected, while theirs is not, but I don't think that's an important enough distinction to declare a cold war.

We are too dependent on one another (we need their goods; they need our customers).

Re:Yeah. So what? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210766)

You have it VERY wrong. This is not about the TYPE of an economic system. This is about the type of gov that you are ok with. Many Chinese are willing to accept the CURRENT situation only because they have not known economic freedom. HOWEVER, the Chinese gov will NOT give up control. And neither will the other govs that are slowly moving in. Take the example of Venezuela. They freely elected Chavez. Great. I say more power to them. HOWEVER, now, he has amended their constitution to allow himself to run forever (he was term limited). In addition, he is shutting down private new media AND controlling their polls.

At this time, China DOES need us, but they are working to break that. The problem is that American companies do not care, nor are they paying attention. China is busy stealing tech. In addition, they have fixed their money to the dollar, put up trade barriers, dump their products, and subsidize their own goods. This is designed to drain the west of their manufacturing capabilities.

This is a Cold war. We are losing it because of people that do not pay attention. Far too many Americans are being corrupted in the pursuit of the all mighty dollar.

Re:Yeah. So what? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211094)

> Many Chinese are willing to accept the CURRENT situation only because they have not known economic freedom.

Most Chinese are willing to accept the current situation because they believe that things have actually been improving enough over the past decade or so. Many even have experienced first hand the improvements[1].

They have quite a fair bit of economic freedom in China. They don't have much political freedom. If you're poor, it doesn't matter how much economic freedom there is in your country - your options are still limited.

[1] Yes being better than really crap is not so hard. But hey they are actually improving stuff. Not everything is improving of course, but in general very many things have got better.

Re:Yeah. So what? (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211478)

>>>You have it VERY wrong. This is not about the TYPE of an economic system. This is about the type of gov that you are ok with.
>>>

Yes it is. And I see the US and EU governments moving towards Chinese-style government. Not immediately of course, but inch-by-inch. Just look at the legislation: You must buy hospitalization, else Congress will fine you ~$1000 per year. France is passing laws to filter the internet (Chinese-style censorship). The UK is looking at 3 strike laws where you lose internet without trial to prove your innocence. The EU Parliament wants to limit selling to only those with brick-and-mortar storefronts (goodbye to ebay or online-only sellers). GM is now Government Motors in North America. The EU is proposing a government-owned rail system that crosses the continent from Russia to Spain (Chinese style). The EU Parliament wants to make firing bad employees illegal, except in the most egregious circumstances (Chinese style guaranteed employment).

Yeah I know what you're thinking - it's not that bad, and you're right. But the direction is clear: We're moving towards Chinese-style, government-run economy.

Vice-versa China is starting to allow democratic elections (at the local level) which I'm sure will gradually expand to the national level. Eventually (2020? 2030?) our two cultures seem destined to meet in the middle with near identical economic-political systems.

In which case, there's no need to fight. We would become allies.

Re:Yeah. So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211510)

BULLSHIT.

China is NOT in cold war. China is in competition. Well, I should say China Inc. is in competition with US businesses.

If China was a democracy, who knows, it may be even more nationalistic. Democracy is not a panacea. Just look what happened to Gaza thanks to democracy.

The most awesome vocational school in the world (5, Informative)

lobsterturd (620980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210234)

Shanghai Jiaotong University? Fair enough. But also see Roland Soong's translations about the vocational school [zonaeuropa.com] .

Mod parent up (1)

euyis (1521257) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210300)

I'm Chinese and I can assure you this is completely true :D

Re:The most awesome vocational school in the world (1)

noisebar (1641161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211340)

My reaction too. I can understand Jiaotong getting involved (I graduated from that school). But Nanxiang? Are you kidding me? Their ads appear in TV infomercials!

The Chinese (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210256)

are better than those lame, whining, but staying in People's Republic of China, jews.

this attack finally convinced me (4, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210262)

to go ABC with my buying habits, ie Anything But China. I refuse unless absolutely necessary to buy goods manufactured in China. They are obvious hellbent on telling the rest of the world what they are allowed to do(such as meet with the Dalai Lama), not to mention they have the most hypocritical trade policy on the planet. Fuck them, fuck them all.

It's not easy, but if you are vigilant you can find really good deals on stuff not made in China(which is pretty much all shit quality anyway). I've noticed that clothes made in Vietnam have much better quality than those made in China, ditto for electronics and Japan. I have a camera that is made in Japan and has lasted a long time despite being repeatedly abused. It was certainly worth the extra bit of money I paid over the Chinese made piece of shit I bought before. The last pair of shoes I bought that were made in China fell apart in a couple of months, the US made ones I am wearing now are much durable. The list goes on. Boycott China.

Then boycott Apple, Dell, HP, Seagate (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210330)

and other american companies. Buy Nokia, Fujitsu.

Re:Then boycott Apple, Dell, HP, Seagate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210350)

Yeah but it's damn hard to order stuff online. You just never know. Especially when ordering computer components where the manufacturing location is a mixed bag even from non-Chinese brands.

Re:this attack finally convinced me (4, Insightful)

DeltaQH (717204) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210378)

But don't boycott Taiwan (Repuplic of China)

Re:this attack finally convinced me (2, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210402)

Unlike China they actually make some decent quality stuff and are vehemently opposed to the mainland's expansionist policies for obvious reasons.

Re:this attack finally convinced me (1)

euyis (1521257) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210410)

What's a "repuplic"...

Re:this attack finally convinced me (1)

DeltaQH (717204) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210430)

Ooops! My fault. I mean Republic

A republic is a form of government in which the head of state is not a monarch and the people (or at least a part of its people)have an impact on its government The word "republic" is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as "a public affair".

Re:this attack finally convinced me (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210588)

After the various Chinese food scandals, I refuse to buy any food from that comes from China. It's obvious to me the cause of the THREE separate melamine food scandals (milk, wheat gluten and pet food) and the poisoned toothpaste scandal were a corrupt system that's setup to reward bad behavior. Essentially milk producers got more money if they had high protein levels in the milk. Adding melamine gave a high false reading for protein. Someone obviously started marketing this melamine to farmers or someone else in the distribution channel to raise protein levels. They might not even have known what the hell the stuff was. If the price of milk is so low you can't survive without watering it down and putting this poison in it to "enhance" it, how many people won't do that? So the problem is systemic, and not just "a few bad apples", which is how I heard China was trying to spin it as. Not a system I want to gamble my health on.

The whole thing reminds me of the U.S. banking system that caused the housing collapse. That's a similar system that rewarded bad behavior where banks bundle up bad mortgages (throwing away information in the process), and then get a ratings agency to give the resulting security a triple-A rating (low risk). The securities then got sold around the world. The ratings agencies are "independent", but are highly motivated to give good ratings since banks will shop around for good rating agencies. Of course, we STILL haven't really fixed the system in any way, and the will to do so is quickly disappearing.

Re:this attack finally convinced me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211104)

I have a finance background and can supplement this with some interesting tidbits:

The underlying belief was that, if AAA-rated companies had a historical default rate of e.g. 0.1%, it would be fair and sensible if any type of synthetic debt obligation with a 0.1% default rate should also be rated AAA.

So you look in the magic market ball of securities, and identify some with really attractive characteristics: mortgage bonds. They had a very strong reward/risk ratio, based on the underlying components: risk had been low because the market had been going up strongly, and reward was high, because they interest rate paid by mortgage borrowers was slightly above other types of looks-really-low-risk debt. The "obstacle" you had was that these mortgages had all kinds of different default rates and maturities. How do you turn a bunch of mortgages with a default rate of e.g. 1% into 0.1%? You slice the pool in half, and say that "any defaults will first be taken from the lower-quality part, and then from the higher-quality part". If you slice it right, the "top" part gets a 0.1% statistical default rate, and the bottom half gets something like a 10%.

Then you can take multiples of these "bottom parts", put them together, and split the new package in two - the bottom part "guarantees" the top part, losses are taken from the bottom part first, so the default rate of the top part becomes 0.1%, and the bottom part something high.

Due to the way the math works (I have seen it, but only briefly and it's not my area, but this is the concept), the problem with this is that when you create new packages out of the old packages, their value becomes _hypersensitive_ to _increases_ in the implicit statistical default rate. So as long as the world is ticking along so that "a mortgage has a statistical probability of default of 1%", then a "quite risky" bond far down in the chain can still have a default probability of 5%. But if the statistical default probability of the mortgage rises to 2%, the default probability of the "quite risky" bond increases to 50%. Because they are priced on a continuous basis based on their underlying statistical probability it doesn't matter if they are 10-year bonds - their value will fall instantly when the mortgage default data next ticks in.

And when did this happen? Just about when the Fed started raising interest rates. It should seem obvious to most people that, if rising interest rates happens together with a couple of other things that in themselves aren't too bad, it increases the probability of default slightly, making the value of all those bonds disappear.

This should be a problem especially for people who like flexibility in their macroeconomic policies, because these instruments effectively are highly leveraged to a continously benign economic environment. The longer the environment has been stable, the "sharper becomes the point" of the instruments that are most highly leveraged to that stability, and the quicker the fall over in any slight wobble. This means that, if you _try to raise interest rates_, you might just explode the financial system. Monetary policy becomes a one-way street downwards.

I'm not totally aware of the proposals on how to properly regulate credit ratings. My feelings range from the rather extreme (deny ratings to synthetic bonds - if you want to hold it, do the maths yourself) to the more sensible (have mandatory stress tests that include a sharp and big increase in interest rates). The only ones I have heard of (ban 'ratings consulting' by the agencies and publish their methodology) solves nothing in itself, because the fundamental problem was taking advantage of the statistically bening features of securities, and banks would simply move the consulting function in-house to "game the methodology" from there. Some other proposals would partly alleviate this, such as a higher capital ratio (which would mean more losses could be absorbed) and stricter controls of the markets where bubbles are most likely to happen, but it's a travesty that such a fundamental problem as the credit ratings system isn't worked on.

Re:this attack finally convinced me (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211306)

This is getting way off topic, but why not just ban the practice of bundling all these mortgages together into something that almost nobody fully understands? The ratings agency was supposed to take care of that problem, but I'm skeptical that trying to fix them is a good long term solution.

The other proposal that did appeal to me is making anyone wanting to sell these things keep a portion of them (I call it "eating your own dogfood"). Combine that with banning rating something that's essentially un-ratable because of the complexity sounds decent enough to me. What really became apparent to me is the financial industry may have smart people in it, but they're all prone to this self-reinforcing echo-chamber effect. That's why I'm skeptical that trying to fix the ratings people is the right approach, since they'll just come up with another self-reinforcing belief structure that'll go poof.

Re:this attack finally convinced me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210726)

Don't be stupid. Because of China's unique economic position, it has very diverse manufacturing, meaning that "China" will make anything you care to specify. If the companies you buy from are specifying crap, China will make crap to order, those companies will sell you the crap with a nice American markup, and when you call to complain that it is crap, they will tell you a story about stuff made in China, which of course is the stuff they told China to make in the first place. End result? You blame China and hold no ill for the American company that knowingly sold you overpriced garbage, because you're a sucker.

China also makes top-end electronics like the iPod and Nintendo DS. Why? Because Apple and Nintendo tell them to make top-end electronics. They do that because they care about their brand image and want people to associate their brands with high-quality stuff. They (i.e. you) get what was paid for. Walmart however doesn't give a damn about its image, and if you only buy the cheap crap they order from China, then you're only going to get cheap crap. Yeah your $10 Walmart shoes made in China fell apart in a couple of months? Go figure. My $100 Nikes that lasted all the way through college and beyond? Also made in China. Do the math.

An American company will gladly sell you cheap junk if they care nothing for their image, and if you're stupid enough to keep buying it. China has nothing to do with your problem.

Re:this attack finally convinced me (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210866)

HAHAHA, Nintendo DS as a high quality product? I've had 2 DS's, both are broken despite and yet my Japanese-made Gameboy is still kicking more than 20 years after I purchased it. Chinese workers don't give a shit about the stuff they are making, they are there only to allow the government come in to grab as much technology as they can.

As per the shoes in my example, the Chinese pair was $60, the American pair $30, the American pair lasted much longer. As per the American companies, I've bought stuff from the EXACT same companies at similar prices, some made in China, some made elsewhere. Guess what? the quality of the stuff made elsewhere is markedly better than the shit made in China. Whether the Chinese workers are intentionally doing a shitty job or intentionally poisoning the stuff they export is up for debate, but what isn't is their absolute shit quality. For example Apple's hardware quality has fallen significantly after moving more and more manufacturing to China. I doubt this is a coincidence.

Re:this attack finally convinced me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211184)

ANECDOTES FOR THE WIN!!! The original Game Boys are invincible. That fact has been a well-documented phenomenon. There is nothing else like it, not even from Japan. If that's the only counterpoint for Japan-made electronics you can come up with, everyone knows it's not a representative example.

http://nintendo.joystiq.com/2008/02/06/damn-it-feels-good-to-have-a-game-boy/ [joystiq.com]

You did not buy a pair of shoes for $60 from China. You bought it for $60 from an American store. You know who got the lion's share of the profit from that? The store did. Because they told the Chinese factory to make e.g. a shoe for $5 per pair and they produced a shoe within that budget. You, however, paid $60 for a pair of $5 shoes, and the $55 difference in quality lies with the American company you bought it from, not the Chinese manufacturer. Which was the point of my first post. If you got your reading comprehension from an American school it sure didn't turn out well. Maybe take a class in Japan?

If there is evidence of a statistically significant drop in quality of Apple's hardware, I don't think it would be coincidence either, I think it would be Apple experimenting with their levels of quality control. Every company gets the last say in what products they ship to stores. If they have a problem with quality it's because they don't want to pay for quality or for quality controls. That's how bad stuff ends up in your hands, because the company that orders the stuff thinks it's okay to sell it to you that way. They have the ability to stop low-quality items from ever reaching you. But why would they if people are dumb enough to keep paying money for it?

You going to boycott the US government? (2, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210930)

Cos China owns trillions of US government bonds, which your income taxes pay for.

 

Jiaotong university topped the ACM (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210276)

"Four Chinese teams and four Russian teams dominated the top 10 rankings of the 2010 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC). Shanghai Jiaotong University took first place followed by Moscow State University in second place, and National Taiwan University in third place. "

From http://www.acm.org/press-room/news-releases/2010/icpc-2010 [acm.org]

No wonder why they are so good.

Re:Jiaotong university topped the ACM (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210374)

No wonder why they are so good.

But we have more lawyers and can simply sue them back to the Stone Age.

Makes You Wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210332)

Did the Chinese hackers gain access to the "Battle of the Brains" problems prior to the contest?

What they teach there? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210422)

Social Engineering 101
Exploiting Windows for fun and profit
Deploying trojans
Advanced botnets
Hacking NSA
Hacking Google
And the final exam consist in hacking into Independence Day's Alien mainframe

Re:What they teach there? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210764)

And the final exam consist in hacking into Independence Day's Alien mainframe

You translated incorrectly. That's the entrance exam. Jolly Roger is bonus, though.

Does this prove that our hackers are better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210508)

because they didn't get caught?

You Can't Find Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man! (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210536)

Of all the computers in all the world, USA investigates and traces attacks to two computers in two schools in China, yet several people with knowledge of the investigation asked for *anonymity* because they are not authorized to discuss the inquiry. Yep they're going to be really hard to track down. Love it.

Re:You Can't Find Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211288)

Yep they're going to be really hard to track down. Love it.

People with knowledge of the investigation could include just about anyone. Someone who was standing within earshot when it was being discussed is a person with knowledge of the investigation. And since they know damned well they're not supposed to talk about it, they're speaking anonymously. You're making it sound like it was people inside the investigation, which could be true, but isn't necessarily so.

Morons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210600)

What do these replies have to do with story? Don't trade with China? When they make great products that are cheap? All of you hang wringing apologists for stopping the misperceived threat of Chinese Hegemony may be delusional. China has her own internal contradictions to borrow from the "terrible" Mao which will create enough governors to keep the monster from taking over the world. Plus: the people are really cool. They're like Americans. It's a melting pot of DNA and they are open and friendly and they don't want to chop our heads off for not beleiving what they believe. That's the end of my off topic rant.
What about this story? It's interesting and I'd like some more answers.

Google Search Language Preferences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210632)

Anyone else notice the change to Search Language Preferences after the Google/China incident? It may just be a coincidence but the "Search for pages written in any language (Recommended)" option is no longer the default or an available option. The only option now is "Prefer pages written in these language(s)" with one of the languages sometimes selected and unselectable by default depending on your "Interface Language" setting or which localized version of Google you visit.

Verbal diarrhea (3, Interesting)

Internalist (928097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210688)

according to several people with knowledge of the investigation who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the inquiry

WTF is wrong with people that they can't shut up?? I see stuff like this all the time, and it boggles my mind that people on the inside are willing to discuss stuff that is likely to at least partially jeopardize the investigation under way. Surely it's not a profit-motive...I can't imagine journalists can pay very much for this kind of information...so what is it?

Re:Verbal diarrhea (2, Interesting)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211388)

Psssssh. I'll let you in on this, but you gotta keep my name out of it, OK?

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210768)

Wow. reading all these comments, it seems like a lot of hidden fears coming to surface. Worries about Chinese dominance may be justified but come on,
what shook me up was the casual by-the-way remark of jailing all Chinese americans plus all the justifications that came after it. Hitler anyone....
 

When fear comes... (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211022)

people do irrational things. This is how dictators come to power.

Problem with the US - Lazy trains (2, Funny)

eternalelegy (1279022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210954)

"Lanxiang, in east China’s Shandong Province, is a huge vocational school that was established with military support and trains some computer scientists for the military.'"

That's the problem with the US nowadays, our trains are always off hauling freight or mucking about with passengers while the Chinese trains are establishing huge vocational schools for CS students.

Shameful.
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