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220 comments

Don't you mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259148)

The insecurity expert?

Re:Don't you mean... (0, Offtopic)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259238)

Well, Ira is a woman's name after all.

Re:Don't you mean... (0, Offtopic)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259558)

Ira Hayes?

Re:Don't you mean... (0, Offtopic)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259598)

From the article, it looks more like Ira Age

Hmmm ... (2, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259152)

My local mexican restaurant regularly delivers blackened huevos rancheros. I wonder if they're in on this whole "restaurant espionage" thing, too?

Re:Hmmm ... (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259218)

That seems to be all the evidence needed.

From TFA:

"I can't get black duck eggs in San Francisco, let alone this little piece of crap town in the middle of nowhere." Stan's conclusion was that the Chinese restaurant was a front for a Chinese espionage operation targeting the Fortune 5 business.

Sounds like this security consultant is pretty quick to assume that we need more security. I wonder why.

And it's not just that one restaurant. Check out this menu [wordpress.com] , something definitely smells fishy about it to me. No doubt it's a north korean spy base.

Re:Hmmm ... (3, Informative)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259594)

I find his statement that he can't get black duck eggs in San Francisco, which has one of the largest Chinese populations outside of Asia, hard to believe. I can get black duck eggs [emeraldrestaurant.com] here in San Diego, which is a bit of a cultural backwater compared to the Bay Area.

Re:Hmmm ... (3, Funny)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259632)

I can get black duck eggs here in San Diego
 
As if San Diego wasn't home to the largest base of the US Navy! Coincidence? I think not! My rates for security consultation are quite reasonable, I assure you.

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259648)

I'm going assume that to get them he would have to actually go into china town. Judging by his chines paranoia he's probably scared someone will mug him and steal the contacts from his blackberry.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259880)

That might be too obvious. Lots of Chinese restaurants, including the quick take-out ones, have shady back-room business going on. Chinese gift shops in Chinatown most definitely do; several women have told me of how simple it is to get legitimate luxury handbags at a fraction of the price from these places.

Re:Hmmm ... (3, Informative)

sylpherware (1814564) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259638)

Definitely fishy about that menu... IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE FOR A CHINESE RESTAURANT! For $10, (in ANY English-speaking country's currency) that fried rice better be some top-of-the-line rice with corn-fed organic egg cooked to golden perfection!

Seriously though, this article is interesting in 2 ways. 1st, "black duck eggs" may be a delicacy, but it's not that rare nor it is expensive. The only way that it's not in the SF area would be that it doesn't comply with the food safety code, like a lot of Chinese food. (Just because white folks can't stomach our food doesn't mean it's poisonous.)

2nd, I actually talked to a guy who enrolled in a Chinese university for their "spy" recruit. He was there for a year before getting an offer to come study overseas. Sometimes we still wonder if he's still working for their government... Anyway, he was saying how all the guys were really plain-looking, and the girls are hot as hell, and very seductive at that too. SO, what you should be looking out for at your work place are: plain-looking Chinese dudes and hot Chinese girls!

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259722)

Americans are more touchy about food safety than most white folks. Teawurst a wonderful german meat spread made from raw pig livers was not available in the USA for many years.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259772)

Anyway, he was saying how all the guys were really plain-looking, and the girls are hot as hell, and very seductive at that too. SO, what you should be looking out for at your work place are: plain-looking Chinese dudes and hot Chinese girls!

That only applies if they're "seductive". If they laugh haughtily at clumsy nerd advances and date only tall and/or rich guys, they're not spies. But hot Asian chicks apparently interested in Slashdotters are going to be one of two things... recruiters for the Moonies, or spies for the Chinese.

Re:Hmmm ... (1)

steppin_razor_LA (236684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259834)

I was looking forward to an interesting article until I read the opening paragraph. /facepalm. This guy is a moron and has nothing of interest to add to the subject.

the lede (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259158)

From TFA:

"U.S. corporations are vulnerable, too, he said, because China sees nothing wrong with committing economic espionage in the service of Chinese companies, many of which are state-owned anyway. Of course, the U.S. and other countries spy on each other all the time, but the U.S. would never spy on Toyota and share that intelligence with General Motors, for example. China, on the other hand, has no such qualms."

Quoted without comment.

Re:the lede (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259192)

Yes you beat be to that little bit of BS. I was going to quote it too.

Re:the lede (5, Informative)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259336)

Hate to blow you out of the water but the US government does leak private details of foreign companies collected by it's national security agencies. A good example was the US government being caught red handed leaking secret wheat price bids from Canadian companies to local US suppliers collected by the NSA. So if the US is happy to stab a trading partner like Canada in the back what do you think they are doing to none aligned entities like China!

Re:the lede (2, Interesting)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259554)

They have done similar to the UK. It was the aerospace industry.

Some readings of UK history post WW2 could be seen to show economic sabotage that only changed when we said that we could not afford to help with Korea.

Re:the lede (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259730)

And keep in mind, the government bailed out GM and other American car companies. To not share what they know with their investments when the other guys are? That would just be downright investing stupidly, even by government standards. Sure, questionable as far as ethics go, and maybe international trade, but when did those become concerns for governments?

Re:the lede (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259808)

This was happening long before bailouts...

The article draws weird conclusions. (4, Insightful)

flowerp (512865) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259176)

My wife has no problems buying black eggs of any kind in asia stores in Germany. Oh, and black eggs can be mailed long distance, it's fermented and thereby preserved food.

And you really can't conclude from the menu of a chinese restaurant what's going or not going on behind the scenes. I call bullshit on this one. No corporate espionage ring would need to use a "safe house" or "safe restaurant" for that matter to drop off secret information or to secretly meet. It's the information age, dummies!

I gotta agree. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259214)

And furthermore:

Besides continually innovating at hacking computer networks in the U.S. and globally, Chinese interests also hack companies physically by infiltrating them with people who can then be recruited as spies, Winkler said.

Huh? I can see infiltrating them with spies ... but infiltrating them with people who you will then try to recruit to be a spy?

Isn't that a bit ... stupid?

Re:I gotta agree. (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259248)

And furthermore:

Besides continually innovating at hacking computer networks in the U.S. and globally, Chinese interests also hack companies physically by infiltrating them with people who can then be recruited as spies, Winkler said.

Huh? I can see infiltrating them with spies ... but infiltrating them with people who you will then try to recruit to be a spy?

Isn't that a bit ... stupid?

Not if you know you will be able to manipulate the recruits. China has a lot of control over the lives of those peoples relatives back home.

Why even risk the possibility? (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259276)

Not if you know you will be able to manipulate the recruits. China has a lot of control over the lives of those peoples relatives back home.

Why even risk the possibility that one of them will NOT take the offer?

Cut out the middleman and simply send them spies to be hired. Spies who have ALREADY agreed to be spies for you.

RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259642)

But that wouldn't afford us the luxury of seeing "POTENTIAL CHINESE SPY" in every single Asian face we encounter.

Yeah, I went there. Someone had to.

Re:Why even risk the possibility? (3, Insightful)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259784)

A company won't likely hire or retain someone who seems to be a spy. Given new hires will get more attention, if they are all spies there is a fair risk of at least one raising suspicion- depending on how connected all the spies are, this can really cause problems for all of them. If China lets the new hires adjust to being a new employee, then pull them into being a spy, they can just focus on the ones who end up in positions or career paths that are useful for spying, and the spies are comfortable enough with their job they shouldn't be drawing unnecessary attention anyways. Also, college graduates have a lot of choices to work with- if they are allowed to settle down a bit, they won't see nearly as many alternatives to giving in to being a spy, should they not be nationalistic enough to like spying.

Companies aren't likely to hire senior engineers/programmers/etc. with their only work experience being in China- the best way to get someone into the desired position is to get hired from graduation and work up to the position. May as well let the future spy fit in as a typical bright college student, then deal with the spy recruiting phase between them getting hired and waiting until they've been working long enough to have proper access to the desired information or system.

Re:I gotta agree. (3, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259442)

Not if you know you will be able to manipulate the recruits. China has a lot of control over the lives of those peoples relatives back home.

This assumes that all the Chinese expats even *like* their family back home. I can tell you from personal observation that the more a person stays in the US, the less and less they like their family from back home.

Re:I gotta agree. (3, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259664)

If the Chinese government is attempting this kind of extortion on a large scale, we have to assume that some of those attempts will be failures, and that some of those failures will be loud.

As far as I know, no Chinese immigrant has yet come forward with allegations that this happened to them. Which means either it's 100% effective, or else it's not happening.

Re:I gotta agree. (2, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259842)

Apart from the, you know, ancestor worship that's part of Chinese culture.

Your statement is total bullshit and you know it. There is a big emphasis on family within Chinese culture and to say that you just lose it by being in the US for a while is crap. Why do you think that there's such a large Chinese community in the US? Not because they've thrown their culture to the kerb.

If any threats of family harm come to a Chinese person it will definitely make them easier to coerce.

Re:I gotta agree. (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259862)

Sure, but not liking your family, and not minding if harm came to them are two different things.

Most people, not matter how much they dislike their families, do not want anyone to harm them. Who knows what the chinese are threatening them with. And don't forget how much the Chinese gov has control over its people.

Re:I gotta agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259320)

It runs a high risk of the attempt being discovered, and with it the intent of spying on someone.

Nobody has any doubts about China not spying, so there's nothing to lose.

Re:I gotta agree. (5, Insightful)

thesaurus (1220706) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259378)

And this is why we're screwed trying to stop Chinese espionage...our security consultants are frakking morons.

Re:I gotta agree. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259416)

You get someone a job, and them let them know that for certain information there mother won't be hurt. Suddenly they're spies. That may not even realize that was happening until it's too late.

However the sentence is poorly worded.

Re:I gotta agree. (2, Insightful)

Nikkos (544004) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259634)

That's one of the key differences between Western/Eastern cultures. We're (speaking as a Western-raised individual) an individualistic society while they're a collective society (and no, this is in no relation to political theories) You choose any banner - be it race, religion, or nationality - and any group of people raised in a collective society will have more people willing to work/sacrifice themselves for the cause than a comparable group of the same size of people raised in an individualistic society. So think about how easy it would be "turn" someone that shares both race, nationality, and culture...

America (and Britain) with her homogeneous ethnicity (in contrast to nearly any other country in the world) is highly susceptible to this type of infiltration. While China could close the borders and toss any white, black, or hispanic person out on their ass, it'd never fly here - especially after the internment camps of WWII. As such there's no effective defense against this.

Re:I gotta agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259846)

He can't get blackened eggs in San Francisco? Total fail. No need to read farther.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259220)

Exactly, and could someone please tell me how this

"Don't you know black duck eggs are a delicacy in China?" Winkler said Stan asked. "I can't get black duck eggs in San Francisco, let alone this little piece of crap town in the middle of nowhere." Stan's conclusion was that the Chinese restaurant was a front for a Chinese espionage operation targeting the Fortune 5 business.

gives the conclusion that it's a Chinese cyber espionage front? I mean, seriously?

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259290)

I think the conclusion is that if they serve a rare delicacy, then people from the local R&D department will want to go there to eat, particularly on special occasions. The restaurant could be bugged to overhear details which could be used to replicate research, to find potential spies, or to look for blackmail material.

It's not a completely unreasonable idea, but after looking up the dish in question, it does seem like a big stretch.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259342)

Or that them being part of organized crime, have connections to get a rare delicacy that other places might not be able to obtain as easily

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259524)

WTF. Century eggs are to Chinese people what pickles are to Americans... they're not a rare delicacy at all. You can make them in your own home. You can buy them at the freaking Asian corner store. Anyone who fails to find a century egg in San Francisco is a real moron.

And organized crime? Give me a break. If you see sardines in a grocery, do you jump to the conclusion that it's operated by the Mafia?

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259428)

I think the point is more that most small-town Chinese restaurants in the USA have a completely off-the-shelf menu (hot & sour soup, egg-drop, wanton, etc, General Tso's chcicken, crispy fried beef, etc.) You see unexpected dishes, and wonder if a) these are serious cooks who have set up in the middle of nowhere, or b) this is not a profit-maximizing enterprise.

Kind of like in New York when you go into a bodega to buy a pick of cigs and notice all the canned food in the store is covered in dust. Obviously not a store that is trying to maximize profit based on moving visible retail goods.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259492)

That could be the case, and is probably simpler. Living in California, it's not uncommon to see a Chinese restaurant have a menu 90% identical to other nearby venues, but with one or two specialties as well that aren't as easy to find. Those specialties will often trigger people to pick them out for special occasions.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259670)

"You see unexpected dishes, and wonder if a) these are serious cooks who have set up in the middle of nowhere, or b) this is not a profit-maximizing enterprise."

Orrrrrrrrrrrr they aren't serious cooks who are catering to a specific, profitable demographic. Century eggs can be found anywhere there's a pan-asian grocery store. The article is useless.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259430)

I think the conclusion is more likely that the people running the place don't really know how Chinese restaurants in Podunkville USA typically operate. Kind of like a restaurant not located on the Jersey shore serving Zima - there's clearly something sinister afoot.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259582)

Except black duck eggs (or more commonly known as century eggs) aren't really that rare. I can find those in just about any chinatown restaurant/ grocery in NYC; i've definitely seen them in SF too. If the article didn't use such a lame segway, it may be more credible. Instead, it just all sounds like FUD.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259616)

They are not rare, you can mail them.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259758)

Exactly, and could someone please tell me how this gives the conclusion that it's a Chinese cyber espionage front? I mean, seriously?

Inside the black eggs were USB drives with google's search algorithms. It's sloppy editing not to include that in the article, but it's even sloppier espionage on the restaurant's part to advertise that fact on the menu.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259838)

That guy needs to lay off the crack... The article did make me laugh a bit though, it made me think of this..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Probrem

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259882)

I am sure that based on that evidence, it is enough to blow up the place.

Well, if you are an idiot. This guy is just saying that you learn to pickup on everything around you.

The fact that they serve a delicacy may mean you start to pay more attention to the place. Maybe you warn your people to be careful what they talk about at restaurants? Maybe you hire a PD to keep an eye on the place? Maybe you don't sit next to the guys in Army uniforms holding big microphones in your direction? Maybe don't take the hit waitress back to screw her in the secure vault at work?

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

bearsinthesea (1619663) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259240)

FWIW, there is more to it than having eggs, this is just a quote. As I recall, they were selling the eggs below cost, and there were other signs it was not a normal restaurant.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259270)

How the hell one draws the conclusion that it's a cyber espionage front from selling eggs below average cost? Yeah, that seems logical.

Duh! (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259294)

The spies buy the cheap eggs (because spies have to keep pretending they don't have lots of money) and put the microfiche inside the egg shell and leave it on the table for the "waiter" to pick up and send back to Hong Kong via carrier pigeon.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (2, Informative)

bearsinthesea (1619663) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259414)

I'm not saying it proves it was a spy front or not. I'm saying you are drawing conclusions based on incomplete information. If you are interested, perhaps you want to read more about it in his book.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259296)

Are you saying that all of the Mexican restaurants around Los Angeles aren't just there to steal the secrets of the movie making industry? Do you think Robert Rodriguez could have developed El Mariachi without Hollywood secrets of formulaic plot and prosaic dialog?

Sure, there is good reason to defend against state-run hacking. And I'm sure a degree of industrial espionage goes on. But does James Bond set up a chip shop wherever he goes? Do US spies die of hunger if they don't eat at McDonalds every day?

And you can get black / thousand year old eggs in Asian supermarkets here in Boston. I've seen them on menus under various names.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

openfrog (897716) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259372)

What do you expect in a chronicle series titled "Microsoft Tech"? From the article:

Winkler, who considers the attention and outrage paid to the reported attack on Google from inside China last year to be "laughable," says Chinese espionage and cyber espionage is far more pervasive than anyone realizes

Ah yes, I am supposed to take some weird speculations of Sherlockholmesque quality (they serve black duck eggs, THEREFORE this restaurant is a front!) as being of a much more serious nature than the stand Google took in China.

Ahahahahahahahaha! Thank you for the entertainment!

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259396)

--- Eat my sig.

You're one of them!!1eleven

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259402)

It's the traceable information age.
In fact, flash drive are easily passed, and money must be delivered as cash. Otherwise you get caught.

Otherwise you would need to deliver the information electronically, and trust your contact to show up with cash.

Trust isn't these people strong suit.

Please, don't spout off about stuff you haven't been involved in.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259666)

Because they could not just paypal you some money for something?
Paying more than fair market value for a legal good has long been a way to pay for an illegal good or service.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259552)

No corporate espionage ring would need to use a "safe house" or "safe restaurant" for that matter to drop off secret information or to secretly meet. It's the information age, dummies!

Right. It's the information age. Most counter espionage measures are going to be in the cloud. Networks will be sniffed. Phone conversations overheard. Routers watched. Traffic monitored. While transfer in the information age is quick, sneakernet still has its advantages. You can know if anybody has looked at or copied your data because they'll have to stop your person and get the files from them. Knowing that that method of transfered has been compromised, you can then switch to a different one. Internet age data transfer, like encrypted radio communication during ww2, has the disadvantage of that you don't know if the enemy is also getting it. If they are, and are better at code breaking than you are at code making, they have a constant stream of information. And when you are up against the government, guess who is going to have better people and gear when it comes to espionage?

I'm not saying they don't transfer secret information over the internet, but don't count meatspace out for not having it's uses still.

Bigotry at its best (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259568)

As one of the commentators put it at the end of the article:

IMHO, the rest of the article are garbage and show the author's bigotry than actual knowledge. At least, I want to correct the facts about the eggs. "I can't get black duck eggs in San Francisco, let alone this little piece of crap town in the middle of nowhere." You can get the "black duck eggs" in every Chinatown including San Francisco. In fact, most Chinese grocery shops will have them. You just have asked with the right name "Century egg". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Century_egg [wikipedia.org]

This article serves no purpose other than to spread propped-up fear and hatry and to promote his own security consultancy.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

Avidiax (827422) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259690)

I think what the author means by the black duck eggs, is that they are not a menu item usually ordered by non-Asians. The restaurant probably has alot of Chinese-national or ethnic-Chinese customers, and if these customers work at a tech company this would be a good place to recruit.

Context from "Spies Among Us":

Stan’s experience as a GRU spymaster became a major factor. With the exception of his final stationing in the United States, the rest of his GRU career was focused on China. He was even stationed in Beijing for four years.

Even knowing this, I was still confused by a call I got from Stan a day later. “Ira, there are black duck eggs on the menu’ was his cryptic comment.

“Stan, what the hell are we paying you for?” was my reply.

“Oh, my naive American friend,” he said with a smile I could feel over the telephone,’ ‘black duck eggs are a Chinese delicacy. I can hardly find black duck eggs in San Francisco, let alone this hide piece of s——— town in the middle of nowhere. And they’re cheaper than they are on the streets of Beijing.”

He went on to describe that because he saw all those Chinese-American dictionaries on the desks of the employees, he spent some time trying to find Chinese social clubs and other places where Chinese people may congregate. Stan knows the modus operandi of Chinese intelligence agents, which is to find people of Chinese descent and sift through them to see who would likely be susceptible to recruitment. Generally, these are people who have more allegiance to China than their employer or who can be coerced because of family in China. Setting up a gathering place, such as a Chinese restaurant that has hard—to—find Chinese delicacies, is a way to attract as many potential agents as possible. It is also a great place to exchange information and money.

Stan told me that he found several Chinese restaurants reasonably close to the company facilities. All but one had friendly staff that welcomed him. At the other, he walked in and saw a menu on the reception table that had only Chinese writing. He picked it up and saw that there were Chinese delicacies not normally found in other Chinese restaurants in this country. When one of the workers realized that Stan could read Mandarin, he became distressed rather than gladly welcoming toward the potential new customer who could appreciate the rare menu items.

Stan’s being followed was a fact. Whether or not this Chinese restaurant was actually one of the more than 3,000 Chinese front companies was a matter for the FBI. Stan was told that the FBI was busy doing counterterrorism work: the investigation of a restaurant was a low priority.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259762)

Too bad he is totally wrong, they are easy to find in any major urban center and I have even seen white people eat them.

The fear of him reading Mandarin says far more than serving a common Chinese dish.

Re:The article draws weird conclusions. (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259892)

A lot of folks are concluding that the guy is totally off the mark because of his black eggs theory, but aren't many security researchers really paranoid about this kind of stuff? If that's the case, then I think his assumption would be justified, as unrealistic as it might be. (His assumption is even more valid considering the location of the restaurant...)

But did he order them? (1)

Leon Buijs (545859) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259184)

Makes you wonder why there's a R&D in the middle of Nowhere

Re:But did he order them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259260)

Makes you wonder why there's a R&D in the middle of Nowhere

Because the manager's obviously like black duck eggs.

Re:But did he order them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259338)

Which came first, the R&D or the eggs?

Re:But did he order them? (2, Insightful)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259832)

Because middle of somewhere would have people ready to pull the NIMBY card on any big factory proposal (assuming a factory, although any large facility will bother some of the population). Middle of nowhere will be a lot easier to persuade with the promise of jobs and "the pollution won't be that bad, trust me".

(This isn't intended to be anti-corporate, I am just coming up with what I think a plausible explanation).

this was in his book (2, Informative)

bearsinthesea (1619663) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259194)

The black egg anecdote was in Ira's 2005 book, 'Spies Among Us', which I do not recommend except for some of the stories like that.

Re:this was in his book (3, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259572)

So, you'd say this "security egghead" is a bit of a quack?

(ducks)

Re:this was in his book (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259848)

Not this little black duck.

Re:this was in his book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259878)

If I were logged in and had mod points, I'd mod you DOWN.

A friend told me... (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259216)

This article reads like those doom-crying rants I've seen on truther/birther/tinfoilhat websites. Seriously? The people down at the local Chinese food restaurant are a threat? And you think this because your former Russian spook friend 'Stan' told you so?? Dude, WTH. And don't even get me started about the various source-uncited claims about Chinese student-spies infiltrating our schools 21 Jump Street style. My god...this is sad.

Re:A friend told me... (1)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259596)

No, what's sad is that you remember 21 Jump Street. :P

- Yo Grark

Well, this is terribly shocking. (-1, Troll)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259226)

You mean the people we've paid to slave away for next to nothing don't feel bad about stealing from us. Now there's a shock. Next thing you know somebody will say that having 11 million people in the US being exploited by corporate interests has consequences.

At what point does the free market come in and whomp on China? Oh, wait never because they're the ones that are supposed to be putting American workers in their place.

Re:Well, this is terribly shocking. (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259404)

It's in the process of coming around, actually. China has been hit by problems of other countries providing unskilled labor for lower rates, resulting in an outsourcing of work. This has cost millions of jobs. On top of that, China is under constant pressure from other nations to allow its currency to float freely, something that it refuses to do, instead setting a narrow range of values within which it can float (0.5% above or below a parity rate set by the Bank of China). Right now, the official rate is around 6.80 to the US dollar, while many estimates suggest that it should be closer to 2 or 3 to the dollar.

However, doing so would do a great deal of damage to the Chinese economy, causing exports to plummet as costs rise dramatically. While this provides some stability now, in the long run it is probably damaging the world economy, and creating a false impression of strength of the Chinese economy.

Hmmmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259292)

and NIPRNET, a defense logistics agency that keeps track of the location of critical military assets

It's hard to take an article seriously after a basic fact checking failure like that.

thousand year old eggs are easy to find (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259298)

i dont know about the rest of the article but it is extremely easy to get those black duck eggs in san francisco, los angeles, seattle, wichita KS, bristol UK or any other location in the world that has even a small chinese grocer.

any half decent chinese restaurant that serves any kind of rice porridge will have a version that includes chopped up black duck eggs in it. if it costs more than $10 youre getting ripped off.

preserved duck eggs have an extremely long shelf life, so they are stocked all over the place. they are pretty common and dont seem like a rare delicacy at all - although it can be hard to find really good ones.

anyone who is chinese will tell you this.

it makes me very suspicious of the rest of the article because that intro part is total bs.

Black Egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259324)

Man, I thought this was going to be a story about how the Black Egg Sample Meal was really just a Camera spying on all the people eating at the restaurant. So much for my business of selling egg-shaped fisheye cameras.

Espionage is everywhere (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259346)

The Chinese aren't the only spies in the international game, every country, police force, and big corporation, etc has them. They usually don't kill, torture, etc, just gather and take secret information from one secret vault to another, so it's, erm, somewhat peaceful, really.

Chinese espionage is not innocuous (5, Informative)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259850)

The author didn't state it elegantly, but he still made the point -- Chinese industrial espionage is very real, is here now, and it is state-sponsored. China views hacking not only as a fast-track to becoming an industrial superpower, but they view it as a method of becoming a military superpower, too. A good part of China's military buildup involves locating and training talented young people, as well as hiring the already established hacker-underground folk for military purposes. They figure (probably correctly) that they are nowhere near capable of competing with the US military on a technological front, but if they can shut down our command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) networks (not coincidentally, this is also why they developed the satellite-killing missile), then they have essentially shut us down, especially for any military response to an attack on Taiwan.

Here are just a few examples of the many, many already known about cases of Chinese espionage.
- The infamous Cox Report [house.gov] (regarding the PRC stealing our most advanced nuclear weapon designs)
- The well-known Google attacks [nytimes.com]
- A Boeing engineer was sentenced to 15 years for espionage, selling rocket technology [latimes.com] to the PRC
- The FBI caught an American with very high security clearance and a Taiwanese-American selling classified information [cbsnews.com] about weapon-sales to Taiwan to the PRC.
- The British MI5 released a report detailing all kinds of Chinese espionage [timesonline.co.uk] . For example, high-profile UK businessmen have been approached by PRC spies with lavish gifts which include USB flash drives infected with trojans to steal information, and in 2008, an aide to Gordon Brown had his Blackberry stolen after a sexy Chinese woman approached him in Beijing -- a classic, almost too classic to be true, Soviet-style tactic. Other diplomats, too, have been sexually blackmailed by the PRC to divulge information.
- Here is a research paper by Northrop Grumman [uscc.gov] regarding China's cyber-warfare abilities, 88 pages filled with the stuff. Turn to page 67 for a "Timeline of Significant Chinese Related Cyber Events 1999-Present," let alone the details of the rest of the paper which shows the large effort by the PRC to improve their cyber-warfare and espionage abilities.

Here are some more excerpts:

MI5 Report [nytimes.com]

The MI5 report described how China’s computer hacking campaign had attacked British defense, energy, communications and manufacturing companies, as well as public relations companies and international law firms. The document explicitly warned British executives dealing with China against so-called honey trap methods in which it said the Chinese tried to cultivate personal relationships, “often using lavish hospitality and flattery,” either within China or abroad.

“Chinese intelligence services have also been known to exploit vulnerabilities such as sexual relationships and illegal activities to pressurize individuals to cooperate with them,” it warned. “Hotel rooms in major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai which have been frequented by foreigners are likely to be bugged. Hotel rooms have been searched while the occupants are out of the room.”

2009 Annual Report to Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission [uscc.gov]

China’s development of its computer network operations capability extends beyond preparations for wartime operations. The PLA and state security organizations have begun employing this capability to mount a large scale computer network exploitation effort for intelligence gathering purposes against the US and many countries around the world, according to statements by US officials, accusations by targeted foreign governments, and a growing body of media reporting on these incidents.

A long term, persistent campaign to collect sensitive but unclassified information from US Government and US defense industry networks using computer network exploitation techniques, long attributed to China, has successfully exfiltrated at least 10 to 20 terabytes of data from US Government networks as of 2007, according to US Air Force estimates and that figure has possibly grown in the past two years, though no figure is publicly available.

A review of the scale, focus, and complexity of the overall campaign directed against the United States and, increasingly, a host of other countries around the world strongly suggest that these operations are state-sponsored or supported.

2007 Report to Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission [uscc.gov]

China’s defense industry is producing new generations of weapon platforms with impressive speed and quality, and these advancements are due in part to the highly effective manner in which Chinese defense companies are integrating commercial technologies into military systems. Additionally, industrial espionage provides Chinese companies an added source of new technology without the necessity of investing time or money to perform research. Chinese espionage in the United States, which now comprises the single greatest threat to U.S. technology, is straining the U.S. counterintelligence establishment. This illicit activity significantly contributes to China’s military modernization and acquisition of new capabilities.

There are literally thousands of pages to read about the large-scale state-sponsored industrial espionage conducted by China. Just search for "Chinese espionage" on Google [google.com] , Google Government [google.com] , or Google News [google.com] . Or, you can continue to think that all Chinese espionage is innocuous.

P.S. The good news is that the US and UK aren't the only targets [wikipedia.org] . :-)

Very confused (2, Funny)

chris1403 (1701862) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259352)

I RTFA'ed and couldn't wrap my head around the first paragraph. My mom puts black duck eggs into the porridge she makes every other week or so. I wonder if that means I need to check around the house for dead drops or start questioning visitors about their national allegiances.

Re:Very confused (0, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259636)

You need to kill her right away, and as you are her son you probably should off yourself too, you never can be too careful.

'from the you-no-like department' (1)

DryGrian (1775520) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259386)

It is rare that a /. tagline will make me chortle sufficiently as to draw attention to myself from others in the room. Perhaps it was the sly Asian voice in my head, drawing out the 'like' and raising the inflection.
Bravo.

RSS feed excluding kdawson (1)

amirulbahr (1216502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259436)

Okay for some slash-support now. I have added a certain editor to my excludes list in my index settings, however, there is no way for my RSS reader to know this as it just uses the standard slashdot feed. My question is, how do I get an RSS feed that excludes certain editors?

The Chinese are just throwing a wide net (2, Insightful)

jd.schmidt (919212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259450)

China simply encourages people to go abroad (they have plenty to spare) and keeps on good terms with them. Then agents just keep in cotanct and, by playing on national pride, ask expats what they know about X. (say a new chemical process or code snippet or whatever) It *almost* doesn't qualify as spying, I understand they are fairly upfront and just say stuff like, "we want to make a better car but we keep having problems with the fuel line, how does the company you work for solve this" or "do you have any advice". If they get "secret" information in the process, so be it.

They don't bother to train spies and send them out because it isn't that type of espionage.

The issue for us is to understand what is important to protect and what isn't. The Soviets had a great security system, it was so secure they kept their inventions secret from themselves.

No black eggs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259474)

So you're telling me this isn't about hacking DNA to make black eggs?

Well, damn.

Can't Find Duck Eggs in SF? (2, Insightful)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259522)

Can't get black duck eggs?

While I have not looked in San Francisco, I frequently find black duck eggs in packs of six in "Superstore" in Canada. I have been buying them for years to put in my rice porrige (Jook) that I like to make.

I fail to see how a product available at every Superstore I have been to is hard to find in San Francisco, I mean, SF has the largest Chinatown in North America does it not?

Re:Can't Find Duck Eggs in SF? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259710)

Clearly this proves that the spy was not the Chinese restaurant owners, but the man claiming it was odd that they had black duck eggs!!

WTF (1)

shemp42 (1406965) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259560)

I thought this story was going to be about Easter Eggs that were planted by Chinese hackers and were just called black duck eggs. Turns out they are actually talking about black duck eggs...WTF This is one of the stupidest articles i ever read. I think I am more stupid for having read it.

kdawson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259566)

sucks.

Oh too funny..... (1)

snero3 (610114) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259618)

Reading TFA has been the best laugh I have had all morning!

No Western Industrial Espionage (1)

davidbofinger (703269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259652)

the U.S. and other countries spy on each other all the time, but the U.S. would never spy on Toyota and share that intelligence with General Motors

And we know this how?

Re:No Western Industrial Espionage (1)

rig_uh (1733306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259804)

Example of alleged recent US espionage: Hilton [guardian.co.uk] accused by Starwood. It's extremely common for US firms to hire ex-employees of other firms to achieve a similar thing to what the Chinese are accused of here.

You trust Russians?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259706)

"An investigation revealed the employee was calling an official in a Chinese consulate known to be a Chinese intelligence agent."

Please, please don't underestimate the intelligence of Chinese intelligence!

Network world is a tabloid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259724)

I know this is slashdot, but quoting network world?. Please, I sometime tell people I read slashdot.

What the duck? (5, Insightful)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259736)

I'm not sure if the author of the article is actually a moron who can't shop and also a complete racist, or smart enough to realize his article would have no readers without putting in a culturally ignorant title, but I'd like to know where the hell he has been shopping in SF.

First of all, you can get black duck eggs damn near everywhere. I can get them in Fremont, Sunnyvale, or Cupertino, California at a variety of locations (Lions, 99Ranch, etc.), and I'm PRETTY sure you'd be able to find it in one of the biggest Chinatowns this country has to offer.
Hell I live in Madison, Wisconsin now and I'm 10 minutes (walking distance) away from a run down Chinese grocery outlet the size of a 7-11 that sells black duck eggs, and two out of the three crappy fast-food only takeout restaurants here serve porridge with black duck eggs.

To use decades old "cultural insight" that black duck eggs are a "Chinese Delicacy" without realizing that within the last two decades foods and goods Chinese people have only heard about in stories have become commonplace items not only in China, but also internationally as exports, is just pathetic.

But I guess there really was no other way to emphasize the ridiculously commonplace adage--that the human link is the weakest in security--without resorting to making ridiculous and dated cultural assumptions.

It's alright that he's not too good with cultures and people I guess. I mean, he's Russian after all, they're only good at math and physics.

BLACK DUCK EGG SAPPIN' MAH SENTRY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259756)

Black duck eggman where is my around cake here spy a lie;

Old stories rehashed? (2, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259780)

It is very heartwarming to see the stories I grew up with behind the Iron curtain about CIA agents coming in to ruin our happy socialist lives being rehashed on what used to be the "free" side of the said curtain :)

Capitalism or Espionage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259794)

Damn! This guy screwed up my megalomaniac business ideas!

Americans love Chinese food! It has lots of flavors, tastes, vegetables, and meats. There are many flavors of dishes. You can have soups, or meats, or eat healthy and have an all vegetable plate.

My business ideas was to have a chain of Chinese restaurants serving Chinese dishes to local neighborhoods that want to eat good, tasty, and healthy foods - an alternative to McDonald's and greasy hamburgers. I would make a killing!

But now this guy has to go berserk and draw some crazy far-fetched conclusion that some Chinese restaurant which served "Black Duck Eggs", which was likely opened up as a mom-and-pop shop, by a Chinese-American family that saved up enough money (or borrowed from friends and relatives) to open up a store front, so that they can make enough money to live, and contribute to American society and their local neighborhoods, and send their children to the best American Universities, and pay American taxes - are spies!!

Can you believe that??

Yes, sure there is corporate espionage going around. It's been happening since the dawn of time! Companies spy on each other. California is an employment-at-will state. Silicon Valley is the most innovative and dynamic hotbed of technological innovation in the world, simply because employees leave companies, and join other companies, or create new companies. They bring with them their ideas, and knowledge, and energy, and create greater companies. This freedom of movement, is the American way of life. This is the source of America's greatness and power for the past several generations. The capitalist can-do-attitude to get rich, or die trying!

The Chinese will likely have an easier time to hire the best people and build great companies on their own soil, instead of "stealing" it, and try to copy it, and sell it on the market. This is capitalism.

Granted - there are some technologies that the Chinese may benefit quicker from corporate espionage - like rocket technology, and space craft technology. U.S. taxpayers spent billions funding the Apollo program to beat the Russians. But they spent that money in the 1960's, when there was no computer microprocessor, or a mature technology industry. Today, the Chinese can just buy this stuff off the shelf. It cuts down their R&D cost to build the rockets and space ships that they want to build.

The Chinese created their own atomic bomb, and ICBM, and have their own nuclear power plants. They bought the most cutting edge of Maglev technology from the Germans, and built it in Shanghai.

Whatever they can't build or create themselves fast enough, they will buy and integrate.

What is this guy going to spew next?
That Obama is a Muslim and was born in Indonesia?

Doesn't even need to be that secret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32259828)

All it takes is one Chinese employee, employed anywhere in the company to start giving away secrets to mainland Chinese.

But this is no different from hiring X nationality and then reporting back to their X nationality's homeland either. The reason the chinese are 'the bad guy' here is that they see nothing wrong with doing it.

In the US, corporate espionage is something you get jailtime and fines for. China... if you were born there and you didn't take your family with you to the US, then the Chinese government has you by the balls anyway.

Reiterates the simple truth. (2, Insightful)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32259864)

Some people spend so much time concentrating on the technical brilliance involved in computer hacking, they tend to forget that most of the pertinent and crippling attacks are byproducts of simple social engineering and breaches in trust.

If you work in, say, any financial institution, pay attention to the way your co-workers talk and behave.
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