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Two Chinese Schools Reportedly Tied To Online Attacks 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the hacking-the-googles-was-just-the-midterm-exam dept.
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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Two Chinese Schools Reportedly Tied To Online Attacks

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  • Hum. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bbqsrc (1441981) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @11:26AM (#31210158) Homepage
    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.
    • 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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mjwalshe (1680392)
        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.
        • 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?

      • by Nidi62 (1525137)
        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. (Score:4, Informative)

        by m.ducharme (1082683) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @01:55PM (#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]

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        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..

    • 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.
      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        I'd assume seasoned hackers would know how to use proxies.

        • True, but it's nice to be able to just look for those instead of sorting through a flood of scans and random attacks for things you don't even host.
    • by zappepcs (820751)

      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

    • 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 modem

    • 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.
    • by Vellmont (569020)


      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 b

      • by cyfer2000 (548592)
        I hope we can get a direct-to-video/DVD/Blue-ray movie on this Google vs. China thing, just like the Mitnick story.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 20, 2010 @11:35AM (#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? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 20, 2010 @11:40AM (#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.
    • 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). H

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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 fo
        • by TheLink (130905)
          > 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
  • by lobsterturd (620980) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @11:42AM (#31210234)
    Shanghai Jiaotong University? Fair enough. But also see Roland Soong's translations about the vocational school [zonaeuropa.com].
    • I'm Chinese and I can assure you this is completely true :D
    • by noisebar (1641161)
      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!
    • All I can say is wow. The situation of the students attending these "schools" reminds me of the saying: Criminals are not born. They are made.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @11:46AM (#31210262) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      and other american companies. Buy Nokia, Fujitsu.

    • by DeltaQH (717204) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @12:04PM (#31210378)
      But don't boycott Taiwan (Repuplic of China)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by antifoidulus (807088)
        Unlike China they actually make some decent quality stuff and are vehemently opposed to the mainland's expansionist policies for obvious reasons.
      • by euyis (1521257)
        What's a "repuplic"...
        • by DeltaQH (717204)
          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: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          it is when a puppy licks you, you lick it back, then it licks you again.
          vicious

    • by Vellmont (569020)

      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 someo

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

       

    • by sadboyzz (1190877)
      What are your afraid of if you're so sure Chinese made products are inferior to anything made everywhere else? Just let the free market sort it out. That is, after all, how capitalism works, is it not?
    • So your sample size of one camera and one pair of shoes leads you to say everything from an entire country is shit?
    • by zill (1690130)
      Please let me know where you can purchase a computer that's not assembled in China.
      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        Depends on how you define assemble. Anyone can assemble a PC from OTS components, those components are likely made in China though. Just taking those Chinese components and sticking them into a box is enough to let you put "Made in wherever-you-are" on the box.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CalcuttaWala (765227)
      i would strongly support the view that Chinese merchandise is really third class stuff. india too is flooded with all kinds of really dirt cheap stuff -- buckets, torches and a million other household goods -- the quality is astonishly bad. really wonder why people cannot make a simple and rational choice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 20, 2010 @11:48AM (#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.

    • No wonder why they are so good.

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

  • 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
    • by Culture20 (968837)

      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.

  • 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.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      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.

  • Verbal diarrhea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Internalist (928097) <fred.mailhot@gmCOUGARail.com minus cat> on Saturday February 20, 2010 @12:51PM (#31210688) Homepage

    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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by oldhack (1037484)
      Psssssh. I'll let you in on this, but you gotta keep my name out of it, OK?
    • Agreed. This should be kept completely under wraps until there is solid evidence against a particular party and its time to press charges or involve diplomatic agencies.
    • It's attention-whoring... like phoning the police hotline during the DC Beltway sniper attacks and dropping a hot tip, then seeing the police and media react.

    • Re:Verbal diarrhea (Score:4, Informative)

      by tabdelgawad (590061) on Saturday February 20, 2010 @10:23PM (#31215372) Homepage

      This is not a leak. It's a standard way of releasing information to the public without having to make an official statement/accusation. And the New York Times doesn't pay for information, period. Don't you (and your moderators) read any newspapers?!

  • "Lanxiang, in east China&rsquo;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.
  • Lets suppose it's true about the origin of the attacks...but can we say the US government is also totally without it's guilt???
  • This is from the Lanxiang school they're talking about =.=; http://zonaeuropa.com/201002b.brief.htm#015 [zonaeuropa.com]

Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore

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