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Wall Street Journal Hit By Chinese Hackers, Too 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the join-the-party dept.
wiredmikey writes "The Wall Street Journal said Thursday its computers were hit by Chinese hackers, the latest U.S. media organization citing an effort to spy on its journalists covering China. The Journal made the announcement a day after The New York Times said hackers, possibly connected to China's military, had infiltrated its computers in response to its expose of the vast wealth amassed by a top leader's family. The Journal said in a news article that the attacks were 'for the apparent purpose of monitoring the newspaper's China coverage' and suggest that Chinese spying on U.S. media 'has become a widespread phenomenon.'"
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Wall Street Journal Hit By Chinese Hackers, Too

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  • ...they could have set up the newspaper as a honeypot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      You mean like NPR?

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      ...they could have set up the newspaper as a honeypot.

      well, only in China you have to be a military hacker to read wall street journal.

      they're probably interested in sources though. should just give them bullshit sources.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    in other news, Pot was reported to have complained about Kettle's excessively dark color.

  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @07:49PM (#42756871) Homepage Journal

    The news of the earlier hack got me thinking about the unique risk/reward of ubiquitous communication and the challenge of computer security to keep pace. Certainly some say the pace of technological innovation is no longer in step with yesterday's, but that almost begs the question. It's truly ironic that modern computing becomes physically smaller as its footprint on our lives looms ever larger with each new year, yet no one disputes that, lately, electronic progress rests solely within the social stratum these days.

    We should ask ourselves, however, the rather basic question of whether this seismic shift in the nature of the changes in technology brings with it an impedimentary effect on our lives, or indeed to wonder to the degree technology has ever been pedimentary when it comes right down to it. Yes, it's certainly got its foot in the door, but as with feet and doors it's not always possible to know at the moment of impact whether said foot represents opportunity, doom, or a casualty of a society overeager to shut the door to change.

    Certainly the last thing anyone wants is a race to the bottom. Ah, but that's not entirely accurate when one considers the vested interest shoemakers have in most modern day footraces. It suggests that, moving forward, the most important thing to do when evaluating new technology in 2013 may very well be to first identify the shoemakers for that technology. Ask yourself: if I'm already wearing five pairs of socks, do I even need shoes at this point? Odds are, you don't.

    • by Obfuscant (592200)
      Dr. Spock is the baby doctor famous from the 60s and 70s.

      Mr. Spock is the one who has stardates.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You've somewhat hit the nail on the head with your subject line. As it turns out, the more democratic western countries are the ones most as risk of some sort of major cyber-based disaster because there quite simply is no separation from of our networks from the world-- not that I agreed with it, but this is in part what SOPA was about. Countries like China or Iran or Cuba that can just cut off access from the outside world are at a supreme advantage.

      That said, the long-term solution is that our critical in

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anyone else surprised that China is run by a corrupt dictatorship? Anyone else surprised that the the ruling members amass vast wealth?
    Does it happen here? Sure. But at least we can vote the bush family out every once in a while.

    The Chinese people aren't' dumb. They know the ruling party is on the take. They see the special privlage, the fancy cars, the vast fortunes. What sucks is the attitude. They either want to ignore it, pretend it's OK as if it's their lot in life to be shit on, or they lust to be one

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They also want big, American penis.

      • by Genda (560240)

        Oh yeah, Because Gawd knows, there aren't enough Chinese running around on the planet...

    • by Genda (560240)

      And that's why America's yearning to each and every one be unique in exactly the same way, make them superior to your average Chinese person.

  • Fud (Score:2, Informative)

    China’s Ministry of National Defense said, “Chinese laws prohibit any action including hacking that damages Internet security.” It added that “to accuse the Chinese military of launching cyberattacks without solid proof is unprofessional and baseless.”

    Couldn't agree more. There's no evidence, just accusations without any basis. Yet another example of the US media making sensationalist claims which deride the leadership of China and rail public opinion against them.

    Personally, if I were a government looking to contend with another government, my best weapon would be a false flag faceless cyber attack against a large news media organisation which could be widely publicised and blamed on my enemy without any evidence. That would not only rail public op

    • The cockheads running China are perfectly capable of railing public opinion against themselves.

      That's what you get when you put a bunch of hand-flapping aspie psychopaths in charge of such a big country.

    • Couldn't agree more. There's no evidence, just accusations without any basis.

      I know you're trolling here, but there's a broader point people should understand.

      There are strong disincentives for any organization to report hacking attempts on their systems. Factors at play are: (a) nobody likes to admit they have weak security, (b) nobody wants to go public with evidence that would reveal details about their internal systems, and (c) there is usually little or nothing positive to be gained from such an accusation. (What would the WSJ have to gain by giving the Chinese a bad name?) All

      • What would the WSJ have to gain by giving the Chinese a bad name?

        Wider readership? Front page of /.? 'Proof' that their expose on Chinese officials was right? Carrying favour with the US 'Cyber Security' peeps / government .. and probably about 2000 other things .. it all depends how carefully you look at the situation

        All of this means that these attacks are vastly under-reported, and when companies do report it is usually genuine

        I didn't say that the attack wasn't genuine, and have no doubt that they're vastly under-reported. But you've also got to look at the context of the attack and the relevance to the current position of the organisation. This wasn't a random attack .. that'

        • When I consider seriously the possibility that the Wall Street Journal feels the need to spam Slashdot in order to increase readership, I get the feeling I've lived too long.

          Which is obvious nonsense. :)

  • They rant and rave and get all butthurt about the embassy bombing in Belgrade.

    But somehow, criminal hacking on Western media is somehow nowhere near as bad.

    They are the worst hypocrites.

    • by GrahamJ (241784)
      The Chinese government are certainly hypocrites, and liars as well, but personally I don't think hacking is as bad as bombing.
    • They are the worst hypocrites.

      Yeah those bastards! Good thing they didn't damage any of our centrifuges, but instead only went after the plc's that are used to operate the citizens!

  • So if I understand correctly, headlines of the NY Times and the WSJ
    tomorrow will read "US does not spy on China"?

  • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @08:20PM (#42757103)
    China has more people of above-average intelligence than America has people. How much of an army of moderately-clever hackers could they put together if they wanted?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I suppose it depends on where the average lies....

      • by dkf (304284)

        I suppose it depends on where the average lies....

        Big population in both cases, and intelligence is a complex attribute that depends on many variables, so assume bell-curve distributions in both cases. That puts the average at about 50%, and since China has more than twice the population of the US, you'd expect just from mathematics to have "China has more people of above-average intelligence than America has people." be true. There could be some skewing, but the population-level differences between people are fairly small (much smaller than individual-lev

  • Chinese hacking you? You don't say? They have been messing with us for as long as I can remember. They will ding your firewall so many times that it stops being amusing and starts to give one a nasty attitude. Let's couple that with how they will hack your MMO accounts, rip off your items, sell them to venders if they have to so that they can farm gold. The way they disrespect us by messing with our gaming culture to me is rude. We don't go messing with their entertainment, or messing with their computers.

    • What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, said Fred, and of course the truth of the matter is that there will always be innovative attacks that require cutting-edge defenses. Hail our new IT Overlords.
    • Chinese hacking you? You don't say? They have been messing with us for as long as I can remember. They will ding your firewall so many times that it stops being amusing and starts to give one a nasty attitude. Let's couple that with how they will hack your MMO accounts, rip off your items, sell them to venders if they have to so that they can farm gold. The way they disrespect us by messing with our gaming culture to me is rude. We don't go messing with their entertainment, or messing with their computers. To me it shows how disrespectful, and antagonistic they are.

      I think we should hammer them for it. They are way overdue for retribution of the nastiest sort in my opinion.

      Did you really just advocate a declaration of war against China because your purples were disenchanted?

      • by lexsird (1208192)

        It would appear so on the surface, but let's delve a bit deeper. I see a poster below had given some reasons as well. Let me add mine. China, I believe has be subversively engaging us in trade wars. Our debt to them is not what I would call an act of kindness. I am talking about the flooding of our markets with goods produced at a labor cost that drives American industry into the dirt, taking along with it our economy. I feel one needs to equate these acts of damage to that of warfare, because one doesn't n

    • Get back to us when you're old enough to drive.

  • by some old guy (674482) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @09:12PM (#42757433)

    Oh my stars, another corrupt police state caught doing unsavory things. The government of a rising world power is profiteering! The shock, the horror of it all!

    Come on people, governments and corporations do bad things to each other all the time as a matter of course. The only limit is capability. Shame and ethics mean nothing in the world of global capital and paid-for governments.

    As long as there is no serious interruption of the money flow, it is all just business as usual. Nuclear deterrence doesn't prevent big conflicts, business considerations do. The little wars are either carefully contrived distractions or planned business opportunities.

    Can we please stop acting surprised or indignant? Can we drop the naivety and faux indignation?

    There is nothing, repeat: nothing, we common folk can do about it in any meaningful way. Activists get jailed or executed, and dangerous rebellions get violently crushed. Whistle-blowers are eliminated or discredited as paranoid. Realists are ridiculed as delusional. Big Brother has won. Deal with it.

    Unless and until the whole rotten global finance system comes crashing down from its own weight, better for us to just snuggle up in our cubicles, play some WoW, and enjoy our tiny crumb of the big pie.

    Honestly, do you, or a hundred thousand of you, think you can make any more than an inconvenient dent in the global money machine?
    The petty details of government and corporate skullduggery that make it into the news are insignificant in scale and inadequate in perspective.

    Resistance is futile. Enjoy our brave new world.

  • Maybe... create a DMZ with the DMZ being tons of Chinese propaganda, using a Chinese-based Linux OS as the server, and have the default language/locale be Chinese. Then create a fake semi-difficult/easy server behind the DMZ set up similarly. Finally, your true server is behind all of this. That way when they login they think they're accidentally attacking a Chinese comrade server or it has already been hacked!
    • I also had a friend in the past prevent/ban all Chinese IPs. If it's drastic enough, just chop off the head. Chinese hackers can still hack you by spoofing their IP or by tunneling with a proxy server, but this will at least lower the amount of non-Government attacks (due to the Great Firewall and advanced genetic algorithms preventing more holes in the Great Firewall).
      • by EETech1 (1179269)

        The only problem is the newspapers are probably hoping to get email from China that contains juicy tidbits to splash on their pages. They were probably hacked by China tricking them with emails that were fakes of the same types of emails that China was looking for by hacking them.

        Makes it hard to know if you should open some random email from China or not! The rest of us (should) know better, but the news has a certain urge to open them.

  • They're just worried that the US won't ship them our coal or Canada's oil.

    Maybe we should cease providing naval, air, and land military protection for China's resource extraction industries worldwide?

    I'm down with that.

    You spy. We let you die.

    Fair trade.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:28PM (#42757861)
    They're going to have to rename the Streissand Effect to the Wen Jiabao Effect because this is bigger. Did they really think they could get away with this? There's going to probably be 24/7 news coverage, an entire 60 minutes episode on what a jackass him and his crooked family are, entire websites dedicated to this, and probably 100 stories about him in each of the newspapers this affected. I'd put that jackass on the cover for a week straight if I owned that paper.
  • by badford (874035) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:30PM (#42757873)

    Perhaps now, someone in the ivory tower will see how vulnerable we really are.

    This is not a 'china is bad' story but rather a 'US Corporate Security Sucks' story and it should be.

    There will always be baddies trying to get in. We need to be the best in the world at stopping them.

    Right now, I am sad to report, we are not.

  • These Advanced Persistent Threats are quite frightening, but would having users run Linux desktops not mitigate it if not negate it completely?

    After all, opening a PDF wouldn't likely execute any code, attachments would have to have the extra step of making them *executable* before they'd run, regardless of the extension (i.e. nekkidboobs.jpg.exe would simply not work)

    I can't help but think that it would force the attackers to target another vector; one much more difficult, i.e. holes in web-facing server

    • by Anonymous Coward

      These Advanced Persistent Threats are quite frightening, but would having users run Linux desktops not mitigate it if not negate it completely?

      A good way to test this and figure it out for yourself is to go grab a bunch of old exploits for MS office and then test them on open office et al and realize that they're vulnerable and have been for *years* to bugs that were fixed in MSFTs code looong ago. With a second payload and a method for handling offset differences and stuff it would be *TRIVIAL* to make an

  • Source : http://www.batr.org/negotium/013013.html [batr.org]

    The long-term goal of Communist Red Chinese is to take over the wealth creation resources of the planet. The quasi merger between the authoritarian Maoists and the global capitalists plays out as a sorry act in the Beijing Red Theater. The performance designed to distract and confuse really has the destruction of Western economies as the climax. The sell out of the West, under the skilled dirty hands of Herr Heinz Henry A. Kissinger, is entering the final s

    • > Under the plan, some of the $1.17 trillion that the U.S. owes China would be converted from debt to "equity".

      And right there, that's how you know the entire "plan" is pure bullshit. The US doesn't "owe" China anything besides some quantity of $100 (or larger, should the Fed choose to print them) bills -- hundred-dollar bills the Fed can print at will, in any quantity necessary -- once the bonds purchased by Chinese investors (or its government) reach maturity. Period.

      US debt is dollar-denominated. US T

  • > the attacks were 'for the apparent purpose of monitoring the newspaper's China coverage'

    Errrrrr... if the main activity of the "attacks" was to scrape articles about China and send them to servers in China (or somewhere else), did it occur to anybody that maybe... just MAYBE... the motive of the hacker(s) might have been to obtain copies of articles that they can't reliably read via normal means courtesy of the Great Firewall of China (or they don't feel like paying for, or they literally CAN'T pay for

  • Since this is the second news paper that got seriously pwned, I wonder why they had to hire private help to figure all this out. Isn't this exactly why the USA pays oodles of tax money to the NSA for? Are we going to get a TSA equivalent for the Internet to prevent this happening in the future?
    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      NSA does have that mission. Cybercom doesn't even have that mission. No govt entity has the mission to protect civilian cyber infrastructure. And when Cybercom has tried to get companies to beef up their security, they pushed back. Do you really want the govt to come in and tell you how to set up your networks, passwords, etc in your company?
  • Isn't WSJ owned by Rupert Murdoch, famous spy-master? They certainly know how to recognise hacking if anyone does.

    ...possibly connected to China's military...

    I call FUD on this one. To me it seems just as valid to suggest that they were "possibly connected to [Israel|Iraq|North Korea|...]'s military". Spoofing IP addresses or using a hacked computer in another country are some of the oldest tricks in the book; even I can do that. And so is lying in newpaper articles; of course, the Murdochs would never do that.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...possibly connected to China's military...

      I call FUD on this one. To me it seems just as valid to suggest that they were "possibly connected to [Israel|Iraq|North Korea|...]'s military".

      And rightly so. Possibly/might/may/could/etc are always FUD. From How to Get Ahead in Advertising:

      Businessman on Train: [reading a newspaper] I see the police have made another lightning raid. Paddington drug orgy.
      Priest on Train: [Irish accent] I suppose young girls was involved?
      Businessman on Train: One discovered naked in a kitchen. Breasts smeared with peanut butter. "The police took away a bag containing 15 grams of cannibis resin. It may also have contained a quantity of heroin."
      Denis Dimbleby Bagley: Or a pork pie.
      Businessman on Train: I beg your pardon?
      Denis Dimbleby Bagley: I said the bag may also have contained a pork pie.
      Businessman on Train: I hardly see how a pork pie's got anything to do with it.
      Denis Dimbleby Bagley: All right then, what about a large turnip? It may also have contained a big turnip.
      Priest on Train: The bag was full of drugs.
      Denis Dimbleby Bagley: Nonsense.
      Priest on Train: The bag was full of drugs, it says so!
      Denis Dimbleby Bagley: The bag could have been full of anything. Pork pies, turnips, oven parts. It's the oldest trick in the book.
      Priest on Train: What book?
      Denis Dimbleby Bagley: The distortion of truth by association book. The word is "may". You all believe heroin was in the bag because cannibis resin was in the bag. The bag may have contained heroin, but the chances are 100 to 1 certain that it didn't.

  • Seems they've been monitoring that pretty closely.

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