A Chinese cyber-assault on Google and more than 30 other U.S. companies was the most sophisticated online attack ever seen outside of the defense industry, according to experts from anti-virus firm McAfee interviewed by Wired. Google announced on Tuesday that it would no longer censor information on its search portal per Chinese government rules, and may stop doing business in China entirely.
The Chinese hackers targeted Gmail accounts of human rights activists and stole intellectual property from Google, but also struck U.S. companies such as software maker Adobe. The Guardian reports that Verisign's iDefense Labs, a U.S. security firm, has traced the attacks back to the Chinese government or entities acting on behalf of the government. The Chinese government responded by saying that it prohibits cyber-attacks and welcomes international Internet companies.
Another target of the attacks was a Los Angeles law firm involved in a legal dispute over China's "Green Dam" censorship software, PC World notes. Gipson Hoffman & Pancione launched a $2.2 billion lawsuit that claims Green Dam stole lines of code from parental control software developed by the U.S. company Cybersitter.
China's government initially attempted to distribute the Green Dam software on all computers, but has since backed off and only requires the software in schools and Internet cafes.
The U.S. may find itself playing catch-up in this era of 21st-century cyber-war. The White House only recently named a cybersecurity coordinator to oversee the nation's Internet defense, and launched a U.S. Cyber Command just last October. But all nations should be wary of a future where they find themselves fighting a faceless army of netizens bent on cyber attacks in the name of patriotism or criminal profit.
Does anyone remember the RPG Shadow Run?
Isn't this EXACTLY how the "Decker" was created? Some massive government attacked another and a Cyber-war was launched so the US government designed an implant that made it possible to put a human consciousness online to repel them?
It's really funny how Sci-Fi predicts the future.
Well... Except the whole "put a human consciousness online to repel them" thing. Sci-Fi hasn't quite predicted that part yet.
More on topic, I can't wait to see where this leads. A world power's government ATTACKING multiple US companies? I just can't believe it hasn't gotten more press.
@seatellite: the game Cyberpunk had the netrunner much the same kind of thing except it was a war between corporations.
@neosovereign: you probable won't ALL of the news companies want to stay on China's good side as much as possible, its smart business sense.
The sophisticated Chinese cyber attackers need to learn the fine art of "HACK101-Covering Your Online Trails"
This article headline is horrendously wrong. They utilized a zero-day flaw in internet explorer to achieve their goals. Also they did get traced and caught as mentioned above, exactly how are these methods "The Most Sophisticated Cyber-attacks Ever"?
Well, I don't know if in the SR universe it was a true government institution that created deckers and carried out attacks, but full sensory emersion artificial reality started out using massive equipment that involved huge super computers combined with deprivation tanks. The decks (small portable versions of this tech) that gave deckers their name came later. Interestingly in SR it's fairly well known that the world governments are all just official looking fronts for the Triple-A Megas, which has only recently become true in the real world. In a sense, Federal Judge Paul Barbadoro's ruling on corporate human rights is the closest parallel our world has to Shadowrun's corporate extraterritoriality laws. While that ruling didn't carry the same kick, it does pave the way to modern corporate oligarchy. The future is likely to be equal parts fascinating and terrifying to those who know what's going on.
@mifdeath: The article headline was based on a quote from the president of threat research for McAfee. Here's an excerpt from the Wired story that's linked at the top of this story.
The attackers used nearly a dozen pieces of malware and several levels of encryption to burrow deeply into the bowels of company networks and obscure their activity, according to Alperovitch.
“The encryption was highly successful in obfuscating the attack and avoiding common detection methods,” he said. “We haven’t seen encryption at this level. It was highly sophisticated.”
Read More http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/01/operation-aurora/#ixzz0ckQbNpMl
uh oh... someone just got pwned.
“Everything we are learning is that in this case the Chinese government got caught with its hand in the cookie jar,” said James A. Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, who consulted for the White House on cybersecurity last spring. “Would it hold up in court? No."
It sounds to me like no certain entity could been identified as being responsible for the attack, so automatically it's the Chinese government. Woah, since when was it okay to apply the "guilty until proven innocent" standard?
Of the 1.3 billion peoples in China, how many hackers not employed by the government yet are capable of carrying out the said attacks can they have? I say, a lot. Knowing there are enough fox viewers in US to potentially vote Sarah Palin into the White House, there must be enough nationalistic minded hackers in China who wouldn't mind spending a few weekends in front of computers to work out the details on how to hack into US corporations' computer systems. Jun Li， the Chinese hacker caught in 2007 was 25 years old, spent 2+ years in prison for creating/releasing a computer virus (wikipedia:Worm.Whboy) that brought down over a million computers world wide.
First we give away our industries for the short term profit margin. Then we don't keep up with it so it can be used against us. O how the might shall fall.
I think that the IT community needs to wake up here in the USA. The threat of cyber attack is real and growing more sophisticated all the time. Take China for instance, they have something like 300 million internet users, which is almost as much as the entire population of the USA. Plus their government is still trying to push their software suite on all computers in China, even with the backlash from the Chinese citizens.
You want to see the biggest, most powerful bot-net ever created, with more processing power then our super computers combined. It's called Green Dam and it calls from China.
That is of course unless Microsoft is working with the US government to make a similar covert software mechanism that could be called upon in the future. But I think the risk of discovery is too much for that to happen.
As far as Shadow Run Vs. Cyberpunk predicting the future, I would have to side with Cyberpunk because SR has elves, fairies, and magic. Where as Cyberpunk only has good 'ol technology and twisted human nature to drive it.
Isn't it so ironic that since computers had been invented by the Americans and now the Chinese cyber-attackers are cyber-attacking them by using the "same thing." lol
Is that just because offensive(hackers) is more "advantage" than the defensive(firewalls/av softwares) in cyber world?
Excuse my low-level knowledge in I.T. :)
Google cry's about what they the Chinese possibly did or did not do to their computers or their site. Sounds to me that
Google though that they where so big they could defy the wishes of a foreign government. And now its catching up to
them. The Chinese see us paling up with the Russians. They
see us conducting military exercise's at sea in the air in space on land. They see to super powers practicing for something. Yes they worry every day about this. Someone said we'd better start looking over our shoulders wend it comes to the Chinese. The Chinese already look over their shoulders at us. Why it is so easy to make enemy's and so hard to keep friends. As for google what comes around goes around.
I think you will find that the computer was not an American invention, it was British Although scholars disagree on whether it was Charles Babbage with his difference engine designs that was first or not as it was not an electronic computer, nor was it actually built. Alan Turing is credited as the inventor of the first true electronic computer, and he was from Cambridge in the UK.
Your point is still valid, the Chinese are using western technology against us which is kind of ironic. However, we've been doing that for centuries, taking someone else's tech or inventions and using it against them.
The Alaskan H.A.A.R.P. site on Google Maps seems to be censored as well. (Search HAARP in Google Map, then switch to Satellite, and zoom in) So, Internet is not so free after all, Google.
Yeah I agree with you
China got attacked by its invention during WWII, gun powder :/
Now it's the revenge jfc lol
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First it was led now it is Cadmium, and the hacking goes on. Our government either just can’t see or keeps it under wraps so it can borrow money and do business with China. This is obviously a continuing long term planed offensive against the US. It’s very simple, they learned years ago that training from a young age i.e., the Olympics, is the key to the win. How? Cause brain damage to our children at a young age so they will be senseless when they are in control of our county, add to that the higher and higher frequency cell phone’s “from China and others” that is obviously causing the autism problem (Our brains use frequencies too, and are being hard wired at a young age, that’s how they can tell if your dead!). Get H1 visa’s and send spy’s into all of our high tech companies to actually code the software that they will defeat in the future (In China they can also put a million people reverse engineering any of our software). Train their young from early ages to hack as they will be on the front lines later. Learn state of the art engineering and even get the equipment freely sent to them to produce the product to sell back to us to make the money to do it all. Leave us with virtually no factories to mount a defense in the future. When the attack comes some years from now they always take out the people who own the guns, most of the educated who won’t convert and of course the human rights activists. How soon will it be? Lets see, the Army advertised about a year ago the, what was it? Thousands of cyber attacks daily. Who was attacking?
A. You're an idiot. Nobody goes to read the blog you [probably] have about conspiracy theories, so there's no reason why you should ruin Popular Science.
B. If you expect anyone to take you seriously, learn the rules of English. Please.
I wonder, when is American business going to do something about this? Besides, sue and get nothing? I think if I were some of these businesses, I would hire a team of hackers to go outside the US. Then, set them up with whatever they need to get started and let them datamine and create as much havoc as they want. When the Chinese get wise to them just bring them home. It might make the Chinese re-think their hacking activities.
Guys do not panic!
If hackers are so smart let them hack the banks and give money to everybody. I do not see no problem with this. Hackers have a right to existence also.
A. You're an idiot. Nobody goes to read the blog you [probably] have about conspiracy theories, so there's no reason why you should ruin Popular Science. http://www.tamders.com/ | http://www.mekanize.net/ | http://www.durust.net/ | http://www.aindir.com/
I think its 'bout time we nuke the Chinese...