Tuesday, March 31, 2009

China: Crackers or Not Crackers?

Sorry for the lame title, I'm at a serious lack of inspiration here. Anyway, you will probably recall the recent craze of reports over GhostNet, the Chinese computer cracking organization that took control of nearly 1,300 computers in 103 countries, from governmental institutions to even the exiled Dalai Llama's personal stuff. Now China's facing charges that it knew of, and even condoned, this spy network's activities, and of course is denying them. (You know how they're used to denying charges and accusations by now.)

"Some people in foreign countries are keen to make up rumors about so-called Chinese Internet spies," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a briefing Tuesday. "Their statements are entirely fabricated."

China opposes hacking and other attacks on computer networks, Qin said.

Attackers used GhostNet to steal documents from targets including international institutions and foreign ministries of other countries, according to the report. The attackers gained full access to affected computers, including control of attached microphones and Web cams that could have been used to monitor nearby activity.

It's not like China's got a clean record in this stuff. (Understatement of the millenium.) Human Rights violations, dictatorial leadership and international spying charges are piling up faster than their reputation is going down (wait, is that a non-sequitor?), and Lord knows that behind their rat-faced refutations and attempts at acting offended lies the fact that most of those charges are undeniably true.

I'm not saying GhostNet was allowed to function until it was discovered (it sure as Hell benefited the Chinese government, the ratty little ferrets they are). I'm saying it sure as Hell wouldn't surprise me if they had. I'd even bet my money on it. With all the Chinese spies being uncovered in Canada and America alone, let alone the rest of the world, it wouldn't be all that surprising that they've made the jump to computer-based prying into others' affairs for their own dirty deeds.

So, a brief recap, just for the fun of jogging my memory: in recent weeks alone, we've had Chinese officials jail innocent bloggers for speaking out against corrupt governments, attack US military ships, block much of the Internet to its populations, let abuse, torture and other atrocities go unpunished in jails, send spies around the world in organisations and companies, let lead-poisoned food and toys leave the country unrestrained, force respectable firms to close down for daring to defend the humane rights of outspoken activists against the disgusting excuse for a government, pretend to act all offended at these claims when irrefutible evidence keeps surfacing all over the place, and now, set a group of Internet crackers upon the world to gain sensitive and classified information from over a hundred countries, governments and organisations, including that oh-so-hated Dalai Llama ...

And they're being hailed as the next economic superpower.

God help us.


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