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China The Military

Chinese Propaganda Accidentally Reveals Cyberwar 286

An anonymous reader writes "A Chinese military propaganda video aired in mid-July inadvertently showed a Chinese military university launching cyberattacks against U.S. websites. The Epoch Times reports the video shows 'custom-built Chinese software apparently launching a cyber-attack against the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, by using a compromised IP address belonging to a United States university.' A screen in the video also reveals 'the name of the software and the Chinese university that built it, the Electrical Engineering University of China's People's Liberation Army.'"
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Chinese Propaganda Accidentally Reveals Cyberwar

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  • by cmholm ( 69081 ) <> on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @03:50PM (#37183172) Homepage Journal

    So, now the cat is officially out of the bag. So, what? We already knew there was something up. Are we going to sail gunboats up the creek at Guangzhou and shell some forts? Blockade their ports? Embargo their trade? No. Hell, we still gave them control of a root DNS node, even though it's obvious this gives them added offensive capability. Really, all this might do is tweak the language in subsequent news reports when Chinese attacks occur. They'll still deny them, but now that there is an (inadvertently) officially acknowledged offensive capability, the categorical denials won't carry as much weight.

  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @03:50PM (#37183184)

    ...actually, they were the ones who caused the earthquake. Next time, they'll hit DC on the nose. Our base is theirs.

    And nothing of value would be lost.

  • Duck and cover (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RenHoek ( 101570 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @03:51PM (#37183202) Homepage

    So.. since the US made such a big deal about cyber attacks being seen as an act of war, can you guys let me know when the nukes start flying?

    Oh.. wait.. China? You mean the US's sugardaddy? nvm..

  • by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @04:03PM (#37183356)

    Good point. However, the entire video is online on Youtube: []. The interesting bits start at 36 seconds in. Anyone who speaks Chinese care to take a look at the entire thing to check for authenticity? The channel owner who uploaded the youtubee video seems to be fairly pro-China, but who knows... I have no idea what's going on in the entire thing. For all I know, this could be a video for how to create VB apps for a call center.

  • Re:weird (Score:3, Insightful)

    by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @04:17PM (#37183536)

    Religion is toxic, and one of the great accomplishments of the Maoists was to damage its influence in China.

    While it is rare that a national government is in the enviable position to oppose superstition, I support their efforts against backwardness. One day anti-religion may be regarded as visionary.

  • Re:weird (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @04:34PM (#37183740)
    I don't like religions either, but if the choice is freedom and religion or neither, I'll keep on tolerating religion.

    People may be wrong, but to force them to be right through prosecuting thought crimes is a disgusting dystopia that I will not accept.
  • Re:weird (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @05:02PM (#37184040)

    I guess what they don't understand is that in free countries we tend to ignore religious organizations no matter how crazy their beliefs may be unless they commit actual crimes (like breaking labor laws, child molestation, tax fraud, etc.). We may worry about malicious cults developing, but that's about it. The simple matter of believing something weird isn't criminal, no matter how whacked out, and most democratic constitutions protect freedom of religion including not practicing any religion at all. It's the actions that matter, not the underlying beliefs. And in that respect Falung Gong is probably less harmful than Scientology, and Scientology still exists, so trying to demonize the Falung Gong movement is going to be pretty futile.

    The reality is, the Chinese government is probably more worried about other Chinese students finding out about Falung Gong or other religions while studying abroad, so they feel obliged to encourage students that tow the party line to "protest" and discourage others from even looking. I don't think the audience for the protests is really people in the host country.

    There's considerable irony in the fact that China is taking advantage of the fact that protests like these are allowed in free and democratic countries, but probably wouldn't be at home unless they happened to align with party doctrine. They'll happily use freedom of expression in other countries, but goodness no, not at home.

  • by asdf7890 ( 1518587 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @05:23PM (#37184244)
    Yep. Remember this is the same Government who use top Gun footage as evidence of a successful AA missile deployment test and hoped no-one would notice.
  • by Superken7 ( 893292 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @05:37PM (#37184414) Journal

    Yeah, I thought that too.

    But now on second thought, it makes perfect sense.
    Skilled hackers can work on new stuff and on more important stuff, while unskilled "soldiers" can just use the tools to cause damage. Remember, not being l33t does not equal not being effective. As we have seen again and again, script kiddies have always been able to do successful attacks. Many defacers, as lame as they are, succeed in their goal of defacing websites. One member scans, another one prepares a message, the other hacks the website and uploads the material, etc..

    It becomes apparent that maybe this "section" does not intend to be cool or l337, but effective.

  • by DriedClexler ( 814907 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @05:56PM (#37184616)

    Based on the summary, it seems like you could at least partly corroborate the video by checking whether the "American university" mentioned really did have that IP address compromised, and who would have known about this when.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982