Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China Security IT

Blog Reveals a Chinese Military Hacker's Life Is One of Boredom and Bitterness 185

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'd-rather-farm-gold dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "People's Liberation Army hackers: they're just like us. As noted by IT security firm Mandiant, and detailed in a new article by The Los Angeles Times, a blogger calling themselves 'Rocy Bird' had posted several hundred blog entries over a three-year period about life as a Chinese military hacker. It wasn't the most exciting existence. He worked a normal workday—8 A.M. until 5:30 P.M., unless some project required late hours—and lived in a dorm. He dined often on instant noodles and enjoyed the television series 'Prison Break.' He spent lots of time online, even when off the clock. And like millions of people all over the world, he disliked many aspects of his job. 'What I can't understand is why all the work units are located in the most remote areas of the city,' the hacker, who the Times identified as having the family name Wang, wrote in a portion of a blog posting reprinted by the paper. 'I really don't get what those old guys are thinking in the beginning. They should at least take us young people into consideration. How can passionate young people like us handle a prison-like environment like this?'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Blog Reveals a Chinese Military Hacker's Life Is One of Boredom and Bitterness

Comments Filter:
  • That hot girl you're falling in love with is actually your daughter.
  • by Tyrannicsupremacy (1354431) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:16PM (#43166899)
    GEE I wonder why!
  • by girlinatrainingbra (2738457) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:20PM (#43166929)
    Considering the attitudinal similarities between the Chinese military computer hackers and the "hackers"/I.T.workers in the US military branches, I wonder how long it will be until the Chinese have a Bradley Manning of their own?
    ;>)
    Bite the wax tadpole, indeed. I wonder how you translate "Bradley Manning" into Mandarin or Cantonese? Tech workers are pushed around by slave-drivers and middle management everywhere in the world, in all possible environments. Did you catch how his manager was able to expense a $100-equivalent bottle of liquor while the keyboard-combatant couldn't even get $1 reimbursed for bus-ffare to attend a tech conference?
    .
    How do you translate "Dilbert" into Chinese? No need. It's all the same!
    • by xQx (5744) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:01AM (#43167841)
      So, how much longer until China realizes that all they need to do to fully replicate western society is to give their citizens a right to vote every 4 years between 'thing 1' and 'thing 2'.

      It's no real surprise how similar it is to live in an economic society under communist rule as it is to live in an economic society under democratic rule when modern democracy has done everything it can to resist any push to reform into a method of governance that gives people actual choice, rather than the illusion of choice.

      Bradley Manning's case is a great example of the difference between pissing off a communist party, and pissing off a military that reports to a democratic government.

      In China, you get torture then execution.

      In America, you get torture (or is that "subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques"), prison, a theatrical presentation for the benefit of the public called "fair trial", prison, then death.

      You say tomato, I say tomato.
        • Thanks for the info and pointer. I knew I'd read about elections in China in a magazine before. I just had not searched for pointers. Democratic style town-hall meetings (the real ones that happen in New Hampshire and Vermont small towns) are where real democracy occurs. The rest of our republic/representative government is what we have in the rest of this united states of america, and there we are often limited to the two key "brands" of parties. Not very different from a sham choice, except that at lea
          • We may not have town-hall meetings, but with the speed of communications today, you can make your opinions know to your elected reps. You can call the office, email them, Facebook them, or tweet them. In fact you can do all of the above, and you should. Your rep may not listen, but then you can do all of the above and let that person know why you are not voting for them. Get enough people in your district to do the same, and no amount of corporate money will sway your rep. They will realize that they h

            • by Sporkinum (655143)

              People are idiots and money talks. Communicating will never change politicians unless things go extreme, and I don't mean Mt Dew style.

              • This is the flaw with my plan, but as Rage Against the Machine stated, "It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime.What better place than here, what better time than now?".

                If you start it, and get all your friends and family to start. If they get all their friends to start, it will increase exponentially. Within a decade we could get the money out of politics and make real change in the government. We are at a point in society, where this is truly possible.

                Just earlier this week I called out one

                • re: Just earlier this week I called out one of my senators on twitter and he responded to me with the truth. It was amazing. Get everyone to start doing it.
                  .
                  Cool! Can you point me to the tweets? I'd like to see some truth spouted by a congress-critter! Actually, I am serious, I'd love to see what the senator twittered/tweeted.
            • " ... Facebook them .... "

              You verbed Facebook.

              Bad boy. Now, go bleach your brain.

        • So in your opinion China is a democracy, is it?

      • The Russians knew (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:54AM (#43168591) Journal

        During Glasnost, Russian reporters on the American election noted not just how similar the US elections were to USSR ones (pick one of two) but how much BETTER the Americans had gotten at totally muzzling the press through unseen torture methods because at no point could the Russians see any sign of the American media asking akward or difficult questions. What terrible gulags must exist to put the fright into the press to such a degree!?!

        Well... the answer is of course, the gulag of exile. Ask akward or non-pre-approved questions and you don't get access anymore to special events and then have to explain to your advertisers why your network/newspaper was the one not present at a press conference. It is a marvelous system. You can ask any question you want as a member of the free press at a press conference... you just won't be there to ask them.

        The KGB had to actually get out of their chair to supress the media, get their hands bloody. The white house press officer just sends one less invite. It is not just the US doing this, ask the wrong questions and they can't keep you out of the official big gatherings, you just don't get access anymore to all the "optional" stuff. It is so simple but it is where democracy dies. It is not just the ones in power that do it, Palin only does things by invite and with pre-approved lists of questions. Wilders both bans AND is himself banned (right wing dutch politician).

        Mind you, the catholics show the other method doesn't really work either. In theory any kardinal can be elected pope... so how come they got the rotten luck every single elected pope turns out to be a war criminal, child molesting bigot? I mean... what are the odds... unless every single catholic is a nasty piece of work... nah... that couldn't be the case could it? Or could it be that if the milk is spoiled, that which rises to the top is not the cream? That any person who makes it into a position of being elected ruler has had to swim in the cesspool for so long, they can't help but got tainted?

        That it don't matter how many are up for election, they are all part of the system because the system is what nurtured them?

        Geert Wilders is a right wing dutch politician who often bitches about "The Hague" which is our capitol hill. Tiny detail, he is one of the longest serving politicians. It is the clincher for many right wingers, if someone tells you business will solve everything and government is filled with useless people who can't do anything right... and they been in government for decades and have no business experience... do you believe them?

        If you are a Republican, you should listen to richest people on this planet since they by your believe system are the most right. So... what do Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have to say about politics? Mmm?

        We are the cesspool and our leaders are what floated to the top.

        • So, what you're saying is, is that the status quo is God?

        • Re:The Russians knew (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 14, 2013 @04:44AM (#43168971)

          I think possibly if conditions in the US were as in USSR and the only penalty for stepping out of line was not to get invited to the swanky interviews, you'd see a lot more critical journalism than now. Also, asking politicians difficult questions is pretty pointless anyway - they have years of training in dodging such questions. What matters is to report on the awkward facts that would inspire such awkward questions and you don't need access to the politicians to do that. You don't need to ask Obama if he orders drone strikes on Americans - you just have to report on the matter. So whether politicians are asked awkward questions is not relevant to how a democracy is doing - what matters is reporting on salient facts.

        • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @07:51AM (#43169921)

          I mean... what are the odds... unless every single catholic is a nasty piece of work... nah... that couldn't be the case could it? Or could it be that if the milk is spoiled, that which rises to the top is not the cream? That any person who makes it into a position of being elected ruler has had to swim in the cesspool for so long, they can't help but got tainted?

          Really, you're painting a billion odd people with the same brush? As with politicians there's a big difference between the leadership and the average individual. And unlike voters Catholics have exactly zero say in church policy or elections. I'm not defending the religion, just pointing out the reality.

        • by Psyborgue (699890)
          I may not agree with everything Geert Wilders has to say (i'm no fan of Islam, however), but at least we in the US don't prosecute our politicians for telling inconvenient truths or expressing unpopular opinions. You have a point about the press in the US but I think the lack of real journalism in "main stream media" is more out of laziness and a desire of the public to be entertained rather than informed. The problem is not at the top, rather the bottom. The public is apathetic. Perhaps the reason is s
          • by ultranova (717540)

            we in the US don't prosecute our politicians for telling inconvenient truths or expressing unpopular opinions.

            You don't have to. Your two-party system is quite efficient at keeping them out.

        • If you are a Republican, you should listen to richest people on this planet since they by your believe system are the most right. So... what do Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have to say about politics? Mmm?

          Nope. Their ability to profit from the existing system does not mean that they have the right principles. A munchkin would never push rules that would help himself, right?

          That you even think that Republican principles are about "helping the rich" shows that you have no clue what they think.

          It's not about favoring a certain group; it's about not favoring anyone at all.

      • So, how much longer until China realizes that all they need to do to fully replicate western society is to give their citizens a right to vote every 4 years between 'thing 1' and 'thing 2'.

        * And get freedom of speech
        * And the right to assemble / protest
        * And freedom of religion
        * And right to an attorney
        * And an 8th amendment
        * And 4th amendment rights
        * And 2nd amendment rights

        But yea, theyre totally the same. Seriously, do you know anything about China, or are you just trolling? Whens the last time someone in the US got carted off to a labor camp for being a political blogger? Whens the last time the Great US Firewall blocked facebook or disc

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:20PM (#43166931) Homepage Journal
    Did he ever explore the steam tunnels? Take up lockpicking and go exploring places he wasn't supposed to go? Go looking for parquor lines? If you sit around in your underwear all day playing video games, you can't really complain when life went passing you by. The video games are there to make it do that.
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:29PM (#43166981)

      Did he ever explore the steam tunnels? Take up lockpicking and go exploring places he wasn't supposed to go? Go looking for parquor lines?

      Start a global thermonuclear war?

      • by Greyfox (87712)
        Pff. The only way to win that game is not to play!
    • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:32PM (#43166985) Homepage Journal

      Something tells me that's the kind of stuff that gets you disappeared in China.
        Probably not worth the risk. Hell, it's hardly even worth the risk in North America...

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:42PM (#43167047)

        Hell, it's hardly even worth the risk in North America...

        In North America, everything is illegal, off limits, or for authorized personnel only, and with rather stiff consequences if you're caught. We have a higher incarceration rate than China. So I say, if you're really going to have the democratic spirit...

        Ignore all that shit, and do it anyway.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Actually the incarceration rate in China is pretty much 100%.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Regarding incarnation rates, in China they have extrajudicial sentencing, and you get to volunteer your body to medical science when the sentence is carried out. Communi-capitalism is neat, huh?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          In China, there is a common conception that everything is illegal and the only thing that matters is being successful before you get noticed. Then you get to join "the club". But if you're the odd-man-out you're going to do life or worse. In China you have to engage in graft to get around laws designed to enforce their take on communism.

          In the US one does not need to risk a moral abiguity or legality to have a summer home. But if you want to become really weathy, you're probably going to have to stain you s

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          We have a higher incarceration rate than China.

          China executes more than ten times as many people as we do per capita, and that's just the ones they admit to. You're promoting something at the risk of death because it doesn't carry the risk of incarceration.

    • by Molochi (555357) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:52AM (#43168387)

      I think it's pretty easy to fall into dispair when you are young. The truth is that for anyone sane, money does buy happiness. You know what makes you happy and nothing will get you what you need to do that but money...unless your happiness focuses on being a monk.

      Of course I'm assuming the western notion of property rights that taunt the people of China...

    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      Instead of that goofy shit how about he go for a walk, maybe a bike ride (if he could afford one) or any other simple outdoor activity that wont land him in a gulag.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's like a Chinese version of an American drone pilot, but with less blood on his hands, and more noodles on his plate.

  • Older (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cultiv8 (1660093)
    Yes, everyday. *first thought when I see the new homepage next button*
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by cornholed (1312635)

      If only the newer butter actually did something on the first page, like baconize the site or order me a pizza.

      /., are you looking for a web developer?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    No shit, it's called working in IT.
  • military life (Score:5, Insightful)

    by memnock (466995) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:37PM (#43167005)

    Based on the comment in the summary: what did this person think the military was like? Perhaps the people that recruited him sold him a bill of goods: 'Protect the Fatherland! China faces threats on multiple fronts! It'll be better than World of Warcraft and The Matrix combined! Your skill set and our resources will be cracking secrets everywhere in Europe and the U.S.A. and you'll be a hero and celebrated! You'll be part of the select group protecting us from the evil outside our borders that doesn't recognize our sovereignty."

    • Re:military life (Score:4, Interesting)

      by _Shad0w_ (127912) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:30AM (#43167973)

      China technically has universal military conscription, it's entirely possible he's not doing it by choice.

      • Re:military life (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:15AM (#43168199)

        Not true. You are confusing China with Korea (both of them).

        China has a large enough population, a large percentage of which still living in poverty, that there are no shortage of people who are willing recruits. Besides, unlike America, China isn't fighting wars with anyone (not yet, at least), so there is no danger in a military career.

        The Chinese military is genuinely, entirely voluntary.

    • This guy complains for nothing, after all he could have been a North Korean hacker.
  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @09:43PM (#43167055)
    A computer security firm 'found' a blog whose source cannot be verified. The content of the blog, apparently written by a specialist computer security agent of the Chinese government, talked about:

    - The Chinese military
    - The Chinese leadership
    - Hacking techniques
    - Hacking targets
    - Lifestyles of government employed hackers

    And was derisive. The Chinese government didn't happen to notice that one of their military intelligence agents living in a military dorm was regularly posting derisive and secret information for 3 years. Just to state the bleedingly obvious here, but this would never happen in the US and the Chinese are much stricter on information control.

    So do you trust the Los Angeles Times and a private security agency pitching for government contracts, or ... common sense?

    Take the red pill.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So you're saying Bradley Manning is a fabrication and not a real person?

      • So you're saying Bradley Manning is a fabrication and not a real person?

        Are you talking about the Bradley Manning who was incarcerated 3 years ago for a single secret release of classified material to a famously secure website?

        Or are you talking about the other Bradley Manning who spent 3 years writing a public blog about secret military operations and is currently roaming freely somewhere in the mid-west writing reviews of ice-cream parlours under his secret identity .. 'BManning'?

      • by X.25 (255792)

        So you're saying Bradley Manning is a fabrication and not a real person?

        So you're saying Bradley had been posting secrets on his blog for 3 years?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This.

      It is blindingly obvious that a PR campaign has been going on around "cyber war" and "cyber terrorism" and aimed at China.

      It is also blindingly obvious that the public at large will eat this horseshit right up and vote for whoever promises the most "cyber security".

      It worries me how this might go...

      • by pspahn (1175617)

        Yeah, except this kind of article doesn't make me think, "Yeah! Let's get those sneaky bastards! I'm in! Time for a Great Firewall of America!"...

        It just makes me feel bad for some individual somewhere, that his life is just as mundane as anyone else's, and that he's seemingly unmotivated to perform his duty at top effort.

        Not exactly the kind of message you want to send if you're hell-bent on promoting a cyber war or whatever.

        • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:47AM (#43168039)

          It just makes me feel bad for some individual somewhere, that his life is just as mundane as anyone else's, and that he's seemingly unmotivated to perform his duty at top effort. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send if you're hell-bent on promoting a cyber war or whatever

          The lies will come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. This particular lie is promoting the idea that Chinese citizenry are down trodden, unhappy and poorly fed. The best and brightest are locked in jails and forced to work long hours without socialisation. There's always some truth in the lies, that's what makes them so compelling. That this particular lie feeds on the truth (that some Chinese workers live in poor or even terrible conditions) to construct something conceivably possible is simply the artistry in the campaign. eg. You believe it.

          Always question things. This particular report comes with no evidence, no source, nothing to believe whatsoever. At best, it could be summarized as a story, fiction. It's delivered by a private security company, broadcast by a multi-national corporation and submitted to the largest tech news site on the web. To find the truth, follow the money .. it's pretty clear where the money is in this story.

          Personally, I never drank Kool-Aid.

          • by lexsird (1208192)

            Or ...are you a clever counter intel agent? If so, ni hao.

            By the way, please get your half retarded monkey known as the NORKS back on a leash and grow the fuck up over the fishing area conflicts with Japan. Please? Japan, they are our friends and they are brilliant, they might seriously fuck you up with something we don't know about. Also, they have had a break through that could render oil as the main power source obsolete. We would all love to tell the Middle East to go fuck itself, no?

            We have space and s

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            There's always some truth in the lies, that's what makes them so compelling.

            Since we know from the accounts of victims who have escaped and from other evidence that China enslaves people for things like their religious beliefs and then subjects them to slave labor, I'm only left wondering how you collect your fifty cents.

    • by hackingbear (988354) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:09AM (#43168147)

      Exactly! This whole sage has suddenly been blown up recently. They have the full control of their routers and gateway and can fake network addressing information anyway they want, if it is a serious spy operation. Besides, anyone who really know China should know that government departments or employees in china are almost ways just work for their own projects for their own profits, rather than that of the country's.

      This whole saga reminds me of the WMD in Iraq claim before the Iraq war. It was so convinced at the time that Iraq was building/storing massive WMD that aimed at US... until we spent trillions of dollar and thousands of lives to find out the whole thing is a flop. So many defense contractors who were friendly to the ruling parties got big rainfall, and nobody really got punished for such terrible intelligence.

      This time, though, we will never find out the truth, because we can't possibly invade China to find out. We will just keep spending $$$. Thanks a lot!

  • You mean to tell me that such an organized, concerted and government-directed effort by the Chinese to hack other countries on a corporate and national scale is actually BORING?

    I can't believe it isn't more of a grass-roots effort with neat 3D graphics and Jolie boobs like in the movie Hackers!!

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @10:40PM (#43167445) Journal
    I am probably well known for pointing out the issues of the Chinese gov. However, I think that the average Chinese, like any other person on this planet, loves his nation, hates his gov, and simply wants to live and enjoy life. This blog supports this case, though it could easily be written by the propaganda unit.
    • by radio4fan (304271) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @04:30AM (#43168921)

      When I moved to France, I went to a language school and many of the other students were Chinese.

      We had to do oral presentations on a subject of our own choosing, and one of the Chinese students explained the system of democracy in China. The local people elect a representative, the representatives elect people further up the chain, congress, deputies, etc, etc, right up to the president.

      The Chinese students thought this was perfect democracy in action, and were baffled that the Europeans, Africans and New Worlders couldn't understand how wonderful and flawless the system was. When we pointed out that there was only one party, they indignantly said there were several parties to choose from: more than in France.

      On the subject of censorship, they thought it was necessary to protect the country, and made hand-waving explanations that things were different in China.

      These kids were the offspring of the kind of Chinese families who could afford to send their children to study in France, so no doubt are not representative of the population as a whole, but it was still a real eye-opener for me, who had kind of assuming that the Chinese would want the same kind of (imperfect) democracy we have in the West.

      Personally, I still think it's basically down to indoctrination, but if so, it's evidently pretty effective indoctrination.

      • It's been said before in this thread, if you split up the existing Communist Party into red and blue teams, how would it be different from American representative democracy? Sure they have wildly different policies but the political system would be very similar. Two parties to choose from with representative voting, the two sides may even differ slightly, but have basically the same goals and can and DO run roughshod over the will of the population.

    • Most non-Americans don't hate their government - most are not happy about it, but unconditional, pathological hatred and distrust of government is a uniquely American trait.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If they don't like their jobs, why not outsource it to someone in the US?

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Likely there is a whole lot of outsourcing going on. You can bet those that are whinging are those involved in projects with no money making opportunities. So the government does the hack and 'er' 'um' drops the project and 'er' 'um' private contractors pick up the proceeds but of course the blame stays with the government.

      You can imagine the problems this will create all over the world, the level of out of control corruption it will inevitably create. Private theft facilitated by government penetration,

  • I doubt American hackers have lives which aren't bitter and boring as well. That is the life of a hacker.

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Wednesday March 13, 2013 @11:54PM (#43167813) Homepage Journal
    prison-like environment, remote areas of the city.
    Sounds like the growing pains of the 1950-60's GCHQ and NSA stations around the "Commonwealth" land for signal bases swap.
    The conditions in the UK bases where cash strapped - any money raised was going to exotic expensive new equipment and keeping the USA very happy.
    The Russians where fast to pick up on the gifted young men and woman in distant lands with very low wages, mounting lifestyle costs and young families.
    Add in a cold command structure left over from past wars and many where open to waiting Russian offers.
    What has China (and other spook agencies) learned?
    Young people with dreams might walk out - dont hire skilled people with any strange imaginations.
    Keep tourists, business types, diplomates in other parts of the country/city. If the foreigners venture out they are easy to note.
    Hire gifted locals, from trusted families with deep village backgrounds. If you walk out the pain will be massive - up and down the family tree,
    If China wants more from its staff they should follow the GCHQ reforms of the 1970-90's (excluding the union issues) - wage and basic working condition improvements.
    Drop the military feel - even something as simple as the endless tight "dress" uniforms can make a huge difference to the quality of everyday life to a young officer.
    Cash the staff up and offer massive extra rewards for extra long term study (NSA is great at that ;) ).
    If China lets the "anguished person" thing fester they will suffer.
    The UK and USA where able to profile and wage up their staff to fix that issue. Long term China will have to make some huge cash investments in domestic tech.
    The internet in the USA always was and will be a NSA play thing - totally open to 'cyber command' and will soon go on the offence.
    "not elite uber-hackers" seems to show China is just learning like the UK did in the 1950-70's with US tech.
    What can China do? Face down the NSA on the "internet" - that did not work well for the Russians.
    Go for soft US personal with issues and buy them to sell out the USA? The NSA keeps its staff and exstaff close.
    Or just keep chipping away with a broad front of masses of staff hoping a few get into some US box thats open to scripts?
    The only problem for the USA is its own staff pushing for cloud and networking - somehow "all" the data been shared will give them insights.
    Many spy agencies have lost generations of work due to massive data loss in one go due to a person and in the future a script/hack.
    Russia will aim for the person or site, China is going for everything and will see what drops out :)
    All the NSA can do is keep its gems off the network - but the demands of contracts with political/mil friends with cloud tools for sale will be fun to watch.
  • ...the hacker, who the Times identified as having the family name Wang...

    Ha! We've got him now!

: is not an identifier

Working...