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China Security

China May Have Hacked International Hague Tribunal Over South China Sea Dispute (thediplomat.com) 47

An anonymous reader writes: In July, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague conducted a hearing on the territorial dispute in the South China Sea between the Philippines and China. On the third day of the hearing, the Court's website was suddenly knocked offline. The attack reportedly originated from China and infected the page with malware, leaving anyone interested in the landmark legal case at risk of data theft. "By infecting the computers of journalists, diplomats, lawyers, and others who are involved or interested in the case, Chinese cyber units may be able to find out the names of people who are following the case and anticipate what their response might be if the court rules against China. For example, if Vietnamese or Japanese diplomats visited the website and their computers were infected, China could have access to internal documents and understand that country’s next moves over the disputed islands."
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China May Have Hacked International Hague Tribunal Over South China Sea Dispute

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  • by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @09:11AM (#50816171) Homepage Journal
    At least until it's sterilized
    • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @10:08AM (#50816525)

      Trust me, you're not missing anything from TFA's. Here's one quote:

      The Philippines (and its U.S. allies) should accordingly start preparing now for a massive digital tantrum by Chinese patriot hackers if the ruling, expected by the end of the year, goes against the Middle Kingdom.

      They blame "China" for the "attack" but then refer to "patriot hackers".

      There's a huge difference between a government operation and some kids doing it.

      And I have not been able to find any reference to the nature of the "malware" installed. I'm betting it wasn't a 0-day exploit.

      • In China, I doubt there is. I imagine most hacking by Chinese nationals is, if not outright overseen by the Chinese government, is most certainly approved of.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          In China, I doubt there is. I imagine most hacking by Chinese nationals is, if not outright overseen by the Chinese government, is most certainly approved of.

          Exactly. In China people are brought up believing they have a duty to help the common (Chinese) good. All the government then needs to do is put out news about the big, old [fill in the latest opponent] and the masses have a duty to perform actions to help the government where they can. The Chinese news say a certain committee is (in their opinion) trying to steal what rightfully belongs to China to give to an undeserving country (all countries other than China are considered undeserving), and Chinese ha

  • that's why the GCHQ/NSA/KGB each keep ~50k pwned/infected home routers distributed worldwide, to reflect an attack and make it appear like it came from $Eurasia - insert appropriate frenemy of the instant

    • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @09:26AM (#50816255)

      This post only demonstrates your misunderstanding of things (by talking about "home routers", for example, in this context). And yes, attribution in cyber is hard -- that's one of the most-discussed, fundamental problems of cyber.

      You can also go down the Princess Bride-esque rabbit hole of saying that China knows that some people -- like yourself -- will make arguments that "it could be the US or UK making it look like it's China", and thus conduct an attack, or that we know that they know that we know that, and therefore the US did it, etc.

      At some point, you have to apply Occam's Razor and ask: who benefits? And the most obvious, direct, and clear beneficiary of this kind of interference is China. Not the US, not the UK, not some imagined Western Illuminati cabal with China being innocent victims; no: China.

      • by khasim ( 1285 )

        At some point, you have to apply Occam's Razor and ask: who benefits? And the most obvious, direct, and clear beneficiary of this kind of interference is China. Not the US, not the UK, not some imagined Western Illuminati cabal with China being innocent victims; no: China.

        No. You're limiting it too much.

        "Who benefits" could be some 15 year old kid who just got world-wide attention (and the respect of his friends) for his "hacking". So don't limit the list of suspects.

        It's not just nations.
        It's not just nati

      • At some point, you have to apply Occam's Razor and ask: who benefits?

        Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

        Fight for your bitcoins! [coinbrawl.com]

      • not some imagined Western Illuminati cabal

        Everything you had to say was spot-on until you sabotaged it with the above horseshit. No, of course the Illuminati isn't real, so repeat after me:

        There was no Adam Weishaupt [wikipedia.org] and the organization he was purported to have created certainly doesn't exist [bilderbergmeetings.org].

        Take your Koolaid and feel free to give yourself an enema with it.

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        This post only demonstrates your misunderstanding of things (by talking about "home routers", for example, in this context). And yes, attribution in cyber is hard -- that's one of the most-discussed, fundamental problems of cyber.

        Given that 'cyber' when not used as an adjective is effectively short for 'cyber sex', this all rather puts an interesting slant on things.

        • Yes, when cybering, it is a known issue that you have no idea if that is a male or a female on the other end of the keyboard.

          • Yes, when cybering, it is a known issue that you have no idea if that is a male or a female on the other end of the keyboard.

            It's a male.

  • who cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @09:41AM (#50816325)

    Seriously, it's pretty well established that states that have the resources to create "cyber-units" are going to hack systems for intelligence purposes. The recent Chinese-American agreement on hacking even recognizes that hacking for intelligence purposes is totes legit, so why do we frequently get these silly articles on Chinese hacking? It's nothing more than the Western media stirring up a cyber Red Scare. It's boring, predictable, and actually has the opposite effect of what these kinds of articles are meant to do. Instead scaring the public about Chinese hacking, these articles only highlight how bad the Chinese suck at hacking--they keep getting caught at it.

  • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @10:35AM (#50816723)

    I mean, yeah okay let's say they get access to the server and they can upload new files or modify existing ones. How can a server infect a godamn computer via a stupid Web browser? Are we talking about yet another Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight exploit here? Are computers running Linux, BSD and OS X safe from this shit?

    Fight for your bitcoins! [coinbrawl.com]

  • by MiniMike ( 234881 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2015 @11:32AM (#50817243)

    Inevitable Chinese government response:

    This webserver is in Chinese territory and always has been! There is no virus on our webserver! This 'Hague' organization has no claim to this webserver! The virus was put on the webserver as a warning to browsers from other counties to stay at least 12 links away! We advise the 'Hague'. side to think twice before action, not to conduct any rash action, and not to create trouble out of nothing!

  • Just like the Russian and Chinese subs lurking off the data cables.

    Totally.

    That said, it's not like the US complies either.

  • Good for China. They should be doing everything they can to non-violently gather intelligence that benefits their citizens. And I hope the NSA and CIA are also hacking everybody else. This is basic state craft. What deserves our ire is when the state (china) uses intelligence to benefit business interests and steal intellectual property for economic gain not China trying to gather intelligence for its government to benefit its citizens.

  • "The attack reportedly originated from China and infected the page with malware" but only if your running Microsoft Windows :)

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