[LINK] the Google attack

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Tue Jan 19 11:01:33 AEDT 2010

Interesting perspectives on the culture behind the hack:
> Sources who have been briefed on the investigation say the 
> cyber-hacking that prompted Google to step towards pulling out of 
> China was more about theft of source code than tampering with Gmail 
> accounts. ...

> One implication of this evolving Google-plus story is that China's new 
> assertiveness on the world stage could already be drifting into 
> over-reach. The Obama Administration bent over backwards to 
> accommodate China's legitimate aspirations but may now take a 
> different tack.
> Second, there is now a potential tipping point for multinational 
> companies - at least those with real market power - when they lose 
> faith that China is evolving towards a freer and rule-of-law-based 
> market place. ...

> ... these and other activities suggest China's intelligence agencies 
> are increasingly behaving like they're out of control, with little 
> regard for other bureaucratic or broader Chinese national interests. 
> Short of the Ministry of State Security spray-painting its initials on 
> the White House door, it's hard to think of a more counter-productive 
> prank ...

> Technological innovation, including writing software code, tends to 
> happen when free-ranging minds can freely connect with others in 
> different companies, institutions and walks of life. It requires 
> systems that reward the taking of good, long-term risks.
> The Chinese Communist Party has never coped well with any of these.
> Hacking, in contrast, requires technical capacity, discipline and 
> resources for identifying high-value targets and their weaknesses. 
> These attributes are abundant in China.
> In a narrow, technical sense, whoever hacked into the backbones of the 
> world's most sophisticated companies are obviously good at what they 
> do. But the skills of innovating and stealing other people's 
> innovations are very different.
> At its simplest, the Google hackers had to personalise email 
> attachments that targets would be tempted to open. An iDefense 
> analyst, Ryan Olson, said these people were "incredibly good" at 
> finding new exploits and infecting the right people but there was no 
> indication they were above average in writing malicious code.

Meanwhile, back at the farm:
> Overnight, the French and German governments warned Internet users in 
> Europe to avoid Microsoft's popular web browser, which has come under 
> attack from hackers.
> Internet Security analysts say this and the infiltration of Google in 
> China forms part of a trend towards highly organised attacks.
> And the Australian Government is now telling Australians to either 
> install temporary fixes from Microsoft or to use alternative browsers.

The more things change, the more they say the same.

David Boxall                         | ignorance more frequently
                                       | begets confidence than does
http://david.boxall.id.au            | knowledge
                                       | --Charles Darwin (introduction
                                       |  to 'The Descent of Man' 1871)

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