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China Security Politics Your Rights Online

Pro-Democracy Websites In Hong Kong Targeted With and Serving Malware 44

An anonymous reader writes A threat campaign tracking report released by Volexity shows that a number of high profile websites related to the Hong Kong democracy movement have been infected with malware. This malware targets both the web servers themselves as well as website visitors. The sophistication and scope of the malware likely points to government involvement as has been the case in previous campaigns targeting Asian charities and government reform organizations.
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Pro-Democracy Websites In Hong Kong Targeted With and Serving Malware

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  • The NSA did it before [schneier.com], and keep doing it.
    • Not invented there

      To be picky, the showing of prior art does not prove the creators of the identified prior art were the original inventors. There are many cases that predate the one you cite. In this case, perhaps the Chinese did invent it and the NSA copied them.

      Gee, I crack myself up sometimes.

      • No this is 'merica and we lead the world in spying on its own citizens, the only proof you need is its 'merica and nobody out does us.

        Infact sir, by you even suggesting that our commy "friends" didnt copy us, well your just anti-merica and your probably a terrorist, and a commy, thats like double anti patrotic...you socialist nazi

    • Schneier's allegations require that you believe a known non-trustworthy person (Edward Snowden)'s own allegation for that to be true.

      When all of that can be brought to bear in a US court with Snowden et al in custody, then you can start talking about it as truth when it is proven to be truth.

  • Foolish (Score:5, Insightful)

    by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Sunday October 12, 2014 @05:51PM (#48125933)
    That move seems just really childish for a government. Couldn't the government just take down the DNS entries of those sites, rather than install malware? Also, this will only help to legitimize the pro-democracy movement. It makes more sense that this was done by script kiddies with an agenda.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Indeed. The Chinese Government must have read "How Not to Tick Off a Large City", and did the opposite of the advice. Why would anyone want to go back to being governed by a cheating bully?

      (Other than at gun-point, which it may come down to now.)

    • If you just take them down, you get nothing, not even traffic data. If you distribute malware, you get continued tracking of people who visited, possibly keylogger data, dumps of address books and contact lists, credentials for other accounts, and other fun stuff.

      It'd be childish if the 'malware' were just serving pop-up ads or sending herbal viagra spam. The stuff designed for surveillance of infected targets, though, would be an entirely logical intelligence gathering strategy.
      • by WoOS ( 28173 )

        Yes, but with collecting and processing data from the internet the attacker opens himself for attacks. Or how bug-free is the analysis software.
        And once you go illegal it becomes difficult to sue counter-attackers. "Intrusion into government computers" might look strange on a warrant if the perpetrator claims he just shut down a C&C server.

        • I'm...not exactly sure... that the clandestine services of the world are worried about legal exposure incurred in the course of their activities. I certainly can't think of any being bitten in the ass for deploying spyware and it's a matter of public knowledge that it has been done reasonably frequently.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The "Malware" is probably far more insidious than your average malware and will probably do most of the following: monitor all traffic from all devices, calls, sms monitor location, contacts and will most likely give the option of controlling the device, locking the device impersonating the device etc.

      So essentially they control of, what ever devices they have infected with this "Malware" and have full visibility of who the organisers are etc, who I am sure the will quietly incarcerate.

    • by coaxial ( 28297 )

      Couldn't the government just take down the DNS entries of those sites, rather than install malware?

      Not if you want to track the people visiting the site.

      It makes more sense that this was done by script kiddies with an agenda.

      A little from column A... A little from column B...

    • That move seems just really childish for a government. Couldn't the government just take down the DNS entries of those sites, rather than install malware? Also, this will only help to legitimize the pro-democracy movement. It makes more sense that this was done by script kiddies with an agenda.

      Indeed. Whatever one can say for or against the Chinese government, fools they are not. And whatever one can say about the CIA/NSA or whatever they are called these days, fanatical proponents of freedom and democracy wouldn't' top the list. My expectation of the Chinese government is that they wish to deal with these problems calmly and pragmatically, whereas the American secret services have a track record for stirring up shit. I may be wrong, of course.

      Democracy is a very good idea, even for a government.

  • by srobert ( 4099 ) on Sunday October 12, 2014 @10:56PM (#48127269)

    My portfolio started taking a beating when these democracy agitators started causing trouble in Hong Kong. If Beijing doesn't do something to stamp this out, it could eventually lead to democratic rule in China. Labor activist will start demanding western style salaries and living standards and voting and such. Something really needs to be done about this so as to avoid labor costs getting out of control.

    • Stop inventing imaginary scenarios. You're talking out your ass and have no idea what you're saying. While you weren't paying attention, the days of cheap labor in China ceased several years ago. The buzz these days is all about Vietnam and Burma. I say again, STOP inventing points of view from imaginary people you aren't familiar with, just because it fits your narrative.
    • My portfolio started taking a beating when these democracy agitators started causing trouble in Hong Kong.

      Ah, so this is an obvious troll. Or at least the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm pointing out some of the more nefarious mentality that's probably going on in the upper echelons of US business. It's getting hard these days to tell the difference, and idiots like DNS-BIND can't read sarcasm. Poe's law [wikipedia.org] is in effect.

      so as to avoid labor costs getting out of control.

      Just so everyone else is aware, the Chinese workers have steadily been earning more for years [google.com], and as they get more powerful, they'll want more rights/control/political power. The higher salary comes firs

      • by srobert ( 4099 )

        I like to think it's more "tongue-in-cheek sarcasm" than a troll. The google charts you point to indicate that Chinese workers income is rising. But it's still a fraction of what workers in the U.S. make at current exchange rates. Sarcasm-off, I'd actually like to see both democracy in China AND living standards for working people everywhere rising. My post was to poke fun at those who see the rising call for democracy as a threat to capitalism-as we-know-it.

    • "You vill have communism...or ve vill give you tank."

  • by koan ( 80826 )

    Is there anyone here that didn't see that coming?

The amount of time between slipping on the peel and landing on the pavement is precisely 1 bananosecond.

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