Hypothetical of the Day: Chinese Hacking

Let’s consider a hypothetical question. Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that the Chinese military is actually behind the security breaches that have affected U. S. sites from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal to military contractors. What should our response be?

Update

Apparently, the same group of hackers has hacked Apple:

Apple acknowledged Tuesday that hackers had infiltrated a small number of the company’s computers.

No user information was compromised in the attack, according to the tech giant, which said it had fallen victim to the same hackers that targeted Facebook last month.

The malware found its way onto Mac computers through a vulnerability in an Internet browser plug-in developed for Oracle’s Java program. Apple said it will release a software patch Tuesday to prevent the problem from spreading.

“The malware was employed in an attack against Apple and other companies, and was spread through a website for software developers,” according to company statement given to The Washington Post. “We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network. There is no evidence that any data left Apple. We are working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware.”

The company did not specify how many computers had been impacted, when the attack had occurred or what kind of information the hackers were seeking.

Apple has not shipped computers with Java installed since the introduction of OS X Lion (version 10.6), and the company’s computers automatically disable Java in browsers if it has not been used in more than 35 days.

The hackers who attacked Apple have been linked to the same Chinese-based group that infiltrated Facebook’s network in January, according to Reuters, which first reported the Apple attack.

High-profile cyber attacks linked to Chinese hackers have also hit news organizations, including The Washington Post and the New York Times.

9 comments… add one

  • PD Shaw

    Our response should depend at least in good part on whether the U.S. government is involved in hacking.

  • Icepick

    Forget the government. Run of the mill citizens should blast Chinese sites with internet porn (the more disgusting the better in this case, so i recommend sending them German porn) and fill their Inboxes with an endless stream of Nigerian banker scam email. Take THAT, China!

  • PD Shaw

    @Icepick, as per some of the discussion in this morning Chinese demographics thread, wouldn’t it make more sense to find a way to block all porn in China? It would destabilize the regime or at the very least greatly increase the power of women.

  • Icepick

    PD, do you really want the largest nation on the planet, equipped with ICBMs and nuclear warheads and a bunch of historical grievances against, well, EVERYBODY, to be unstable? That doesn’t seem like such a good idea to me. I say just annoy them with Nigerian banker scams.

  • But but but but…I thought apple products were impervious to these kinds of things?!?!??!

  • PD,

    I think you underestimate the subtle nature of Ice’s plan (and he may not have realized it either). By bombarding them with German porn and given the large numbers of unmarried men in China with few prospects for marriage…lots of German porn will mean pretty much everything in China will grind to halt…well except bandwidth usage which should skyrocket…..no pun intended.

  • And as for weird porn…well the Japanese do some weir stuff even by German standards…for example, just one word: squid.

    As a corollary, there is not enough eye bleach for some of the stuff the Japanese have done in porn….

  • Icepick

    I don’t think the Japs have a thing on the krauts in the porn world, as far as eye-bleach and brain-bleach worthy material goes. Sometimes just seeing a Volkeswagon makes me want to hurl.

  • Icepick

    AS for subtlety, I’m just like Paul Anka: When I move, I slice like a fucking HAMMER.

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