back to article New York Times probes China's Premier, gets hacked by Chinese

Hackers "persistently" attacked The New York Times to swipe its passwords after the newspaper claimed Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's family had amassed a vast fortune. During the four-month assault, miscreants linked to China's military broke into the email accounts of the NYT's Shanghai bureau chief David Barboza and former …


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  1. DavCrav

    " "To arbitrarily assert and to conclude without hard evidence that China participated in such hacking attacks is totally irresponsible. Chinese laws clearly forbid hacking attacks," spokesman Hong Lei said, Channel News Asia reported."

    Ahahahaha ahahahahahahahahaha. Ha.

    1. tmTM

      Chinese laws clearly forbid hacking attacks

      Chinese laws clearly don't apply to the military

      1. Katie Saucey

        Re: Chinese laws clearly forbid hacking attacks

        We are talking about The New York Times here, OK by me if they make an exception in the law.

        1. danR2

          Re: Chinese laws clearly forbid hacking attacks

          Who cares about the NYT? The hidden story, once again in plain view, are the universities. They are an order of magnitude below necessary security.

        2. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: Chinese laws clearly forbid hacking attacks

          No kidding. The NYT & the Wall Street Journal websites are a waste of whatever Dell boxes they're using, and a waste of China's time spent hacking them.

    2. danR2

      Infected university servers. Well, la-de-daa...

      There's enough hard evidence Western universities are participating.

      There are thousands of colleges and universities. But who cares if their servers are getting gradually getting zombied by Beijing.

      Universities are the soft underbelly of the West. Security is incredibly lax for places that crank out computer majors and scientists on a regular basis. How often have I gotten a faculty site with unverified certs and IT says, "that's OK, just log in."

      After doing that several times, new students just don't bother anymore. They sign into anything, they log into any wifi that looks plausible.

      1. WatAWorld

        Re: Infected university servers. Well, la-de-daa...

        They aren't windows, they're mostly Linux and Unix, how in the world can university servers be hacked ???

        Just me and my sarcasm.

  2. Ted Treen

    "The Chinese foreign ministry dismissed allegations of state collusion to reporters in Beijing."

    Might I be the first to paraphrase the delightful Miss Rice-Davies and comment "They would say that, wouldn't they?"?

  3. Steve Crook

    The equivalent of sending a gunboat...

    We used to send a gunboat and shell the offending <insert your offensive adjective here> when they upset the Empire. This is no different. It should be a reminder to the US and others that the Chinese are flexing their muscles on the global stage and would be quite happy (and capable) of continuing this sort of low level attack if it silences criticism and inhibits competition in areas close to their hearts.

    While I don't entirely agree with the current US, Indian and Japanese paranoia about Chinese manufactured hardware, this isn't exactly going to calm fears.

    1. WatAWorld

      Re: The equivalent of sending a gunboat...

      A great analogy. So the Chinese are saying to the NY Times, you have a computer system only so long as we tolerate your computer system. We can take you down and destroy you any time we want.

  4. Khaptain

    [Insert country name here ] laws clearly forbid hacking attacks

    Isn't this pretty much the same for all countries except for the one that uses the CIA and the NSA ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Register is probably hacked too but just too lazy to have found it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The Register are hacks.... See I corrected that for you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Agreed...But


    2. danR2

      Wouldn't surprise me, but it depends on whether Beijing regards its focus as hack-worthy.

  6. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    "copied passwords for its reporters and other employees."

    Why were they stored in a copyable format?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      They looked through the office window and read the Post-It notes tacked around the screens

    2. Pookietoo

      re: Why were they stored in a copyable format?

      There has to be a hash somewhere to compare with the submitted password - how else would the system know it was correct?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: re: Why were they stored in a copyable format?

        Stealing the hash isn't a problem, it can't be used to break into other accounts. The article says that passwords allowing access to other accounts were obtained, which implies theye were stored in plaintext or reversible form, for that to be possible is a security FAIL.

        1. Pookietoo

          Re: stored in plaintext or reversible form

          There's no need for passwords to be blatantly trivially accessible - given access to the hashes, knowledge of the "secure" system and the necessary computing resources, a brute force attack will usually yield some weak passwords.

  7. Tom from the States

    Harken back to WWII

    When the US was attacked at Pearl Harbor, Churchill knew that the United States was now part of the fight. Perhaps the NY Times will take off its blinders and start looking more critically at what we used to call Communist China. Little has changed.

    1. BillG

      Re: Harken back to WWII

      No, the NYT needs to ask Obama's permission first.

  8. WatAWorld

    No doubt the Chinese government was looking for the source of the leaks

    It is sad that the China's dissidents are more patriotic to the country than members of China's government.

    China's military, China's civil service, and most of all, China's political leaders are traitors against their own people.

    - Sitting here waiting to be hacked.

    1. Local G
      Thumb Down

      Re: "China's political leaders are traitors against their own people."

      Here too in the USA, where, after the housing bubble burst, the government printed trillions of dollars to buy toxic assets from the banks, but did nothing for the millions of families who had lost their homes. Then the government joined a contest with the UK and EU to drive the down the value of their currencies for the benefit of their exporting corporations, but to the injury of the people who are now forced to shop for food with worthless dollars.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Send some heat their way

    I'm thinking a small nuke.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Send some heat their way

      Would that be a 'tat' in 'tit for tat'?

      Are Chinese 'tits' the same size as American 'tats'?

      Do inquiring minds really want to know?

  10. taxman
    Thumb Down

    A number 17 and 39 please

    *infiltrating US university computers first and then routing their attacks through them*

    Thought the US institutions would have had their networks locked down - what do they pay their IT Dept to do?

    * Malware was installed on The Times' computers to open a backdoor for the attackers to remotely control the compromised machines,*

    What and how?

    A bit light on information and much on sensationalism. Daily Fail material

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chinese Attacks

    Sector I work in (Banking) has seen a major increase in attacks from China over the last few years...

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