As if you didn’t already have enough reasons to secure your Facebook account to ensure that your privacy is protected, a new incident occurred last week that could have exposed all of your Facebook browsing data to the Chinese government. This wasn’t Facebook’s fault, however, but was instead caused by an error on AT&T’s network, and only affected a select group of Facebook users.

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mm_twitterThis past weekend Twitter users were subjected to a Chinese phishing scheme that stole many users Twitter login credentials. Apparently, the hackers used GroupTweet, so humorous links began appearing in individual tweets as well as many public feeds. The widespread reach of this virus has caused concerns for Twitter users.

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googleWe’ve written about the Chinese attacks on Google and other U.S. corporations before, but new developments in the case link the source of the attacks to two schools. Since Google announced the attacks on January 12, National Security Agency investigators have been laboriously searching for the source of the attacks,

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indiahackIndia’s security chief, M.K. Narayanan,  is claiming that Chinese hackers have attempted to hack into India’s most sensitive government office. Tensions between China and India have been resizing lately ever nice India’s relationship with the U.S. has improved to the point that the U.S. is poised to be selling them billions of dollars worth of weapons. Although there is no way for the Indian office to now for sure, they are pretty sure that the attacks originated from China.

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google-china-conflict-300x300After Google and Chinese human rights activists repeatedly reported cyber attacks stemming from China, combined with the Chinese government’s tradition of Internet censorship, Google has had enough. Google announced that it will radically change the way it does business in China or leave the country altogether.

The way Google has previously done business in China was that it had its own site for the country: On this version of Google, the search results are censored based on what the Chinese government deems appropriate. For example, searching for Tiananmen Square  (a student uprising that resulted in a violent government response, and is currently unrecognized by the Chinese government) on fails to bring up any results, as if the historic event never happened.

“Unfortunately we could see the dark side of technology, when they tried to subvert the things we’re building into tools of political suppression, which is the ultimate inverse of everything we stand for… that’s when it really hit home…” says a Google source.

Google’s motto has always been “Don’t Be Evil,” and limiting the information people have access to based on where they are from falls into the “Evil” category according to Google. Based on this policy, the search engine giant might resort to shutting down its site and its office in China if the censorship policy in China doesn’t change. Small groups of Chinese citizens have shown support for Google’s decision by gathering in front of Google’s Chinese offices leaving flowers, candles and notes of support.

As of right now, we’re not sure how China will respond to this bold move by Google, but if the country doesn’t change it’s censorship policy, Google will face a huge loss of profit by leaving this huge market of Internet users to China’s homegrown competition as well as Google rivals like Microsoft and Apple.

(Via PCWorld)

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hackedThe U.S. is preparing a new report for the Congressional panel that shows evidence of China launching cyber attacks to steal U.S. government and industry secrets. Since these attacks are using a lot more resources than your average hacker would have access too, the evidence points to the fact that these attacks are not being performed by some regular hacker who happens to just be based out of China.

The report says: “The problem is characterized by disciplined, standardized operations, sophisticated techniques, access to high-end software development resources, a deep knowledge of the targeted networks, and an ability to sustain activities inside targeted networks, sometimes over a period of months”

These attacks have been made on government computers, including those belonging to the Department of State, the White House, NASA, and Department of Defense agencies. Most of the files stolen were defense and policy related which further suggests that it was a government doing this and not just some random hacker. The hackers also knew exactly what they were doing and had total access to everything. The report states that:

“Analysis of the operation suggests that the adversaries previously identified specific directories, file shares, servers, user accounts, employee full names, password policies, and group memberships on the network, likely during their detailed reconnaissance phase”

It’s a known fact that China has been working on strategies for “information warfare” for the last 10 years, which might just be the case here. In response to this and other possible threats the U.S. government has also been developing its own cybersecurity and cyberwar capabilities, most recently bringing cyberwar responsibilities under the leadership of a new Cyber Command, headed by NSA director Keith Alexander.

(Via InformationWeek)

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