Friday, February 22, 2013

Hacking: who holds the smoking gun? - China Weekly Hangout

English: Members of a Chinese military honor g...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This week the US firm Mandiant launched a report about China's hacking activities by APT1 or P.L.A. Unit 61398 in Shanghai. Both the Chinese ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs came fast with a denial, but it did not stop short the excitement that Mandiant did find a smoking gun in at the PLA office in Shanghai.
But did Mandiant really find a smoking gun? Even the US company did not claim that. And if the military unit might have been holding the gun, who might know about it? Was the PLA a rough element, a way to make money, or really a defense tool? And why would the US point at China, the country that has not developed the damaging virus Stuxnet and has not legalized snooping into other country's internet activities through it Patriot Act.
Basis for a nice discussion, we thought at the +China Weekly Hangout and we are preparing a session on Thursday 28 February, as a bit of the dust might have settled down. Confirmed guest will be +Charlie Custer of Tech in Asia. Our first take you can find here and Charlie Custer's first observations here. We are expecting a few more guests. Moderation will be in the hands of +Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau.
As usual, the event will be held from 10pm Beijing time, 3pm CET (Europe) and 9am EST (US/Canada). Do you want to participate too? You will find the link to register here. Or you can leave a comment here.
During the event you can leave questions, comments and requests to participate on Twitter and Google+, if you include the hashtag #CWHCWH at your message.

Update: A great quote from an otherwise good article in the VOA:
"“China is the best cover there is in the world for acts of cyber espionage,” said Carr. “Every foreign intelligence service should set up a front business in Shanghai or Beijing for that very reason.”
And AP wonders if Mandiant is a digital Blackwater.

Last week at the +China Weekly Hangout +Paul Fox and +Fons Tuinstra discussed the program for the coming month in the year of the snake, including a session on Hong Kong media scene, China's answer to North-Korea and its international position, again the accessibility of the internet and social issues in China.

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