May 20 2008

Chinese hackers…masters of social engineering

Published by at 5:27 am under Chinese Malware,Hacking for money

If I was in the business of spotting popular trends, the first thing I would do is a hire a Chinese hacker. While the rest of the world is passively watching events unfold around them, Chinese hackers are doing the math on how many people will participate and what online avenues are associated with them…like symbols.

According to an article in, hackers are using recent events and the patriotism they have inspired to spread a new trojan called, “Red Heart Robber.”  The snatching of the Olympic torch, the CNN incident, and earthquake in Sichuan have caused the Chinese online community to attach red hearts with the Chinese flag (and other variations) to their QQ sig and webpages to show support/sympathy for China.  When normal online users download the image of the red heart flag to show their support for China, a nasty little trojan is attached.

Attacking your own symbol of patriotism…not cool!

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Chinese hackers…masters of social engineering”

  1. Daai Tou Laam Diaryon 25 May 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Disaster Profiteering: Chinese Hacker Edition…

    The Dark Visitor last week posted on two incidents of Chinese hackers profiting on the disaster in Sichuan.
    First, he posts on a direct profiteering hack of the Kunshan Red Cross website to alter the phone numbers and bank account numbers for donations…

  2. Justin Bolandon 26 May 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Not cool, but effective. Social conventions are weak spots, and these guys logically targeted a weak spot.

    The real lesson here is that easily predictable mass behavoir is also easily exploited.

  3. Heikeon 26 May 2008 at 6:41 pm


    You are absolutely right and they seem to see those predictable mas behaviors very easily. The real trick is for us to spot them at the same time and be on guard against them.

    For example, there was a certain actress who recently had some pretty harsh words on why the earthquake in China occurred. Now, if I was predicting THEIR mass behavior…every website that contains that person’s name would be prepared to get hit.

    Also, if I were them, there would be a lot of malware floating around on negative images of said person. If the pattern of targeting their own people continues. Kills two birds with one Stone (Whoops).

  4. qiuyueon 13 Jun 2008 at 1:16 pm

    What makes you think the china flag heart trojan was not planted by western security wonks intending to exploit chinese patriotism?

  5. Heikeon 13 Jun 2008 at 2:07 pm


    Good question. What makes the Chinese seem more likely as the perps is fact that it is not a well known phenomenon in the West.