Archive for August, 2009

Aug 31 2009

Microsoft vs. Chinese hacker hero

Hong Lei

More on Tomato Garden and the arrest of Hong Lei, the author of the pirated software.  Online polls show massive support for Hong Lei as a nationalist hero:

The Chinese IT community is abuzz with news of the arrest of Hong Lei, distributor of the popular “Tomato Garden” pirate version of Windows XP, which means the popular unlocked version of the Microsoft software will no longer be available.

According to, more than 90 percent of users they surveyed are or were users of Tomato Garden pirate editions. And 79 percent said they were on Tomato Garden’s side. Less than 5 percent said they supported Microsoft.

The Wall Street Journal has some interesting interviews with people inside China concerning the case and the drivers behind the software theft.

3 responses so far

Aug 28 2009

New Chinese Ministry of National Defense website suffers hacker attacks

Published by under China internet,Other attacks


According to the chief editor of the newly launched Chinese Ministry of National Defense website, since its opening on 20 Aug 09, the site has been under assault from a variety of different types of hacker attacks.  The report notes that the attacks have not affected website operation.

One response so far

Aug 26 2009

China web stats: Social Networks

Published by under China internet

Very good article from the NYT comparing social use of networks between the US and China:

Chinese broadband users above the age of 13 number 286 million, nearly double that of the U.S. broadband population, says a new report from market analysts Netpop Research. In five years, Netpop forecasts, that number will double.

One response so far

Aug 26 2009

China internet: Anarchic playground

Published by under Censorship,China internet

Bingo, the Telegraph sums up the Chinese internet in the title of this article “China’s internet: the wild, wild East

When it’s fun, the Chinese Net seems like a wonderfully anarchic playground; when it turns nasty, it’s a nightmare from Lord of the Flies.

In many ways, the Internet simply reflects the diversity of Chinese society offline: you can find everything from Internet groups dedicated to social and environmental causes to prostitutes who exclusively use the QQ instant messaging platform to solicit clients.

One response so far

Aug 23 2009

Chinese hackers and 10 million tomatoes

Published by under Hacking for money

Not sure if this article on pirated XP supports or refutes Microsoft’s recent attempt to enlist the cooperation of Chinese hackers:

Four Chinese hackers have been convicted of copyright infringement after pirating Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system. The hackers modified version of Windows XP, called Tomato Garden, which was downloaded by 10 million people…

3 responses so far

Aug 22 2009

CNN creates Chinese cyber firestorm…again

Published by under China internet,Nationalism

Running through the headlines this morning at PLA Daily and saw an article concerning a CNN poll that has angered Chinese netizens.  The survey asked if Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s current president, should step down over his administration’s handling of typhoon Morakot.  Over 80% of the people responding felt that he should.  This poll, which has now been pulled by CNN, ran in the Taiwanese media but has since carried over into mainland forums sparking outrage.

Comments in a blog at,  which has been viewed 22,473 times and received 106 comments, summarizes the feeling of mainland Chinese netizens:

- Mainland China and Taiwan already have a difficult situation, I hope that Ma Ying-jeou can weather this crisis and continue his great undertaking of peaceful reunification

- Isn’t there a saying about not being “too CNN”!

- This diaster is all brought about by so-called democratic elections.  The DPP uses lawyers to rule the country and the Guomindang uses academics to rule the country, they are both horrible.  Western elections aren’t suitable to Easterners, they cause social unrest!  There isn’t anything beneficial for the people, just a bunch of thieves!!

- The US is afraid of the daily expansion in the harmonious development between the mainland and Taiwan so they increasingly exaggerate these dishonest reports!  CNN is no longer viewed as a celebrated media source to the Chinese people.   To hell with Uncle Sam!

- Don’t be too CNN

- It is because Ma Ying-jeou’s mainland policy scares CNN, they are afraid China knows what it is doing, they are afraid of reunification

- Drive the American imperialists out of China

- I first saw the CNN report on TV and a Washington Post poll that said 82% wanted Ma Ying-jeou to step down.  My first reaction was that this was a US dirty trick to oppose Ma Ying-jeou’s mainland policy.  In the evening, there were a lot of different points of view from different parties that came to the same conclusion, these reports had the same bias as the ones from 14 March and 5 June.

They just go on like that for 106 comments and remember, this is only from one website.  Here is a Google translation if you want to skim through the rest of the comments.

3 responses so far

Aug 22 2009

Microsoft looks for cooperation at Chinese hacker conference

Published by under Hacker Organization

Last year we reported on Xcon 2008, a Chinese hacker conference that is held annually in Beijing.   Well, for Xcon 2009, it looks like Microsoft, a sponsor of the program,  is attempting to reach out to the “security researchers” attending the meeting:

Microsoft shared the stage with Chinese security researchers at a Beijing hacker conference on Wednesday, aiming to build ties in a country that produces a growing number of threats to Microsoft products.

John Lambert, a team head at the Microsoft Security Engineering Center, spoke to an audience of a few hundred people about security features in Microsoft products and tools used by the company to find vulnerabilities in its software.

This is probably a smart move on Microsoft’s part; greater access and a little money for advance notice of zero-day attacks.  Or, a really horrible idea that will haunt them forever.  Either way.

6 responses so far

Aug 20 2009

Former Chinese nationalist hacker causes international incident


Kang Lingyi

According to reports, in 1999, Kang Lingyi participated in hacking the US Embassy and the White House over the accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.   He then went on to fame founding several nationalist websites.

An international controversy has broken out over an article he published on one of his websites called, the China International Strategy Net.  In the article, Kang suggests that India can be removed as a competitor by intentionally encouraging separatists to bring about the collapse of the state.  The statements caused such an uproar that the Indian government was forced to issue a statement saying that the relationship between China and India was peaceful.

As of this writing, Kang’s website has a message up saying that the site is currently under maintenance.  It has been up all day so let the wild speculations begin:


1) Beijing took it down as a concession

2) Indian hackers

3) The boring option of site maintenance          

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Aug 20 2009

New Ministry of National Defense website

Published by under China internet

From what I can tell, just from a quick glance, the new Ministry of National Defense website isn’t much different from the PLA Daily website.  Actually it has less information but this is a new website so it probably has to develop.  One interesting thing, the website banners are different for the English and Chinese versions:



Means absolutely nothing, except that I can tell color change and different imagery.  Hey, at my age that is a positive sign.

7 responses so far

Aug 17 2009

Chinese hacker schools growing bolder

Published by under Uncategorized

hackeradbillboardHacker school enrollment advertisements seen all over the streets of Wuhan

In the last few days, there have been several articles covering China’s domestic hackers and their schools.   In the past, this type of recruiting activity was confined to the online world and kept out of view of the general public.  Now it is popping up all over the street.

Internet user questions if Academy’s purpose is to stop hacking or train hackers

An internet user, going by the name “Levi”,  posted a rant on the IPTV website complaining about the enrollment and advertising practices of the Yinhe Info and Tech Academy.  The rant generated thousands of views in just one day.

Levi’s Rant

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4 responses so far

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