Mara Hvistendahl has been a very good friend here at TDV and in addition to Mara’s extensive knowledge of Chinese hackers, she is pretty much an expert on Asian regional security concerns. Some people make me so jealous! Mara has just released her new book, Unnatural Selection that deals with the 160 million missing Asian females and population imbalance.
Unnatural Selection is an important book and a fascinating read. Mara Hvistendahl is a delightful writer: witty, engaging, and acute. But the tale she tells is deeply disturbing. Asia alone is missing 160 million women and girls, a number equal to the entire female population of the United States. According to Hvistendahl, the culprit is less deeply rooted cultural gender bias than rising wealth, elite attitudes, and Western influence and technology. Development, at least for the coming decades, will produce not only fewer children overall, but also many fewer girls. The result is a future for many parts of the world, from India to China, Azerbaijan to Albania, where brides are much more likely to be bought, women are much more likely to be trafficked, and men are much more likely to be frustrated. For the present, we must confront the stark reality that the availability of ultrasound and ready abortion are sharply reducing the number of women in the world.”
Anne-Marie Slaughter, professor of politics and international affairs, Princeton University
Click on the book above to purchase your copy. Quickly, go do that!
*TDV has zero financial interest in the book, we just strongly believe in Mara’s work
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Also, the online version of the China White Paper on National Defense was so annoying, like 40 pages, created a more manageable word document if you want it White Paper National Defense 2011.
The graphic from Techweb shows the “internet” shrieking, “Water Army!” The wind up soldiers’ keys are in the shape of the finance symbol for the Renminbi.
Besides hackers, we also follow modes of cyber influence inside China such as the 50 Cent Party. Little rough-and-tumble viral marketing in the Middle Kingdom from a group dubbed the Water Army; can’t let the government take up all the oxygen in the room:
“Posting negative comments on the Web about products and services is fast becoming the most popular channel for Chinese consumers to vent their spleen. Yet, behind this veneer of free expression lies a murky world of cyber bullies and unscrupulous webmasters who are manipulating the media to either promote or smear a company’s image for profit.
In a country with nearly 400 million Web users, online marketing has become a big business and has spawned a legion of Internet public relations agencies. Their services include not only getting a product seen but also removing any negative feedback they find.
‘Real estate, cars, electronics: These are usually the most lucrative when it comes to deleting negative posts,’said Ma Mingdong, a 25-year-old Beijing blogger and online marketer. ‘Many people think it’s complicated to delete posts but it isn’t.‘”
Read more on China’s Water Army
Fallout from Night Dragon:
“Chinese hackers may have inspired memorandum between India and Kazakhstan on cyber security. The agreement, specifically mentioned to by Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev during his joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was proposed by the Indian side but found ready accepta nce with the Central Asian government.
Kazakhstan, an oil and gas-rich nation, was targeted by coordinated cyber attacks by a group of hackers who sought to break into the computers of energy firms and secure data on oil, gas and petrochemicals.”
Read more at Hindustan Times
Xinhua has just released the full English text of China’s White Paper on National Defense 2010. Why do I get so excited when this thing gets published?
According to the Sydney Morning Hearld:
“The parliamentary computers of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and at least two other senior ministers are suspected of being hacked. Ms Gillard’s parliamentary computer, along with those of several cabinet ministers including Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith were believed to have been compromised, News Ltd newspapers report.
Thousands of emails are believed to have been accessed in the cyber attacks. Four Australian government sources confirmed with the newspapers they had been told Chinese intelligence agencies were part of a list of suspected hackers.”
Fictional account of cyberwarfare between the US and China in the year 2020 written by:
Dr. Christopher Bronk is the Baker Institute fellow in information and technology policy and a lecturer in computer science at Rice University; served as a career diplomat with the US State Department; doctorate from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University; and studied international relations at Oxford University.
Read: Dr. Bronk’s paper Blown to Bits published by Stragetic Quarterly
Fine, shut down the NYC power grid but leave my phone alone. My addiction for downloading every app available has come back to haunt me:
“Insecurity outfit Symantec has warned about suspicious code which is under the bonnet of a repackaged security tool Google released last weekend.
The dodgy code appears in the Chinese version of the security tool which remotely cleans malicious apps off Android phones.
Symantec found the “trojanised” package on an unregulated third-party Chinese marketplace.”
“China said computer hacking attacks against websites of the nation’s government agencies jumped 68 percent last year, and called on local regulators to follow the U.S. and the European Union in stepping up Internet policing.
More than 4,600 Chinese government websites had their content modified by hackers in 2010, according to a report by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China yesterday. Stricter penalties should be imposed against offenders to deter cyber attacks, according to the center, which is affiliated to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.”
The large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that hit the WordPress.com blog publishing platform last week originated from China, according to the founder of the site.
A DDOS attack involves harnessing hundreds or thousands of computers to simultaneously bombard a web site with data so it becomes overwhelmed. The computers in such attacks have typically been infected with malware so they can be used without the consent and awareness of their owners.
The attacks, which brought slowdowns to the WordPress.com site, were severe enough to interfere with the company’s three data centers in Chicago, San Antonio and Dallas. The site has since returned to normal as of Monday.