According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Chinese hackers believed to have government links have been conducting wide-ranging electronic surveillance of media companies, apparently to spy on what reporters are covering on China and other issues. Chinese hackers for years have targeted major U.S. media companies with hacking that has penetrated inside news gathering systems. Tapping reporters’ computers could allow Beijing authorities to identify sources on articles and information about pending stories. Computer-security firms that track Chinese cyber spying groups say that one of the roughly 20 groups they know about appears to specialize in the media industry …
The Journal has faced hacking threats from China during the past few years. The U.S. government has also grown increasingly concerned about Chinese spying on the government and U.S. corporations. Western reporters which loacted in China have assumed that authorities are monitoring their communications and act accordingly in sensitive cases. Expert said that the Communist government really fears their control on information is unraveling as people read about corruption and officials with huge bank portfolios. What sort of information flow is an existential threat to them. Western companies, including media organizations, are reluctant to comment about possible Chinese hacking because they could lose customer confidence in their network security. Going public also risks antagonizing the Chinese government.
The Chinese authorities have already issued a clear response to the accusations made by the New York Times, where the news cooperation disclosed that its flagship newspaper had been the victim of cyber spying. China said it was “groundless” to suggest any state-endorsed program of hacking. Symantec, which makes the security software that the publication relied on to protect itself, also denied blame. The famous anti-virus company said that they encourage customers to be very aggressive in deploying solutions for online security, just using anti-virus software alone is not enough. It seems denying and mitigating the blame is a standard procedure in stories like this one. In fact we are more interested on what type of security systems can really fight with Chinese hacking.
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