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California Software Maker's Fortunes Track Dispute With Chinese Gov't 94

Posted by timothy
from the shame-if-somethin'-was-to-happen dept.
concealment writes "For three years, a group of hackers from China waged a relentless campaign of cyber harassment against Solid Oak Software Inc., Milburn's family-owned, eight-person firm in Santa Barbara, California. The attack began less than two weeks after Milburn publicly accused China of appropriating his company's parental filtering software, CYBERsitter, for a national Internet censoring project. And it ended shortly after he settled a $2.2 billion lawsuit against the Chinese government and a string of computer companies last April."
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California Software Maker's Fortunes Track Dispute With Chinese Gov't

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Slashdot had a dupe on the front page about the -6 share sale. This isn't news. However, the story disappeared after a handful of comments. Is this a switch in policy? Has this ever happened before?

    • by Hagaric (2591241)

      I noticed that too.. ended up here looking for it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It appears that the same tachyon pulse that allowed a 6 share buy order in the past on the Stockholm Exchange is spreading throughout the Internet and is now causing Slashdot to repost and delete stories.

      If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to reverse the polarity of your firewall.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Not deleted, just put back in the firehose [slashdot.org].
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They can also delete comments. They fucked up one time and the link appeared on printouts of comments from Firefox. Not sure why that was or if it still happens. I printed several pages of comments at -1 to go read on the shitter when my phone was almost dead. Plus reading comments on this site on a phone really sucks.

      Every comment had a "Delete" link. Plus this bullshit flag for inappropriate posts... This site is shit, and the sad part is that many of you reading this message won't understand why th

  • Just because it's on the internet and not "irl" doesn't mean we can't go to war or at least start sanctions against a country attacking a company in the US. I'm suck if the government just ignoring it.
    • But only if you can show it's actually a government attack. Hacking attacks usually have plausable deniability: From the perspective of the defenders, it's very hard to tell if you're facing a genuine attack from the Chinese government or merely a group of Chinese patriot hackers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    After learning that Chinese hackers had eavesdropped on the Dalai Lama and his staff using their own computers,....

    I have the transcript of that spying translated from Tibetan to Chinese to English:

    *An hour of breathing* Possibly meditation.

    HDL: "We must show compassion and love towards the Chinese invaders. And make it very clear - NO VIOLENCE!"

    *mumbles of agreement*

    *An hour of breathing sounds*

    *grabled*love them. May they be free from dukka. Om mani padme hum. Om mani padme hum....Om mani padme hum....Om mani padme hum...Om mani padme hum....Om mani padme hum...Om mani padme hum

    *goes on for an hour*

    Chinese spy: "Those

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza joint and says, "Can you make me one with everything?"

      (+1 Funny)

    • Penn and Teller called bullshit on this one, it was great.

      The Dali Lama, nor his regime were far worse than chineese communism, to the point chineese communism was a real improvement for everyone not the upper class of tibet. Not that Chineese communism is that great, but it was still a great step up from the previous feudalism.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYEOSCIOnrs

      tibetten insurgents waged a CIA backed violent campaign in the years before the China split with the USSR, and sided with the US, and start
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:14AM (#42129303)

    Let's face it, China has their own version of reality, and it's one in which they're going to do whatever they want, however they want to.

    South China sea, Tiananmen Square, human rights, their vision of how trade works, Tibet and the Dalai Lama -- if you read press releases which come out of China, it's clear that either their grip on reality is a little off, or they just bravely put forth whatever their official lie is and expect everyone else to take it at face value like their citizens do.

    It's all rhtetoric and bullshit when they make a public statement.

    I'm not in the least bit surprised that this kind of attack may have happened if someone pointed out that China was stealing from them. They're generally pretty aggressive about such things. And they're entirely indifferent about IP rights of anybody outside of their country.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      what makes you think the US doesn't do the same? Secret interpretations of laws and the resultant function of the government is identical to China. No transparency = no accountability.

    • by TheP4st (1164315)

      It's all rhtetoric and bullshit when they make a public statement

      How is that different from 99% any other governments statements?

    • It's the Marxist mindset. That shit doesn't just get erased from culture overnight. It will drag on until its last gasping breath in fact.

      "Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." Joseph Stalin

      You see it in the media, in the schools, and from public officials. China is sorta waking up from this bad dream. Meanwhile, America is living this bad dream in false lucidity.

      I should've taken the blue pill instead...

      • by ultranova (717540)

        It's the Marxist mindset. That shit doesn't just get erased from culture overnight. It will drag on until its last gasping breath in fact.

        "Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." Joseph Stalin

        And as you and all the other posters blaming anything bad on Marxism, communism, socialism, unions, etc. demonstrate, brainwashing works perfectly well for capitalist ends too. Perhaps even better, because you can appeal to people's pride - everyone is better

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It's all rhtetoric and bullshit when they make a public statement.

      So... It's like most of the western media, only they are more honest about who is in control?

  • Its not news that when the chinese goverment doesnt like someone the hackers in China will start an "independent" atack.
  • by dgharmon (2564621) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:19AM (#42129359) Homepage
    An Internet security company that gets hacked by opening an email attachment .. I don't believe it ! Lines of code, what lines of code, opening webcams, black tape, is this some kind slashdot joke?
    • Wouldn't loss of sales have more to do with all the crappy reviews for this product? Cnet user reviews have been destroying the thing since 2004 -- five years before "the Chinese" supposedly crashed his online sales.
    • Internet security company? Since when is child nanny software to keep kids away from porn known as security software?

  • Oh For Christ Sakes (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    From TFA:

    "It looked like a routine message from Milburn, so DiPasquale clicked on the attachment, realizing only later that the e-mail address was a couple of letters off. Solid Oak employees received more bogus e-mails over the next few days, setting off alarm bells."

    There is no advanced hackery here. Just the head of the company's daughter clicking on an email attachment by mistake, then chaos ensuijng. Thats when i stopped reading.

  • by concealment (2447304) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:31AM (#42129465) Homepage Journal

    Every big country wants to be top dog, or a superpower.

    China has wanted this for some time.

    They fought a number of proxy wars against the USA, including the Korean War and the Vietnam War. In the former, Chinese troops met American troops in combat. In the latter, China provided weapons, equipment, aid and advisors to the North Vietnamese communist armies.

    China is now building F-22 clones [dailytech.com] for its airforce, has a new carrier for its Navy [cnn.com], is waging constant and active cyber warfare against the US [bbc.co.uk], and is expanding its trade strategy to dominate the US [chinadaily.com.cn].

    The war is cold now, but eventually it will be hot. Hold onto your hats.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      I'm not sure why that would make a direct war, at least, be inevitable. The USSR and US had a cold war for decades without actually ending up in an inevitable war, though they did fight proxy wars in places like Afghanistan.

      • by concealment (2447304) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:00AM (#42129735) Homepage Journal

        The USSR and US had a cold war for decades without actually ending up in an inevitable war, though they did fight proxy wars in places like Afghanistan.

        Mainly because the USSR collapsed from within at the end of that time period. China has privatized, thus is not likely to the type of collapse that afflicted the USSR.

        • by iserlohn (49556)

          Actually, one of the main factors causing the USSR to collapse was that we forced them to spend too much of their GDP on defense.

          • by Alex Belits (437) *

            Actually, one of the main factors causing the USSR to collapse was that we forced them to spend too much of their GDP on defense.

            That's a bullshit propaganda talking point that contradicts pretty much everything known about USSR GDP, defense, or economic significance (or, to be precisely, lack of one) of USSR dissolution.

            • Good answer:

              That's a bullshit propaganda talking point that contradicts pretty much everything known about USSR GDP, defense, or economic significance (or, to be precisely, lack of one) of USSR dissolution.

              I'd like to add that even if we egged them on, we did not "force" them to outspend their GDP in making military gear. They chose to do that.

              Further, from what I saw, the USSR was massively unstable in every other way possible. Vast corruption, couldn't produce enough food, total lack of consumer goods, te

              • by Alex Belits (437) *

                I think when they shot down a civilian airliner and then claimed it was spying [history.com], while importing American wheat to avoid starving themselves, we should have known the USSR was circling the bowl.

                US is a mostly-agrarian country that exports food to most of the world -- does it mean that everyone is "avoiding starving themselves"?

            • by tehcyder (746570)

              Actually, one of the main factors causing the USSR to collapse was that we forced them to spend too much of their GDP on defense.

              That's a bullshit propaganda talking point that contradicts pretty much everything known about USSR GDP, defense, or economic significance (or, to be precisely, lack of one) of USSR dissolution.

              No, you're not really correct, as both the USSR and US spent far too much on unnecessarily paranoid defence, the US just had a much stronger economy at the time and could also borrow money more easily when needed to fund it. Oh no, that's now isn't it when The Great Satan doesn't really exist any more.

              • by Alex Belits (437) *

                No, you're not really correct, as both the USSR and US spent far too much on unnecessarily paranoid defence, the US just had a much stronger economy at the time and could also borrow money more easily when needed to fund it. Oh no, that's now isn't it when The Great Satan doesn't really exist any more.

                USSR economy was one giant nonprofit. It could not "spend" anything other than natural resources and labor -- and it had both in abundance.
                US could produce enough weapons to conquer the world ten times already if it really needed that (it didn't), but it has to pay for military-industrial complex profits, thus weakening the rest of its economy. It's a problem very much specific to US-style military-industrial complex, no one else has it, and this is why no one else builds giant amounts of weapons like US do

                • by arcite (661011)
                  Are you dumb or something? The US is the only country that can print its own money to infinity. It is literally impossible for the US to default, unlike say, USSR.
                  • by Alex Belits (437) *

                    No, I am not dumb, you are. Dollar is only worth anything because it is used for international oil trade. Increased amount of dollars outside US will mean that oil prices (and therefore prices of absolutely everything else) will adjust proportionally, so total value of all currency will stay the same no matter how much of it is printed.

            • by Trepidity (597)

              Strangely, despite typically being advanced by the U.S. right (since it gives credit to Reagan's defense policies), it's not a position you'd think free-market advocates would actually take, because it implies that the USSR's economy would've worked fine, if only we hadn't forced it into collapse by making them overspend on defense. Do the people making that argument really believe that's the case? They don't think the USSR's economy was riddled with insurmountable problems even absent the defense spending?

              • by sjames (1099)

                And more to the point, what does that say about tricking the people into a protracted war in Iraq?

            • Oh come now. If you going to insult the OP, at least back up your rhetoric with something coherent. I think Russia is much happier being a middling power now made of of a handful of oligarchs. Much more manageable.
              • by Alex Belits (437) *

                Oh come now. If you going to insult the OP, at least back up your rhetoric with something coherent.

                If there could possibly be an argument against my claims, coherency isn't it.

                I think Russia is much happier being a middling power now made of of a handful of oligarchs. Much more manageable.

                And that's completely baseless. Oligarchs are interested in increase of their power at the expense of other oligarchs, not unlike your corporations' leaders -- they are self-selected by this trait. Communist leaders of all levels in post-Stalin time knew that all their needs will be met through a system of privileges, but they can not fight each other. That created disincentive for pretty much all truly destructive behavior, and no

          • by sjames (1099)

            ... and then promptly forgot that very important lesson.

        • China has privatized, thus is not likely to the type of collapse that afflicted the USSR.

          Why not? There are many, many signs of social tension within China. Its non-democratic government, the big gap between rich and poor people (and rich and poor areas), issues like Tibet, supression of dissidents, etc, etc. Much like the things going on in the former USSR.

          Nor do I see much signs of these social tensions getting any less. More likely (IMHO), increasing. The information age we live in might give a push here, citizens wising up & refusing to take things any longer. So is it hard to imagin

        • by Tablizer (95088)

          Is the USA, if the population gets pissed off, we vote out the incumbents. In China, the population has no such outlet, which may result in mass riots, which almost happened in 2008 due to factory slow-downs before the gov'ts huge stimulus program. China has had many revolutions in its history such that there is no reason to think that pattern stopped.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      China wants nothing to do with a war with the west. Unless they're absolutely batshit insane. Building F-22 clones? Good. The US has 187 active (as in built, with many hours logged to test the hell out of components and with experienced pilots behind the stick). They've got an aircraft carrier? A single one? Golly. Wonderful. The US has 11, plus 9 amphibious assault craft that can act as carriers (plus 6 more in the hands of NATO allies). Trade strategy? You mean you think "attack the nation(s) t

    • by poity (465672)

      To be fair, China was extremely paranoid in those decades after the war, as was everyone else, and concepts like "domino effect" and buffer zone were in the minds of every government that survived. You're right that there's a resurgence of nationalism with popular calls for military action, and plenty of hardliners who use "hegemony" as a curse word thrown at the US, but secretly wish for one of their one in East Asia. But understand that's not China acting in unison. There are factions just like anywhere e

    • No, not really. China's worst fear is (ready for it)...CHINA! Russia, India, and Pakistan are a close 2nd. If anything, China is trying to maintain unified cohesion of the countryside. It's why the "Harmonious Society" mantra is always espoused by the CCP. They can not risk cracks in the idea of unification.

      The US to the CCP and PLC is an annoyance in that it stands in its way from world domination (if they ever had such a dream). But even they know the US is not a direct threat. They saw how we've handled

    • by Turmio (29215)

      I beg to offer a different perspective. During the Cold War era the economies of the super powers we're independent of each other. Actually they were actively rivaling each other. The relationship between The US and China is quite some different. They are economically so interlinked and in bed with each other that starting a war would mean literal suicide for both nations as we know them currently. Suicide by not nuking each other (China doesn't have the capability to nuke the whole North American continent

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Every big country wants to be top dog, or a superpower.

      You are projecting your own desires onto the Chinese. I don't see any evidence that they want to dominate. They just want to stop the US dominating. They recognize that there needs to be a counterbalance.

  • I write lots of that "hidden computer code known as comments." I'm so l33t.

    Watch how easily I launch an attack: /* format c: */

    See how that worked?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      You bastard!
    • by Sentrion (964745)

      You laugh, but my computer crashes every time I read your comment. Dang it! Happened again! WTF!?!

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @10:48AM (#42130243) Journal

    I have a lot of sympathy for Solid Oak Software, I truly do. I don't even say that, if I were in their initial situation, I would have done anything different from what they've done.

    So, said all that, it is extremely important to note, from this incident, that IP is ultimately pointless. Clinging to it will torpedo the countries' economies that depend on it. Sooner or later, countries that have enough muscle (China, and to an extent, Russia) will just say "fuck it" and not care about the hissy fits from the MAFIAA. I mean, WTF is the US going to do? Not buy Russian oil and minerals? Not have their electronics made in China? We all know that there would be much grandstanding (like, for instance, with human rights issues) but nothing more will be done. This is inevitable, like osmosis.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Has everyone forgotten that they are authoritarian, sue-happy jerks already?

    http://www.peacefire.org/censorware/CYBERsitter/ [peacefire.org]

  • "In U.S. District Court in California, the presiding judge declared China in default in the lawsuit for failing to respond."

    I guess the victim should show up with the sheriff and put China up for auction?

  • It seems as if these people knew their network was infected, resorted to bandaid solutions (like putting tape over webcams), and then continued to wonder why their systems were failing. You simply cannot trust a system once it's been compromised. It may have been a real hassle to rebuild all the company's servers, but ultimately less costly since business wouldn't be interrupted as much. Thankfully, they won the lawsuit so it doesn't matter any more.
    • by hhw (683423)
      Hosting their Internet facing servers at the office, behind a sonicwall firewall, is also a recipe for disaster in general let alone when being attacked. If they had hosted their servers in a proper data centre with DDoS mitigation services, the 'hackers' would have had a much harder time taking their servers offline.
  • Literally!


    /One ticket to hell, please.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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