Someone, in the PRoC, has apparently manage to shanghai thousands of computers connected to the InterTubes and use them as an information gathering /surveillance device. In the gool ol’ days of the Cold War, they simply called it spying.
The GhostNet, as it is called by the (Canadian) guys who uncovered it, was using malicious code to enable an outside entity to remotely access a (previously) infected computer and simply nose around and sniff where it didn’t belong. The fact that most of the spying is directed towards all things Tibetan /Dalai Lama-ish just makes it easier to pinpoint the identity of the Ones-in-Charge of the operation. Of course, the guilty Party is steadfastly denying any and all knowledge or involvement.
Now, I enjoy irony when I see it and baby, this ones a beaut. The People behind the Great Firewall of China have managed to isolate the PRoC from the rest of the World by blocking access to the biggest freedom of expression tool ever invented, the ubiquitous Internet (except during the 2008 Olympics, ’cause for 14 days, thanks to PR, TV Rights and Payolla, China was a good and friendly country).
Then, they found a way to use said freedom tool against us by successfully implanting a “double agent” in selected systems to gather intel on the user. Once this agent finds something of interest, it use our bloody pipes to funnel back to its Master(s) all matters of data, for the Good of the People! Adding insult to injury, they did this…covertly! Yup, we’ve been pwned!
What was left of our dignity was kept during the investigation. One of the researchers used Google (Do No Evil) to identify some code and backtrack the location of the servers. Yay team!
Now that Joe Public is aware of this malware scheme, I guess the boys in every Intelligence Gathering Agency in the world are collectively whacking their forehead, saying ” great, those idiots got themselves busted, now we gotta find something new!”
But that’s just me.