The New York Times suffered a massive attack on its computer systems this week, apparently attributed to the Chinese. Apparently, the attacks had been taking place for about four months, when the Times began researching a story on the money that was being made by relatives of Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Premier. The Wall Street Journal has also been attacked by China, with the hackers monitoring the stories that the newspapers were building.
This is an extremely scary proposition as it seems that it isn’t just some random hackers that are breaking into the databases of major newspapers, but the actual Chinese government. This brings up the question as to whether or not this can be viewed as an act of aggression against the United States, and whether the government will have anything to say about the governments of other nations breaking into private computer files of American businesses’ and media outlets.
Of course, there isn’t really much that these companies can do to protect themselves, as the over-the-counter anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are the market simply do not protect against the tools that the Chinese government apparently has at its disposal. According to Paula Keve, the CCO of Dow Jones, the parent company of the WSJ, the information that was accessed was only about the story. “Evidence shows that infiltration efforts target the monitoring of the Journal’s coverage of China, and are not an attempt to gain commercial advantage or to misappropriate customer information,” a statement from her said.
The New York Times is working with computer security experts to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
Photo: Matt McGee on Flickr.com
Gabriel Legend covers current events for Gather News, and writes horror fiction. If you like an article from Gabriel please share it using the social media links below. Follow Gabriel Legend on Twitter (@GabeLegend).