Hackers in China Attacked The Times for Last 4 Months

The timing of the attacks coincided with reporting for an investigation that found that the relatives of China’s prime minister had accumulated a fortune worth several billion dollars through business dealings.

Comments: 212

  1. Nothing is secure — ever.

  2. Well done! Just one obvious point: "The Times and computer security experts have expelled the attackers and kept them from breaking back in" maybe should read "The Times and computer security experts believe they have expelled the attackers and are working to keep them from breaking back in."

    Passwords aren't sufficient security any more.

  3. Do what Google did after its Chinese attacks - eliminate Windows from your IT systems.

  4. Peter,

    There is a reason it's called "Windows" because it's full of them, doors too. Far worse than the NYT, the DOD still uses Windows 2000 in important defense applications.

  5. windows was the perfect name - constantly getting cracked and impossible to keep clean

  6. Perhaps this incident is a good reason for shifting funds from flawed programs like the F-35 to improved cyber security?

  7. I have read many articles in NY Times and Bloomberg Businessweek exposing corruptions and human rights issues. When you expose sensitive information of China, especially their leaders, the Chnese get embarassed, humuliated, and very angry. They will expell the reporters with trumped up charges. Now they are attacking NY Times with hackers. Communists will alwys be communists. They cannot be reasoned with. It's always my way or the highway.

  8. Tom T - Sounds familiar doesn't it? Not just communists countries. We have a lot of that going on in the USA. Anything to win, to be the biggest, best and richest - cheat, lie, steal, finagle, change the rules, downgrade products, but charge the consumers more. It's called power hungry greed to be number one in all things! It happens in religion, politics, military industrial complex, the military, all corporations, and our judicial system. Our big non-profit organizations are great at it - Chamber of commerce, NRA, Norquist and his tax reform, ALEC and others who our elected politicians work for instead of the citizens. So the Wen family got rich off of deals - so does our politicians and others - everyone knows it is being done and few journalist report on their misdeeds! But we need to report them all and push until we get them in jail or out of our government. Let's clean our on house, especially to the extent that the windows will let the light shine through - that is what is called transparency isn't it? Let's expose all the corrupt and human rights issues - our's first! Remember "He that is without sin" well we shouldn't throw any rocks - just quit doing business with those countries or buying products from american companies that have outsourced to those countries. Sorry I got carried away, but with the power hungry, 'It's always my way or the highway", when money is involved! Check out all the non-profit organizations and see how rich they are.

  9. I wouldn't call those that rule and run China "Communists" Mao would spin in his grave like a top. Rather the Chinese seem to be reemploying a version of the early Mandarin system using hereditary Bureaucrats selected from the Comunist Party. A similar trend can be noted here in the U.S. to the point where the Bureaucrats here speak a different language than us "common folk". As you point out they operate on the "It's my way or the highway" principal in both countries.

  10. You make them sound so immature! Oh, wait...

  11. Computer hacking - what a great way to control your public image, China. How about behaving with some integrity?

  12. And what about the USA doing the same thing in Iran?

  13. Why don't the Chinese just install the spyware in all of the computer and communications products they make for our markets. Maybe they have. That's what happens when you outsource your future to a totalitarian government.

  14. they already are. there are routers coming from hauwei a company owned by the central gov. that are supposed to be embedded with that type of firmware to spy. the usa gov has issued warnings about hauwei products for the past year.

    the next hot war will be in cyberspace, and the electric grid. not just on the ground with troops. many troops today are more proficient in tech than just shooting.

    when this country wake up and realize the real enemy of the USA is the red chinese, and the GOP who under bushy to be a favored trading partner.

  15. @Sal Ruibal, I don't understand your last sentence, what exactly is the Times outsourcing to China?

  16. @ Sal Ruibal:

    Excellent post.

    Many of us -- as reflected in the number of "recommends" -- understand your last sentence very well.

    Too bad the mandarins of Wall Steet and Silicon Valley are selling out our nation to the totalitarian governments of China and other nations. This selling out of the United States goes by the innocuous-sounding name of "globalization"; a most perfidious concept.

  17. You know you're doing your job as a news outlet when you are being attacked for reporting the truth!

  18. Brings up the question of which is metaphorically the mightier these days, the pen or the programmer?

  19. BRyon - Big question, one of which I could answer. For myself I often prefer to going back to the pen! I hate to be constantly forced to change every time a company programmer decides to change the system and the more they change the less I like. In business I liked my files and hard copies of all things, with my handwritten notes attached and copies of all letters in the file.
    Loved when copy machines were invented, so I could quit using carbon paper, but technology could have stopped there. One thing for sure, we would have more people employed. With e-mails, fax machine and all the little hand held gadgets, we have just about put the postal system out of business along with thousands of other companies and people. We have all become "CAPTIVE CONSUMER'S" and it is their way or the highway! As my time is now shorter - I refuse to give up writing my own checks and mailing them - the first company that refuses - I will no longer pay - technology can go to far and I don't like to be forced for someone else's greed!

  20. This article itself may have been the goal of the hacking operation, making paranoid anyone who provides the Times with info about China.

  21. In that case I hope you are aware it's not about the Times only. This should make anyone paranoid about providing ANY Western news organization with info about China. A lot of papers may be hacked without even knowing it.

    Oh well, I guess not every culture believes in things like free speech and dialogue. It's all relative.

  22. The New York Times's computer network is monitored by AT&T. Let's pause for a second and reflect on this.

  23. Hello American businesses ...if you have information that is sensitive or extremely valuable, here's a tip, don't put it into a computer that can be accessed by other computers. In fact, don't put sensitive info into computers at all use paper, it's old fashioned, but at least if info was stolen, the thieves would have to physically break in and steal it and not be able to do it with a few keystrokes from 8,000 or so miles away!

  24. Why would a communist country ..hack a communist newspaper

  25. Maybe they feel threatened by American freedom of the press....China censors you know.....Chinese people do not actually know what is happening in the outside world.

  26. Answer: China wants to see how a state-run leftist news agency REALLY runs.

  27. China is not communist - its totalitarian.

    NYtimes is not communist - its liberal, devoted to the task of keeping a mixed economy functioning.

  28. What is missed in all of this folderol over computers is the "intent" pushing the story. No, not the fact that there is "hacking" going on but the surreptitious effort to discredit the Chinese officialdom by asserting that the political leadership is making moolah as a result of their position in politics. Corrupt China fits the mold of a political agenda' however, are the Chinese pols any more "corrupt" than that other millionaire's club, the US Congress? Influence peddling, political position as a means to economic access, explotation of "controlled" information, employments as a "grace" gift--the list is endless--are facts of political life on this side of the Pacific as well, but heck such piddlings are not in the purview of The Times apparently, not when you have the Chinese to pick on...

  29. Apparently you have missed the seemingly endless stream of articles and editorials in the Times about money ,lobbiests, the revolving door etc in the american political system.

  30. enjoyed this article that raises the importance to have a good computers system security team. Would like some links on how to do some antihacking, One hacker like that intruded on an old computer since it was old there was little he could do. That time in that old computer was a folder with links to our good guys that gave him the run of his life. Could help perhaps to include some active play-yard software with a few other presents.

  31. Is it any wonder that Symantec only caught one instance of attacking software? Until recently, Symantec had a joint partnership with Huawei, which has ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army. Symantec 'protection' software is not effective against Chinese govn't hackers, because the company has been is in bed with China for years.

  32. Steal? Didn't the Chinese Communists ISSUE the NY Times staff their passwords?

    Remember Walter Duranty?

  33. This brings to mind a creepy Nightly News episode a few days ago about hackers gaining access to people's computers at home and spied on them. It makes you wonder if these hackers just stopped after hacking their emails.

    Why would mainland China military hack ALL the employees for an article and their personal email accounts rather than their work accounts ?

  34. Bravo, NYT, for calling the Chinese government out on the incidents. Very, very, well done.

  35. as bradley manning demonstrated, even the most stringent security protocols can be defeated by ordinary human behavior. perhaps the times should momentarily step back from top-down failure analysis to reflect on its user-level vulnerabilities, addressing such questions as, why are user devices prone to malware in the first place? surely there are adequate alternative's to microsoft windows -- google's android-based chromebook is one-- that can do the job without endangering the entire network.

  36. Could it be that the Chinese government considers itself at war with us? Their government seems to see America as a major impediment to their plans for economic and political expansion (or possible domination). The Chinese government seems intent on invading other countries not with an army, but with all other means at their disposal, legal or otherwise. American consumers VOTE with dollars. Buying Chinese made products is a vote 'yes'. Not buying their products is a vote 'no'. But most Americans keep voting yes, yes, and yes! Like the old saying goes, 'you get what you pay for'. Peace - John

  37. China needs the US shoppers to buy their cheap toxic products...they knock of everything, have no respect for copyright or ownership (being Communists). China does whatever China wants to do and always has.

  38. "Could it be that the Chinese government considers itself at war with us?"

    At the risk of seeming insufficiently exercised by this egregious violation, could it be because of the US military presence in Asia (large and growing), with bases in the Philippines, Okinawa, South Korea, Guam, Thailand, to mention only those the US admits to? I wonder what would the US government do if the Chinese attempted to establish a naval base in, say, Cuba?

  39. "The United States and Israel have never publicly acknowledged it, but evidence indicates they released a sophisticated computer worm starting around 2008..."

    Actually President Obama bragged about this work and took credit for it last fall.

  40. Yes, the citizen "out here" has to wonder when the red flags of defending national sovereignty will be raised, when the electronic intrusions, which are really forms of breaking and entering, register fully as such. So far, they're being viewed as a technologically advanced game of spy vs. spy, even when its been US governmental and defense agencies who have been probed. Without saying anything good about Iran, it would seem the US and Israel crossed a line by doing actual physical damage. If a foreign nation crossed that same line against us, would it been seen as an act of war? The operation of drones over a sovereign nation's airspace would seem to have crossed lines as well... perhaps when Mexico flies theirs over Texas, we'll work something out formally.

  41. You act as if you have been violated just because you were able to find out that someone was looking into your accounts and has passwords. There is no difference between what the Chinese did and what the American government does in its survellience methods. You just caught them doing it.
    Take solace in the fact that you (NYTimes) didn't have anything damaging about Wen Jiabao. Otherwise, you would be disintegrating.

  42. A nd no difference between chinese hackers and facebook!

  43. What are you talking about? The Times found that Wen Jiabao's family, supposedly of ordinary background, are among the richest people in China. All of the CCP leaders are extremely rich. In China today, the Party is the new ruling class and everyone else are second-class citizens. Corruption in the Party is systemic and billions are stolen & misused by Party members each year. Corruption costs China 10% of its GDP annually. Are you just another 50 Cent Party member posting pro-CCP messages online?

  44. Controlling China's public image: you're doing it wrong.

  45. Exactly! You can report on smog and aircraft carriers and territorial claims, but do not dare to report on the crony-capitalism of party chiefs and especially their families. Forget about communism, in the words of Kevin Starr, for the Chinese the family is the beginning, the middle and the end of all social organization. The attack is a feud.

  46. Why do we still kowtow to China? Why is China such a great business partner? How can Americans justify doing business with China when the result is a decimated American labor force? The answer to this and all other questions is money, pure and simple. But not money for the average American. For the corporations that forged alliances with the Chinese government. These corporations were able to chip away at the power and influence of the American labor force with each and every job that went overseas.

    Don't tell me we benefitted by being able to buy cheap goods from China. Tell me, what was really the price of that $500 TV from China? Who paid for a decimated work force in America? Who paid for the ruined communities in America? Who paid for the displacement of US jobs to overseas? Who paid for the unemployment in America? Who has to retrain and re-educate Americans to replace those lost jobs? Who paid these corporations to ship jobs overseas?

    The answer to all these questions is the American taxpayer.

    Another question: how is it that we do business with China halfway around the world and we refuse to engage with Cuba 90 miles off our coast? One answer is that corporations do not see Cuba as a willing partner to engage in fraud and deception as the Chinese are all to willing to do.

    Thanks for the reporting NY Times, but to me this is old news.

  47. We "kowtow to China" every time we buy products from Apple, Walmart, Target, Lowe's Home Depot, etc. When we look for made in America, there will be enormous changes to both our employment and our economy.

  48. We kowtow to China because we owe them so much money.
    It's the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

  49. Nothing will change until these giants of corporate America realize that they have shipped plants overseas - GM, Jeep, all the corporate purchasers of Foxcomm products - so that the Chinese don't even have to leave their country to perpetrate their corporate espionage on them.

    You would have thought all the counterfeit Apple stores popping up in China last year would have been a clue that everything in every American plant is walking out the doors. I guess they just consider it a cost of doing business. Idiots. Traitorous idiots.

  50. "Security experts found evidence that the hackers stole the corporate passwords for every Times employee and used those to gain access to the personal computers of 53 employees, most of them outside The Times’s newsroom."

    How was this possible? Why did the Times have passwords stored in a format that enabled them to be stolen? In any system that aspires to security, passwords should be managed in a manner that makes this impossible.

  51. If an attacker can gain access to one computer, the malware can log keystrokes, pick up passwords entered there. Then infect its outgoing email to install such malware on their recipients' computers.

    All that's required is (1) malware that will fail to be detected by the first machine's anti-malware process, and (2) a user of that machine naive enough to click on an attachment in an email from an unverified source.

    Secure-sensitive corporations block ALL emails with attachments from outside their list of trusted sources; they are not delivered to their addressees.. Some block them completely, and allow only ftp file transfers.

    This incident bespeaks a sacrifice in security in the chase for story material on the part of at least one NYTimes reporter.

    Regarding stealing passwords stored on an infected server: Any reasonably designed system does not store the client's passwords. Rather, it hash codes the incoming passwords, stores the hash. Stealing the hash steals trash, to coin a phrase.

    That is why, at well designed sites, should you forget your password, they send you a temporary new one. Not just to avoid sending you your existing password in an unencrypted email; rather, they literally don't know it..

  52. So all the extreme left wing reporting was coming from the People's Republic and not the 'Times newsroom?

    What a relief!

  53. I can't top that one. Nice.

  54. You call the Times's journalism extreme left wing journalism? You have a very interesting concept of extreme left wing journalism. Very interesting.

  55. Smotri you are going to have to cut JMA some slack. Since there is no left wing journalism in the U.S. how would he/she ever gain the experience to recognize it?

  56. Chinas' neighbors should take note of this behavior and plan and act accordingly to protect their interests.

  57. Great article! Thank you for pointing out that most network connected devices can be used for espionage; It's amazing how many organizations don't know that peripherals on their networks are prime targets for snooping. Makes you wonder if someone could use your newfangled security system to spy on you.

    Want to know if your printer is vulnerable? Check out this post:

    Google has indexed thousands of publicly accessible printers

    This guy fought them on his own:

    China Mafia-Style Hack Attack Drives California Firm to Brink

  58. This is an excellent article, which just proves that ANY computer with Internet connectivity is at risk here.

  59. I guess an M.I.T. education really does work - at least for the Chinese.

  60. The fact that this morning's Obama induced higher unemployment numbers isn't a major story is because you're busy with all the Chinese hacking, right?

  61. Nothing to see here folks...just move on....

  62. It's on the front page....

  63. The timing of Wen's investigation is pretty interesting. Reminds me the horrible relationship between of Bo Xi Lai and Hu Jin Tao. Can't say New York Times is independent anymore.

  64. Shuaiqi,

    When is an appropriate time to report on corruption? Should the Times ask the CCP when is convenient for them? You know what's more interesting than the timing of the report? The fact that Wen's family's wealth is measured not in millions but potentially BILLIONS, and that he has "broad authority over the major industries" in which his family have made their fortunes. That apparently it is important to keep the family's massive wealth a secret. That the government states that it intends to root out corruption but immediately deletes the story and blocks the New York Times in China. All of that is MUCH more interesting than the timing of the story, in my opinion.
    Media in China is controlled by the government. A near complete lack of independence.

    Isn't it nice to freely criticize and discuss without having your comments deleted or censored? To not worry about being beaten or put on house arrest or in labor camps?

  65. The Chinese were looking for your sources for the articles? Why didn't they read the articles--and this one--and see that it was publicly available information you used? They did, you say? Then they must believe there are other sources and, if so, why don't you run a sidebar showing how you found out what you published?

  66. Journalist go to prison to protect their sources. If Times published names of all the sources wouldn't they be persecuted by Chinese government?

  67. Most likely the names of the sources were withheld. Those names are no doubt what the Chinese government was after, and having obtained them, are no doubt in the process of arranging for the disappearance of those sources as we speak.

  68. Wait, this was our "good" trading partner, hacking into the innards of my morning newspaper; wasn't this the China that Bill Clinton rolled the red carpet out for in the late 1990's - sometimes it seemed that Bill was more concerned to elevate the Chinese worker rather than the American worker, although we all know that the well being of workers in either country was far from the driving force behind this policy. In the same morning edition that brought me this front page news there was also an article describing the state of smog in the Chinese success story...it didn't say much about the more global worry, thoug,h of the coal-carbon dioxide global warming link.

    Unfortunately, I have clear restraints on my anger because I know that the US uses computer hacking and implantation as a tool of its foreign policy as well, as the Iranian nuclear actions show; I have also reached the conclusion that the massive increases in spending in US intelligence electronic gathering capabilities means that all worldwide electronic signals are being recorded and stored - just in case. Who might have access to those data bases in the future, and the nature of the operation have already generated troubling secuity trials.

    Nonetheless, has a major world economic power ever given away so much to a rising competitor as the US has for China, and where the governing systems seem, ideologically, at least in theory, to be so incompatible? Thanks to our corporate leaders for the "hookup."

  69. I proposed over 20 years ago that the NSA and DOD improve the network security within the entire intelligence community. Right now we are wasting valuable program money on dead defense projects which could be used to enhance our network security. The best hackers are developing in South Korea, China, Iran, and Israel as we speak and the algorithms for these systems are NOT being shared with our boys in Quantico.

  70. America has been transferring our most valuable technology for decades to lower-wage countries like China and India. This let our corporations operate more freely in those countries, and hire engineers and programmers there, replacing much more expensive American workers. The most important way that high-tech knowledge is transferred is the H1-B visa program, which has brought in millions of foreign workers to take prime jobs in America, learning the latest technology from the world leader.

    Indian companies and high government officials have actually complained that they are not able to outsource as many American jobs as they are capable of, because they're not getting enough H1-B visas. Well, they needn't worry, Congress is getting ready to double the number of visas to 100,000 a year, as part of 'comprehensive immigration reform.' The entire American establishment is strongly in favor of this, with The New York Times leading the pack.

    Giving away technology has consequences though, like all Western computer sites of value being under constant siege by state-of-the-art Chinese hackers, never mind those sites with the effrontery to take on Chinese leaders.

    Also, China is upgrading its weapons systems to precision guided munitions, the computer-controlled missiles that can fly great distances and land on a dime. When that happens our capital ships and forward bases may be too vulnerable to Chinese attack to operate effectively. Iran won't be far behind either.

  71. The last time I checked, no valuable technology has been transferred to India. The outsourced jobs are of the run of the mill programming or service and support variety. Indian companies compete on cost, and I thought that we (the US) supported free markets. We can't have it both ways. If we are protectionist, we have no leg to then preach to the world to open its markets for US made products.

    Also, India is a democracy, whose constitution has borrowed a great deal from the US. The Cold War is long over, and India is an important US ally, and will remain so in this century.

    As for China, did you expect any different from a totalitarian regime? What should our response be? Protect ourselves smartly and dance with them where there is mutual good. Xenophobic reactions do neither of us good.

  72. H1B visas mostly went to Indians, esp in the I.T industry. Also, most jobs in the I.T. industry were outsourced to India, not China.
    Most low-end manufacturing jobs went to China though.

  73. I am struck (almost) dumb by the extent of the break-in and its possible implications for free speech. It makes one look back fondly on the legal pad and pen or scribbled notes on a cocktail napkin.

    No doubt the hackers wanted to scare away the newspaper, on whose reporting I depend, from making any further disclosures, possibly by threatening or harming the reporters. Today, after reading this article, I have more confidence than ever in the Times!

  74. Actually, I think they were looking for the reporters' sources to intimidate them. Fortunately (or un- for the prc gov), this material was all apparently attained from public sources and put together by clever investigative reporters. They must be furious about the lack of heads to roll.

  75. Ah ... but we Americans just continue buying Made in China, a power out to destroy us. Our multinationals just keep concentrating production with a country run by a military regime. They steal our technology and destroy our work force. We are fools.

  76. to the extent we are reliant upon computers, we are vulnerable to cyber attacks. if the enemy builds up vast cyber capabilities, all we need to do is learn how to use the abacus again and their efforts will be wasted. ;)


  77. Paper is a good thing.

  78. Go back to dial up lines from remaining phone booths for reporters to file stories - and only store encrypted notes, articles on web if at all - the mob was onto this years ago to escape the malware of its time - wiretaps

  79. All this does is make the Chinese government look worse. If they are so concerned about what the rest of the world thinks of them why not start by allowing critical articles about the country in China as well as abroad? Or, better yet, why not change how they treat their citizens? The money that they have spent on this would be better spent on improving things in the government and in the country itself. This is a waste of resources and time. I think that the Chinese know that some of their officials are corrupt. Any citizen of any country knows that there are corrupt officials. This is not a surprise. The real surprise is when an official is actually imprisoned for his offenses.

  80. This is absolutely despicable, China needs to be taught a lesson. This government needs to rid itself of its dependency on China. Until that happens, we are stuck. Shameful.

  81. Our government needs to? Correction: I think our consumers need to!
    Have you looked at all the labels of the things in your house, including your toaster, blu-ray/dvd player, spark plugs, light bulbs and so on and so on.

    If we don't like chinese style corruption and business we need to learn not to like chinese style prices in the market place.

    Buy less. Buy better. Look at the label. And if you're not finding that the things you need are made elsewhere; write letters, stage protests, boycott US companies that only make their goods using China.

  82. China is a behemoth (so is the US, for that matter). What is your prescription for ridding ourselves from China?

  83. That is why I never buy LENOVO and APPLE products. Both are made by Communist China. Who is to say there are no pre set spyware inside LENOVO or APPLE aimed T the US market?

    Any Americans who buy Communist Chinese goods are setting themselves up for privacy invasion without even knowing it

  84. Lenovo used to be IBM think pads.
    Apple do designs in the USA.

    It's not China's fault to make these there in China.

    Americans made it so that they are made in China.

  85. The products of many computer and consumer electronics companies are made in China, including Google, Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony, etc. (Many of these are made in Shenzen by Foxconn, which is a Taiwanese company.) Good luck if you're trying to avoid products made in Communist China.

  86. And you think HP computers are not Made in China? Ha!

  87. China can't stand the truth.

    Nothing irritates liars, corrupt cartels and mafia types more than sunshine disinfectant.

    Great job, New York Times.

    Take a public bow of disgrace, China - you've got as a long way to go before you achieve democracy as you do before you see blue skies in Beijing.

    State-sponsored lies and pollution are not a good Chinese recipe.

  88. China doesn't want democracy.
    The model they have is working very nicely for them.
    The leaders get supremely wealthy, while allowing the Chinese population the toys and modernization of the west.
    Meanwhile, a 24/7 PR/totalitarian machine stokes up nationalism - the Chinese population is more nationalistic/patriotic/proud of their country than Americans are of the USA.

    When Burma saw what was happening with the 'Arab spring', all its leaders had to do was look across it's border to China, and they knew what 'model' they should adopt for their continued survival.

  89. Unfortunately, Americans seem to be quite naive about issues like this. The reason why the Times got hacked isn't quite black and white as it appears.

  90. Soc: "China can't stand the truth."

    Agreed. DNA vehicles don't care much about truth, unless it works in the moment or they're trying to coordinate with reality, e.g., creating technology.

    Algorithms are more honest.


    “Rep. John Shimkus is standing by a controversial comment that global warming isn't something to worry about because God said he wouldn't destroy the Earth after Noah's flood.” Darren Samuelsohn Politico

    For information processing power, speed and accuracy, who you got?
    Shimkus, or IBM’s Watson?

    Verily, we’re in jeopardy, I’m taking Watson! With extreme prejudice, baby.
    Shimkus is the equivalent of a witch doctor.

    China is trying to dominate, as are we, as are you and I, when push starts shoving, which is pretty much all the time.

    When you don't have the proper codes to navigate the exponentially accelerating complexity, the shoving increases it, by any means necessary.

  91. If there was any question about how vital the NYTimes!

    We have to value privacy. We have to teach our kids how not to sell their private data to companies to mine in exchange for photosharing. The future belongs to misinformation and those on the front line will be the silly fools who have given up their privacy.

  92. We have to value privacy.
    The internet is an unregulated communication system and there is no privacy at all. Might as well as shout out of the window and expect privacy.

  93. Which US Political Party does the Chinese government support through illegal campaign contributions? Why, the Democratic Party, of course.

  94. And your proof of that allegation can be found where ?

  95. And which party sat by and let American business outsource a few million jobs to the China? Why the Republican Party, of course.

    Don't delude yourself that the Republicans aren't getting funded by the same sources.

  96. Please document your source for this secret information

  97. Economic trade should be predicated on honorable behavior, and a demonstrable commitment to BALANCED trade.

    So how about, every country is responsible for any criminality arising from within its borders, whether they are aware of it or not. No fault, but strict liability for the damages caused, until you fix it.

    Plausible deniability should not be enough to avoid accountability.

  98. Ha ha! Honorable behavior starts at home! Count your fingers after you shake hands with the American Corporation!

  99. What about Symantec? Is their "protection" equally useless on my home pc?

  100. Yes.

  101. Only works for known threats.
    Click on a link to a web site in an email and you may be hacked.

  102. Err, if the Chinese Govt/Military sick their best hackers on your home PC, I hate to break this news to you- but Symantec ain't gonna save you.

  103. May this embarrass the PRC leadership, or whatever govt organ is behind this. Face seems to be the only lever that works.

  104. Why should the Chinese lose face when it comes out the Chinese are using technology against competitors? This shows competence.
    NY Times columnists sing One World as they advocate offshoring American jobs in computer technolgy to China and later find their computer systems attacked by the Chinese.
    Looks like the NY Times has lost face with the possibility they will not be able to protect the identity of sources.

  105. They are not embarrassed and they will be back.

  106. China was a starving dragon, and the US fed it. Now it is getting fat and starts crawling everywhere. The hackers will be back soon.

  107. Of they course they will. The best ones were educated in our universities, and since our equipment is mostly made there, they're well aware of its vulnerabilities.

  108. This just goes to further prove the still deeply insecure reality behind the Chinese government's facet.

  109. Symantec and the other virus "protection" systems are useless.

  110. In fairness, I don't think there is any commercial, off the shelf, anti-virus package that would protect against something like this. This is more like cyber-warfare.

    They have some value in protecting against well known, common viruses. But you are correct, they are totally useless against serious hackers.

  111. Actually, Adaware works quite well and there's a free version!

  112. The Chinese regime abjectly fears that exposure of personal background information on ruling kleptocrats will undermine loyalty to the Communist Party. It will come back, through "Virtual Private Networks" which evade the "Great Firewall," to Chinese "netizens," who increasingly see themselves as citizens with rights, rather than impotent subjects. The regime desperately wants to identify, punish and suppress confidential and "deep background" leakers of sensitive information. During Watergate, Nixon's White House "Plumbers" had the same objective. Only the technology differed!

    The cost of Chinese attempts to plug leaks is enormous. China spends more to suppress internal dissent and subversion than it does on national defense. An informed populace is perceived a greater threat to the regime than the U.S. Armed Forces. China also pays in terms of "mass incidents," such as strikes, work stoppages, riots and protests, such as the recent one outside the offices of "Southern Weekend," a newspaper forced by the Propaganda Ministry to excise an editorial on public corruption.

    With nearly 600 million Chinese online, many on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo, information and opinion spread rapidly, despite deletions by an army of censors. The ideas of artist Ai Wei Wei and Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo cannot be totally suppressed. Once the truth, like toothpaste, is out of the tube, it is impossible to put it back in!

  113. After reading about this - along with the comments - three words came, inexplicably, into my head --

    Nixon In China

  114. Inexplicably?

  115. Is the NYTimes positive that no customer accounts were compromised?

  116. Well, even I know not to store my passwords on a computer. As for the worth of the coverage exposing the accumulation of billions by insiders - what else is new?
    I'd be much more interested in a similar expose' here in the good ole US of A.

  117. Every password is stored on a computer somewhere, in some form. How do you think they check that what you type is the right password?

    These passwords weren't stored in plain text, but as hashes, which use an algorithm to "encode" text that is difficult/time-consuming to reverse, but still breakable.

  118. Why don't Americans start boycotting the junko empire? It inundates us with manufactured junk, political junk and constant violations of civilized behavior. It's a totalitarian state that doesn't even care if its own citizens have air much less freedom.
    A 20% drop in our imports would have a highly salutary effect.

  119. One has to wonder how much of Walmart's $250 billion of sales were for goods sourced in China? When Sam Walton was alive, they proudly bought American. Not anymore.

  120. Oh, because that would interfere with precious 'free trade' which is to be pursued at all costs. All through the '90s and until a few years ago the NYT was strongly in favor of 'engagement' with China in order to 'change the system from within.' Now, not so much.

  121. The Chinese Communist Party has been spying on Tibetan activists for years and hacked into the computers for the Tibetan Govt-in-Exile. They also spy on Chinese dissidents, falun gong, Uighur dissidents and Taiwanese independence groups. The CCP uses Xinhua journalists as spies to gather intelligence. Congressman Rohrabacher has a bill to ban Xinhua journalists from the US since they engage in espionage. Please support this bill. We allow China to spread its propaganda in the USA but the CCP blocks VOA and RFA from reaching China, Tibet & Xinjiang.

  122. Also, with most, if not all, the computer hardwares are made in China. Now even software works are outsourced over there. It is getting easier and easier for Chinese to hack American agencies. Be prepared, dear NY Times.

  123. Makes one wonder if any, and if so, how many comments appearing in the Times in recent weeks, demanding Americans give up their Second Amendment rights, were in fact written by foreign sponsored disinformation operatives. Was it Kissinger who said, just
    because you're paranoid doesn't mean you don't have enemies?

  124. Americans need to educate themselves to understand that the 2A does not give consent or deny citizens the right to posses and use guns. The Founding Fathers never concerned themselves whether or not anyone could posses and use a gun, in 1789 everyone had a gun, for hunting and protection at least.

    At the time of the Constitution it was already settled law that we could posses and use a gun. As it was in 1650, in 1789 and in 2013.

    What the 2A does not prevent is that Americans can institute reasonable and effective gun regulations.

  125. That's an interesting idea. I wonder...

  126. It would be gun companies and the NRA that would want to flood comments with pro gun postings. They have the money. Less guns sold and less money for gun companies and the NRA who receives money from the gun companies. No one makes any money if there are less guns available. Gun owners may believe that they are lethal with their toys against a modern day military force but this is simply a delusion.

  127. The oligarchs of the CCP threaten americans and retaliate on american soil. its outrageous, and the USA just accepts it

  128. I wonder how long this has been going on. When I first started using the internet years ago I would occasionally be warned by my anti-virus program that an attempt was being made to hack into my computer. I had the option to find out roughly where this was coming from. Curiously, I exercised it and the report would almost always say it was coming from China. I thought it was some kind of screw up at the time since mine was a private home computer that I used in my business as an environmental consultant, but now I wonder. Were they practicing? Doing homework?

  129. The attack was not from a virus on the internet. Emails were sent. Press a button on the email and a program is loaded onto the computer. The program then has control of the computer. The program can use the internet to communicate with a computer of the attackers.

  130. Perhaps they were trying to, in a subliminal manner, tell you to recognize the entire southwestern pacific as being Chinese waters

  131. In the least three weeks, I have been hacked 12 times--10 of that came out of Romania, and twice out of China. I no publish books and the few articles I write are references to information that anyone can find if the person has the desire to do real research. Hacking stops serious scholars from any investigation, or they will end up victims of the Chinese or people like Aaron Swartz who felt that people have a right to intellectual property that sustains researchers, writers, publishers and more if it is available by subscription on-line. I reject this argument. Hacking is theft. It is stealing intellectual property, and when MIT decided to drop charges against Swartz, MIT hit private researchers as well as those funded by the government and university grants. There is no incentive to work when hackers roam freely on the internet.

  132. Reality check most cell phones are not secured can easly be traced an hacked, most computors can be hacked an arent very secured. If you need pay bill best you use postal service with check. On line banking is very risky better off going to bank an use cash only. Dont be fooled by how easy it is use risk isnt worth trouble . Goint to get alot more risky soon to use any kind credit cards too leave a digital sigature when you swipe them

  133. it's the Chinese Way!

  134. Kinda like the Chicago way.

  135. One hopes that when push comes to shove with the gangsters who run China that the Times is on the right side.

  136. china's leaders are looking out for their own interests and using the world's most advanced weapons to do it.

    people who choose to participate in the global information-sharing and don't learn how to defend themselves are going to become increasingly vulnerable.

  137. Isn't communism and socialism great? Certainly their great leaders would not swindle, extort, steal, and confiscate moneys and property from the people, for their motives are always pure. How could have a utopian state such as China allowed this to trasnpire. Oh I see. No sytem that allows the consolidation of such power in the hands of so few are exempt from corruption, greed, cronyism, power mongering and lawlessness. My God, this could have happened in America. Oh it did, even to the worshipped and naive NY Times. Welcome to the utopia you progressives are tryingt to create with the redistrubtion of weallth. Man, we are talking about a huge redistribution in this case. Who would have thunk it? LOL

  138. This has nothing to do with communism -- China is simply acting like any captalist industrialist who wants to spy on the competition. They're just better at it than most industrial spies in the US.

  139. You win today's game of Rhetorical Twister!

  140. What China did is inexcusable, but before you get too carried away, just remember one good 100% red blooded American name: J. Edgar Hoover, and his inexcusable surveillance on, well, who wasn't in one way or another, under surveillance?

  141. Yet another reason not to buy CCJ (Cheap Chinese Junk) at WalMart. Despicable action by the Chinese government. "You can't handle the truth!" came to mind when I read this article.

  142. I wonder about those who see this as a despicable action.

    Nations always use technology to try to obtain dominance and advantages.

  143. Kudos to NYT for taking a stand.

  144. Waiting for the movie release starring Brad PItt, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence. Maybe call it the "Hacker Games."

  145. How many of the compromised computers at the Times were running Linux or Mac OS X? My best guess is zero but I would be happy to be proven wrong.

    Assuming, however, that I am right, the failure to address this point is probably but another example of giving cover to the fundamentally insoluble vulnerabilities unique to Microsoft's operating systems. At the very least, the nature of the systems affected should be a leading point in the story, something made clear in the first or second paragraph.

  146. Your assumption is incorrect. If we were talking about script kiddies or moderate level attackers here, you might have a point about the availability of vulnerabilities for Windows vs. Mac or Linux. However, state actors like China have the resources to find vulnerabilities in any OS that are unknown to the rest of us. ("0-day vulnerabilities") Running Mac or Linux is not going to protect you from an attacker of this level of sophistication.

  147. To JG: If you know as a FACT that the Times' computers that were affected were running Linux and/or OS X, I'd very much appreciate it if you could point to a source that confirms this. And assuming you are correct (you haven't, unfortunately, convinced me with your non-specific response), the Times reporter still should have mentioned the operating systems that were involved (if only to show just how dangerous and advanced the Chinese hackers are).

  148. Ehhhh.... it seems to me that all the compromised computers at the Times were servers, but I could be wrong.

  149. If these "cyber-pranks" are so easily accomplished, should we not be more worried about "cyber-attacks" on American infrastructure such as power plants, hydro-electric dams, air traffic control systems, stock markets, etc.

  150. Put aside your urge to make this a political issue and ask yourself - Are we unable to build a secure computer network? Why don't we do it? I'm thinking, we don't do it because it would interfere with profits. If that's true, we should thank the Chinese for showing us how stupid we are.

  151. If the CIA commits war crimes and tortures detainees, do we protest by not buying Apple products?

    The logic of a lot of commenters here is absurd. Buying Chinese products or not has nothing to do with the Chinese Communist Party, which a lot of us agree is odious. Chinese products, however, come from Chinese freedom-loving entrepreneurs and hard-working people, not the government.

  152. Lefties hacking lefties !

  153. China can't stand the truth. But, the NY Times is not one iota different!

  154. Blaming, menacing, undermining, or harming the messenger for the message, may quite possibly be the earliest sign of a disintegrating regime.

    China has re-acquired it's ancient wealth, and it's wealth is being enjoyed only by few people who are in the higher echelons of the sole governing party, and they want to keep it a secret as long as they can. What they did to the website of The New York Times is a misplaced consequence of that frurstration.

    That frustration is perhaps an indicator of the disintegration of the current Chinese regime.

  155. Outsourcing to China should be stopped. There are plenty of unemployed people in our neighboring countries in Latin America, not to mention in our own country, who need work Most of the multitude of widgets now made almost entirely in China could be made closer to home. We are feeding a militaristic giant and are borrowing from it to fund our unnecessary and endless wars and the ravenous appetite of the military-industrial complex. The dictatorial leaders of China, who are obviously preaching communism and practicing the most blatant form of self-promoting capitalism, along with human rights abuses, are not good partners in the world economy.

  156. I predict the future will show the two most valuable things will be anonymity and drinking water! Al other things will be second to them.

  157. Unfortunately, this looks like a dialectical spiral. Slowly but surely the U.S. internet will transform itself into a "privatized" mirror image of the Chinese internet. Only here, on this side of the firewalls, the restrictions will not be used to increase state security, but profits. All of us will have to pay more and more of our monthly incomes to maintain "secure" or "privatized" access to increasingly necessary information.

  158. This confirms that China means the free world harm, by attacking NYT reporters' computers to protect the financial interest of one man. If China ran the world, then it would be more like a crime syndicate, with a mob boss, than a fountain of democracy. China's actions goes against the norms of modern civilization.

  159. I'm more alarmed by the snarky comments coming from people equating the Times with communism than Chinese hackers. American paranoids and right-wing fanatics are a far greater problem than Chinese spies.

  160. 6 of one....

  161. Why would the Chinese want to hack the NY Times in the first place. It is just a mouthpiece for the DNC and obama who are buddies of the Chinese communists.

  162. One thing we can be sure of, Fox News will never be subject to hackers concerned about well executed investigative reporting.

  163. Thank goodness the Times is not owned by Rupert Murdoch.

    Come to think of it, how is the coverage of China across town at that other bastion of journalism, the WSJ?

    It's one thing to be vulnerable to cyberattack. It's quite a different thing to be vulnerable to commercial influence.

  164. Not so bad or surprising really. The Times has a tremendous number of blind spots about itself; it stands to reason that it's internal securities are similarly out of whack. By the way, how did those 30 layoffs of high level editors go? Maybe if you acted like a 4th estate and grilled Obama like Breitbart.com does, you'd have the revenue to hire some competent IT techs.

    Note to Chinese hackers now reading this: Americans don't look to the Times to tell them what is going on in the world. Just go ahead and do your thing, you don't need America. We're on the decline, thanks to places like the Times.

  165. I'm shocked - shocked - that the Chinese regime would wage a cyber attack on the NYT after the paper reported that its leadership is a kleptocracy. Honestly, did you expect their agents to simply sit back and let those news reports go unchallenged, beyond a simple denial? They are like every other corrupt leadership that has ever existed -- they simply will stop at nothing to preserve and enhance their power. And the only way to confront any power is with power (keep that in mind, gun debaters.)

    I am delighted that we have traded with China so much over last generation that we have brought 300 million of their peasants out of poverty. Enjoy your microwaves and big-screen TVs!

    But as I read of today's China -- of female babies left on mountainsides to die, of other babies run over by traffic in the streets as citizens walk on by, of milk producers adding poisons to increase their profits, of environmental pollution so bad there's not a machine that can measure it, of Orwellian nonsense spoken for decades by every public leader they've ever had, of a country that controls a sadistic WWIII -creating little regime on its border -- well, it's hard to have any sense of reverence or respect.

  166. It seems clear that what they were after were names of informants. All organized crime syndicates are obsessed with "rats" in their midst. An email from an unfortunate Chinese bureaucrat would land that person in the next batch of made-in-China dog food.

  167. Or perhaps they were trying to determine if the NYT had secured any info by hacking into Chinese computers.

  168. Ahhh so, so its the chinese who have infected the editorial section of the newspaper and make it so pro Obama the paper has lost all intellectual integrity?

  169. The quote, from a publication in the 90's, still resonates with me: China says "We will control the United States by feeding their greed."

  170. No, the mainland Chinese government is not embarrassed by this attack.
    Yes they will do it again, expect more of it, and expect more aggressive cyber attacks.
    Let me put it simply so we all know where we stand: this is a warning shot, equivalent to a shot over the bow in old style military.
    I don't even begin to doubt my computer has been infected.

  171. Even the Chinese now consider the NYT the masters of propaganda - they're obviously stealing tips...

  172. Americans need to wake up and understand that the internet is not a computer system but a communication system.

    Imagine World War II in America where those of other nations could take over control of the American communication system of telephones and telegraphs during World War II. No one in government could use these communication systems in the United States during World War II. The military would have to use runners and carrier pigeons simply to contact those on military bases in the United States.

    Our nation is totally dependent upon the internet communication system of the United States but the United States has no ability to regulate or protect that system. Everything is simply left to private companies. Americans will scream it is an infringement on their rights if the government becomes involved.

  173. Hoping that American will wake up and realize that the internet is a communication system is definitely a Hail Mary when you consider that one of the House Committee members who oversees the system regards it as a "series of tubes".

    Of course there is a loud outcry to leave it to the private sector because the people voting for these series of tubes have been bought and paid for by the people pushing stuff down the tubes for profit. "We need more stuff for the tubes!!"

  174. Laws respecting and protecting intellectual property need to be strengthened. Politically and socially I am liberal, but liberal does not mean being stupid and allowing anyone to enter my computer and steal my research. The action of a hacker is blatant theft.

  175. This is not to contest your point, but there would be no Internet as we know it, for better or for worse, had it not been for the US Government. For that matter, in large swaths of the nation, there would be no electricity.

  176. A fascinating chapter in what promises to be a long and juicy saga of how China maintains power.

    Great reporting like this increases my confidence in our own system.

    I have to believe that despite our habit of airing our dirty laundry and then fixing what's wrong, albeit imperfectly, has got to be better than the corruption and paranoia that drives the Chinese political structure.

  177. I was going to write something nasty about the Chinese Govt, but I'm too worried about being hacked.

  178. China is not fooling the people who live there, though. Most of my Chinese students tell me that the government is always cracking down, censoring, but the people understand that this is just a game and (at least for my students who are studying here in the U.S.) they find the truth through many 'underground' sources. It's a bit like cat and mouse.

  179. Ironic how many of these comments are probably written from Chinese manufactured apple products. Why not make a statement and throw that Foxconn manufactured IPhone out the window?...thought so

  180. I suggest that in the future the nyt simply not publish anything that could put china or the chinese government in a bad light. You know, the same kind of editorial policy that already operates in regard to islam in general.

  181. Let me see if i understand this. If China hacks that's bad, evil, unfair, criminal, and all things malevolent. If the USA hacks that's good and all things just and fair. Thank you NYT for straightening out this moral dilemma about good and evil. You folks sure clear up a murky world for us readers.

  182. If MacArthur had his way, we wouldn't be in this mess now...

  183. NY Times seems to be missing a major point here. By participating in this Chinese in-fight, the NY Times has been taken advantage of as weapon of mass destruction. NY Times took the side of extreme left Maoists in China by attacking Wen. In my opinion, the Times shall never take sides on this -- as it's hard to imagine any high official in China is clean.

    The political war in China means life and death (ask Wen Qiang, who was prosecuted and executed by Bo Xilai to gain political advantage).

    The "leak" about Wen to the Times coincided with the fall of Bo Xilai himself. Bo, who represents the extreme left Maoists in China, has his followers. If one knows a little more about the ins and outs of Chinese politics, there is a good chance Bo's supporters might be involved in Wen's smudge campaign, which, unfortunately, the Times eagerly participated in.

  184. It is obviously a full time job to keep a web server running when you are actually reporting the news. This host does provide a service to writers here.

  185. How long will the United States government sit idly by while cyber terrorists and data thieves hack in to our countries most important institutions and threaten our countries long term viability?

  186. National Security or National Curiousity about events neither the Times nor the readership will effectively change?

    While "conflict" and "controversy" are indeed elements of journalism, the need for "commonsense" seems to be perpetually lost on the NYT and some readers.

    As with Pussy Riot and Human Rights, we can talk about fairness or we can talk about resources (such as iridium) and the economy, which keep Americans fat, dumb, and (un)happy.

  187. NYTimes, please continue with the good work. It takes a free press to confront the corruption and power abuse in every society.

  188. As a journalist disappointed in journalism I thought the original piece was earthshaking.

    So, obviously, did Chinese leadership.

    I would like to know what other repercussions it had; as I recall, it came out one week before the leaders of the party divied up ruling slots for the next decade.

    And I applaud the Times using its weapon in response -- a barrage of exposure, yes,Truth to Tyranny, which unfortunately can only safely by done at great distances.

    Chinese tanks can't reach Times' Square.

    Perhaps it is not hopeless to imagine that this shaming is enough even to make communist power holders blush?

    As Orwell witnessed in Spain, professional communists are capable of doing almost anything without remorse. Secrecy and no balance to their power allow that. But until they become more human the path they are on will remain sickly to the more civilized. That's one of their problems: They damn socialism.

    And we, of course, have our own problems, no more evident than the gamut an honest man like Obama's nominee for defense secretary, Hagel, must run before venal senators, today. Also on the front page.

    However, in the wake of the last election and the new Obama's courage, old fans of America like myself, are certainly much more optimistic about our country's future than five years ago. Chapeau!

  189. China loves North Korea. Our focus on North Korea keeps us from worrying about China. We should be very worried about both countries. North Korea for it's insanity, and China because they have more of what we worship - money, blind ambition, and absolute power.

  190. I put together some stuff, referred to as inventions, & even submitted one out of six of these things to the USPTO. However, I needed motors and the U.S. motor makers' prices were to costly I would not be able to produce the product nor any of the others. So, it was China or shelve the whole thing. The first thing that happened was the desire of the manufacture in China to know what I wanted the motors for, which essentially is a reasonable request, except for one thing, I had asked several people that have dealt with China who said, "they'll steal the idea in a heartbeat no matter what they say." In other words, what we have here is an economic war. Okay, so who is responsible for them being empowered and bolder and wanting to rule the world? American corporations whose CEO's (many of them psychopaths or who adopt the mindset of the psychopath) who pay themselves (Yes, they do, they tell the accounting office what they want and over 90% of the time they get what the request, fair? The wolf is in the henhouse.) So, because of greed, stupidity & an inability to foresee or not care by those who didn't think twice about eliminating jobs here, just so they could look good and make more money, for themselves, we have what we have, a country that is not ethical and will do anything to win, well, hopefully, almost . It wasn't intelligent to invite China as a trading partner, it was foolish. The hacker thing isn't surprising, but it's the CEO's who brought this on.

  191. You want to know why Symantec didn't catch any of the Chinese malware? Easy - they didn't write it! Symantec only catches the malware they wrote or derivatives of it.

    Don't use Windows, do a little research, secure you computer and you'll never miss Symantec.

  192. It's monster created by the insecure, greedy West.Now it goes everything the West stands for, it's interests,( West's). The values, the freedom, freedom of expression, human rights , copy rights.The way China acts, it seems it is

    a very insecure country.It goes after every single individual whom it thinks is threat to the ruling elites. There is no checks and balances. China's very next neighboring country, India,people go out in the streets to demonstrate , day in day out on all the issues, beside right to vote. Do you think it could happen in China in any foreseeable future? The West has sold the very rope to China with which the West is going to be hanged.

  193. Having read the article in question concerning Mr Wen's lining the pockets of his family members Mr Barboza showed Mr Wen as unscrupulous not criminal. It is generally known around the world, and certainly in China, that Mr Wen was involved in chronyistic activities. The attempt to find out how Mr Barboza got specific information concerning what Mr Wen was doing shows how sensitive Chinese rulers are to the letting out their venal personal secrets.

  194. Interesting to note that all this work was done and yet no "sensitive" information was compromised? How many folks really believe that whopper? No hacker would penetrate a target system to that level and not access sensitive data.

  195. It depends on whether or not the Times has sensitive information on an intranet that isn't connected to the internet. They might not have it available externally. If you unplug your router from your cable modem, your computers are no longer accessible to the world but they can still communicate back and forth to each other. They also can't get "out" to the world.

    So yeah, it's possible.

  196. Proof that those who head China remain thugs, not leaders.

  197. Totally agree.

  198. Don't think for 1 second you can keep these guys out. They are known as APT for a reason. It is trivial for them to break in. If you allow your employees to use the Internet, you cannot and will not keep them out. The only real question is do you have something of interest to them? There is no Fortune 10000 company that can keep them out given today's poor computing security model. Mainframes with dumb terminals and no Internet were secure. This client/server distributed computing model is wraught with security issues that advanced intruders will easily take advantage of.
    You are only kidding yourself if you think otherwise.


  199. Eventually I suppose they will just buy the NYT and control it that way.

  200. Does this mean that the NY Times will now start articles and editorials on the importance to the United States of once again becoming dominant in computer technology?

    There is a severe shortage of Americans with expertise in computer technology. Not much incentive for an expensive education in a field where the jobs can disappear overnight when they are sent offshore.

    Acquiring the expertise to build weapons can cost billions while it is very inexpensive to acquire the expertise to access the computer systems of those seen as enemies or competitors.

    Remember the days when a NY Times columnist advocated it was so great to offshore to China the jobs of American programmers. Big surprise that the Chinese were able to build so much expertise in the field of computer technology.

  201. One more example of why the US needs a comprehensive, coordinated cybersecurity plan. Last year's cybersecurity bill may not have provided all of the answers, but the status quo is not acceptable.

  202. What makes you think we don't have one? Or that we don't have a cyperwarfare program in full and effective operation, and have had for years?

    Because we don't make it public?

    A bit naive, I think.

  203. What's the point, do they think that they can rewrite the truth.

  204. Gee, it looks like diplomacy is not the only medium for war by other means.

  205. I find it interesting that our corporations have no problem whatsoever getting into bed with China. I feel they (corporations like Apple) would sell their souls for profit. If they have not already. Many people have lost sight of the fact that China is a communist country and is really, under it all, our enemy. And it shows....

  206. This hacking may account for some of the unbelievable comments from gun rights people that based their arguments against gun control on the comparisons to gun deaths that were lesser than vehicular deaths, tobacco related deaths, and deaths from malpractice in hospitals across the nation.

  207. So the Times itself was hacked, its computer systems infiltrated, and its data stolen. The Times is to be complimented on its forthright and informative reporting on the episode.

    But I also hope the Times learns a lesson from this: anyone can be hacked. Perhaps the tone of your future reporting on security breaches that take place at other institutions can be a bit more understanding and less self-righteous than your articles have sometimes been in the past. Newspapers that publish from glass houses should be careful about how forcefully they throw stones at others.

    Also, a bit more detail on what happened would be useful, so that others can learn. Did all the computer systems involved run Windows, or were Linux and/or Macintosh systems also affected?

  208. "Did all the computer systems involved run Windows, or were Linux and/or Macintosh systems also affected?"

    Doesn't matter, any of these can be hacked.

  209. I find it interesting that all of the reporters' passwords were hacked. Either the Times uses a 2 cent password hashing system (not that surprising in the new corporate world of IT being often outsourced to the cheapest provider), or the hacking was just social engineering type...

  210. Good to hear this was detected and exposed. While it appears it cannot be said for certain this was a government attack, we should note that per the article government officials indicated that there would be "consequences" for NYT reporting on Chinese leaders' vast fortunes. Moreover, hackers seemingly passed on what would be an amazing feat - shutting down the NYT during an election - to pursue the Wen case more deeply (i.e. by finding potential information sources).

    Was it simply a "human flesh search" - or were government officials looking for people to beat up, put on house arrest, in labor camps, mental wards, etc? I find it difficult to believe that netizens on Weibo are interested in covering up for the highly corrupt Chinese Communist Party.

  211. Just while reading these comments I got a "Java Security Alert" prompting me to install a certificate whose details wouldn't load. I declined. Everyone who posts to the Times would be well-advised to change their passwords as there is no reason to not think the attacks include not just the Times computers and reporters, but its readers as well.

    The Chinese are probably installing malware all over our government, corporate, and personal computers. Imagine if they pull the trigger and disable everything. Worst case scenario, once they take us over, they'll have our names on lists and put us in gulags.

    Networked computing is the wild west of the 21st century. The only way to stay private is to disconnect. I love the Internet, I hate the Internet!

  212. Thanks for this great investigative article! Great job, NYT!

    This should serve a reminder for everyone that China will do whatever it takes to cover the truth from their own people (at least). And China doesn't care about collateral damage: they even had the nerve to warn you about "consequences".