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Chinese Govt. loosely implicated in credit info heist

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Keyword search outfit RealNames reports that it's been hacked by a malicious intruder who gained access to thousands of its customers' credit card details. The intruder compromised not only account numbers, but "names, addresses, expiry dates...in other words, all the information needed to use them to commit fraud," RealNames CEO Keith Teare said in an interview today. The breach came to light when RealNames users were routed to 188.net, a site published in Chinese. The intruder appears to be located in China, but whether he or she is affiliated with the Web site is not known. The Chinese government is rumoured to be affiliated with the site, however, which has raised speculation that the Chinese military is developing and rehearsing cyber-terror and cyber-warfare tactics. No doubt it is, and quite enthusiastically, but we think it highly unlikely that this incident is related. The People's Liberation Army would be fools to show their hand, and undoubtedly hack only their own networks while training for World War III. The intruder's intentions are still unclear, and so far none of the credit cards in question appears to have been used fraudulently. The FBI is taking time out from its busy schedule of pursuing last week's DDoS attacker to investigate. ®

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