Feeds

Chinese Green Dam pilfers open source too

No filth, no BSD license

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

After claims that China's "Green Dam" filtering app includes code pirated from an American software maker, it should come as no surprise that the People's Republic censorshipware is also using open-source code without displaying the proper license.

According to multiple coders at Sourceforge, the Green Dam Youth Escort package - which the Chinese government wants loaded onto all PCs sold within the People's Republic - includes code from the OpenCV computer vision library. But its developer - Jinhui Computer System Engineering - seems to have deleted the BSD license document that should be included when OpenCV code is reused.

"It can be observed that Green Dam uses OpenCV's Haar classifier in undergoing human face detection. Included with Green Dam [are] cximage.dll, CImage.dll, xcore.dll and Xcv.dll, also library files from OpenCV," reads a post from one developer. "This all suggests that Green Dam primarily uses OpenCV to process images. However, as is done with much of domestic Chinese software, Green Dam has disregarded OpenCV's BSD license."

Meanwhile, US software maker Solid Oak is seeking injunctions against Jinhui Computer System Engineering and US-based PC manufacturers that may ship the software under orders from Beijing. Solid Oak claims that Green Dam code uses DLLs tagged with the name of its CyberSitter application and actually makes calls back to Solid Oak servers.

According to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan, Green Dam also includes security vulnerabilities that would allow any website visited to take control of the user's PC.

Green Dam works to identify images, text, and urls visited by net surfers, and if they match blacklisted items, they're blocked. According to The New York Times, the Chinese government is demanding that the software be loaded on all new machines starting July 1. The package is called Green Dam because Beijing likes to associate a filth-free internet with greenness. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.