Feeds

PRISM snitch claims NSA hacked Chinese targets since 2009

Snowden suddenly looks safer in Hong Kong after revelations

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

PRISM snitch Edward Snowden now claims to have data which proves the NSA has been hacking hundreds of civilian targets in China and Hong Kong since 2009.

Public officials, businesses and students as well as the Chinese University of Hong Kong were among the targets in the former British colony, Snowden told the South China Morning Post.

The former information security engineer at defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (the firm just fired him) showed the paper unverified documents purporting to reveal attacks on Hong Kong and mainland targets.

“We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” he told the paper.

However, Chinese military targets apparently weren’t among those shown in the data and there’s no additional info in the story about exactly what level of access these attacks gave the NSA.

Snowden claimed his new revelations were designed to expose “the hypocrisy of the US government when it claims that it does not target civilian infrastructure, unlike its adversaries”.

However, it should come as no great surprise that US security forces are actively monitoring and gathering intelligence on targets in China and around the world, although it comes at an awkward moment for the Obama administration as it tries to persuade the PRC to tone down its prolific government-sponsored IP theft.

Snowden's allegations should play well locally inasmuch as he wants to resist extradition to the US, despite a long-standing bilateral agreement between Washington and Hong Kong meaning barriers to his deportation are low.

Whether he is now an attractive enough asset for Beijing to want to keep hold of remains to be seen, but there is growing support for him on both sides of the Pacific.

Over 65,000 Americans have signed a White House petition calling for Snowden to be pardoned, while in Hong Kong a rally will be held in support of him in Chater Garden this Saturday.

If the locals rally around Snowden in big enough numbers as a kind of cause celebre of free speech then it may become even trickier for Washington to displace him. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.