If you’ve seen the TV series "Person of Interest," then you might recall that during the opening narration from Season One, Harold Finch would say, “You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know because I built it. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror but it sees everything.”
I was reminded of that when I saw a GIF that appears as if it could be a Chinese version of the show. It is a CCTV clip showing current surveillance in China. Thanks to artificial intelligence, China’s sadly named “Sky Net” system demonstrates just how creepy real-time surveillance can be.Read more
China plans to ban trading of bitcoin and other virtual currencies on domestic exchanges, dealing another blow to the $150 billion cryptocurrency market after the country outlawed initial coin offerings last week.
The ban will only apply to trading of cryptocurrencies on exchanges, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information is private. Authorities don’t have plans to stop over-the-counter transactions, the people said. China’s central bank said it couldn’t immediately comment. Bitcoin slumped on Friday after Caixin magazine reported China’s plans, capping the virtual currency’s biggest weekly retreat in nearly two months.Read more
China's new cybersecurity law will enable its government to discover potential security vulnerabilities of any company doing business in the country, threat intelligence firm Recorded Future warns.
The law grants the China Information Technology Evaluation Center, an office in the Ministry of State Security, the power to request source code and other intellectual property of tech suppliers operating in the country. Information gleaned might easily be exploited by CNITSEC in furtherance of its intelligence operations. Director of strategic threat development at the firm reckons the measures place companies between a rock and a hard place.Read more
More bad news for folks in China. Chinese internet users will no longer be able to post comments online anonymously as of Oct. 1. The new ruling is the latest in the government's move to tighten control over internet usage in the country.
Sites like social networks and discussion forums will have to verify the real identities of registered users before they can be allowed to post anything on their platforms. Comments on news stories will also have to be reviewed by the website before they can appear online. For example, Zhihu, a Quora-like discussion site, has already started asking users to verify their identities.Read more
China has launched a digital "cyber-court" to help deal with a rise in the number of internet-related claims.
The Hangzhou Internet Court opened on Friday and heard its first case - a copyright infringement dispute between an online writer and a web company. Legal agents in Hangzhou and Beijing accessed the court via their computers and the trial lasted 20 minutes. The court's focus will be civil cases, including online shopping disputes. Judges were sworn in and the first case was presented on a large screen in the courtroom. Defendants and plaintiffs appear before the judge not in person, but via video-chat.Read more
China has demonstrated a world first by sending data over long distances using satellites which is potentially unhackable, laying the basis for next generation encryption based on so-called "quantum cryptography."
Last August, China launched a quantum satellite into space, a move which was called a "notable advance" by the Pentagon. Using this satellite, Chinese researchers at the Quantum Experiments at Space Scale project, were able to transmit secret messages from space to Earth at a further distance than ever before. The technology is called quantum key distribution. Typical encryption relies on traditional mathematics.Read more
We could be just five years away from a space-based quantum communication network. We are dependent on digital tools for almost every aspect of our daily lives, which means we also rely on two fundamental technologies: satellites and encryption.
Satellites are used for everything from GPS to television to processing credit card data, and encryption protocols are integral not only to communicating with these satellites, but also for matters as private as personal medical records, or as mundane as texting your friends. The problem is that the advent of quantum computing threatens to render current methods of encryption obsolete.Read more
The notion of “the privacy of your own home” may be becoming a thing of the past. Cheap software has reportedly spread in the Chinese Internet, allowing web-connected cameras and home surveillance devices to be infiltrated.
Virtually anyone can buy the hacking software for just $28 with an attached list of IP addresses and a manual on how to use the malware, China’s CCTV broadcaster reported after conducting an investigation. The malware scans for internet-connected webcams, giving its buyers easy access to them. The tool has recently spread in Chinese online chat rooms, along with usernames and passwords to affected devices.Read more
Sometimes, it's not external hackers that pose a threat to your privacy -- it's people in the supply chain hoping to make some cash on the side. Police in China's Zhejiang province have arrested 22 (apparently third-party) Apple distributors for allegedly selling iPhone user data.
Officials say the workers searched an internal Apple database for sensitive info, such as Apple IDs and phone numbers, and peddled it on the black market for between $1.50 to $26. All told, the distributors reportedly raked in about $7.36 million, before authorities stepped in. It's not clear how many people are affected by the bootleg sales, or how many of the victims live outside of China.Read more
The authors of the WannaCry malware are probably from the southern mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore, according to a US intelligence company. Forensic linguistic analysis on the malware suggested it was written by native Chinese-speaking people with southern accents.
In a report on its website, Flashpoint, which provides global business-risk intelligence, said it came to the conclusion with “high confidence”. Earlier reports based on code analysis suggested North Korean programmers at work. The WannaCry malware locked up data on infected computers and displayed a message in 28 languages demanding a ransom for restoration of the data.Read more