China's Mandated Site-Blocking SW is Pirated

We wrote earlier about China's new censorship moves with regards to PCs, mandating that new PCs there have site-blocking software installed, or at least provided via an included CD. Ironically, though not surprisingly, it turns out that the filtering software, "Green Dam-Youth Escort," contains pirated code.

According to Solid Oak Software, the makers of CyberSitter, one of the more popular Internet-filtering programs, not only does Green Dam look similar to CyberSitter, it uses DLLs identified with CyberSitter, and even gets updates from Solid Oak's servers.

Piracy?  A Chinese company stealing intellectual property?  No way...

CYBERsitter - Solid Oak Software

Green Dam - Software

Seriously, not only does the software use pirated code, a University of Michigan study shows that the software contains security vulnerabilities.

The good thing is, the software needn't be installed on PCs bought in China; the OEM merely has to provide a CD with the installable image. Additionally, the software is uninstallable, although the University of Michigan study notes that it leaves the log files behind, so even after uninstalling, historical user activity can be ascertained.

An interesting conundrum, however. Since the Green Dam program contains CyberSitter code, any OEM providing the code on or with their computers would be facilitating piracy. Of course, if they don't do so, they won't be able to sell to China. Ooof.