Evidence Points To Chinese Government Hackers Spreading Mobile Malware

Yikes. In the past few months, the threat of hacks originating from high-up sources in China has gone from essentially nothing to nearly weekly. Regardless of whether nefarious Internet acts were coming from China in the past, it has only recently become a mainstream issue. With the U.S. and Chinese governments trading blows and exchanging blame, a new Forbes report suggests that Chinese government hackers could be responsible for spreading Android malware. It sounds like something that could only happen in an HBO plot, but it's seemingly realm.

A report released Monday by the Citizen Lab, shows that "Tibetan activists are being targeted with sophisticated malware designed to infect Android phones, allowing the malware’s operator to steal the user’s contacts and messages, and track his or her location." Citizen Lab director Ron Deibert had this to say: "We don’t have a smoking gun that this is the Chinese government. But let’s face it. When you add it all up, there’s really only one kind of organization for whom this information is useful. And we know that the Chinese have a very strong interest in tracking Tibetans, so it’s a strong set of circumstantial evidence."

Lhadon Tethong, director of the Tibet Action Institute, added: "From a Tibetan point of view, we assume these attacks are coming either directly or indirectly from the Chinese government. This is a problem we’ve faced for a long time [with PCs], but with the use of smart phones everyone is carrying a computer in their pocket. For the Chinese government, it’s the easiest way to do all of their surveillance. It’s clear that Chinese authorities want to disrupt our work and make us spend time on this kind of thing rather than the work of advocacy or organizing. These mobile attacks are newer. And they’re very alarming."

Something tells us this won't be the last report we hear of coming from those with good reason to blame China.