A spectre is haunting the innernette… the spectre of Chinese hackers!?! According to The New York Times, yes, that is in fact what is happening. And none of us are safe. That means you, your mother, the Dalai Lama — nobody. Although I think we can forgive the Chinese for their fascination with how many episodes of “The Wire” His Holiness has illegally downloaded, the cause for alarm over this massively pervasive and largely undetected digital wetworks known as GhostNet is real and it sounds like the plot for the next abysmal 007 film.
While you let how cool that sounds sink into your brain, consider this as well:
The malware is remarkable both for its sweep — in computer jargon, it has not been merely “phishing” for random consumers’ information, but “whaling” for particular important targets — and for its Big Brother-style capacities. It can, for example, turn on the camera and audio-recording functions of an infected computer, enabling monitors to see and hear what goes on in a room. The investigators say they do not know if this facet has been employed.
Great. In addition to not knowing if we’re going to have a job or not tomorrow, we must also deal with the very real and very frightening prospect that, at any given moment, a Chinese man is watching you sing along to the Jonas Brothers. Fucking Thomas Friedman…