It was more than Liu Xiaobo's chair that was empty at Thursday's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. What was also on display to the world was China's lack of a new approach to media that goes beyond its decades-old approach of controlling through denial and suppression.
Nart Villeneuve has published a detailed summary of recent malware attacks on media and human rights groups who work on Chinese issues. He highlights a disturbing new trend. On Wednesday, Amnesty Hong Kong's website was repurposed by hackers to infect visitors with a wide variety of nasty malware. The Nobel Prize's website was also defaced earlier this month, for the same ends.
As with the e-mailed Nobel invite malware CPJ described earlier this week, these attacks target one vulnerable member of the dissident community, then use that person's own communications to infect others.
If you're an organization whose audience in China is of interest to the authorities, please take extra care with the security of your website. As Villeneuve says, even if this spate of attacks ebbs, attacking online news sites to spread targeted spyware is a trend that is bound to continue.
New York, October 8, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Chinese government to end its pointless attempts to block the news by blacking out domestic and foreign media coverage of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's announcement awarding jailed human rights activist Liu Xiaobo the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
According to foreign news agencies' reports from China, news of the award is almost non-existent in
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.