Chinese Whiz Kid Exposes Govt. Hacking

    In this Nov. 7, 2012 photo, U.S. and Chinese national flags are hung outside a hotel during the U.S. Presidential election event, organized by the U.S. embassy in Beijing. As public evidence mounts that the Chinese military is responsible for stealing massive amounts of U.S. government data and corporate trade secrets, the Obama administration is eyeing fines and other trade actions it may take against Beijing or any other country guilty of cyberespionage. The Chinese government, meanwhile, has denied involvement in the cyber-attacks tracked by Mandiant. Instead, the Foreign Ministry said that China, too, is a victim of hacking, some of it traced to the U.S. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei cited a report by an agency under the Ministry of Information Technology and Industry that said in 2012 alone that foreign hackers used viruses and other malicious software to seize control of 1,400 computers in China and 38,000 websites. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    Andy Wong/AP, file

    A 25-year-old “whiz kid” and government hacker in China is providing a sneak peak into the highly secretive hacking establishment of the Chinese military—one of the most sophisticated in the world. Wang, as the young man is known, details the “prisonlike conditions” of his job on a blog he named Prison Break, after his favorite American TV show. Led by the People's Liberation Army, the hacking unit is run like a government agency, with employees paid little, forced to wear uniforms, and monitored almost constantly. The intimate look at China’s hacking program comes as U.S. concerns about cyber-espionage have reached a new high. Officials claimed Tuesday that cyber-attacks are now more of a threat to America’s security than al Qaeda. 

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