China Journalists Target of Internet Virus
Sep 21, 2009
UPDATE: Just added a description of where the virus is found and how well targeted it is.
UPDATE 2: Mainstream media picked up on the story (which is about mainstream media!) with a story by Reuters.
The Shanghai Foreign Correspondents’ Club just sent out a warning to members that their news assistants are being targeted by malicious email purporting to offer work.
Apparently the underpaid, overworked assistants are seen as easy prey working as freelance fixers.
Who is trying to spread this virus? Not clear, but the failed Green Dam project, certainly tells us that government officials like the idea of installing spyware onto computers.
Here is the text of the warning to correspondents:
FCC has received several reports that correspondents’ news assistants are being targeted with email viruses. The senders were purportedly from the media organisations’ head offices. We would like to advise extra caution when opening such e-mail.
Here is one such recent example:
/> I am the economics editor of The XXX newspaper. I plan to be in
/> Beijing October 2nd, (arriving late evening) to research the annual
/> world economy survey.
/> I wonder if someone can help me fix up some interviews.
/> I attach a list of people I would like to meet with. I would be happy
/> with just 6-7 interviews during my stay, so don’t worry if some of
/> them are away. If a lot of my chosen economists are unavailable, I
/> will have a few more names.
/> I think that they are all Chinese speakers, but please check for me as
/> I find that discussing technical economics through a translator does
/> not work very well.
/> I will be staying at the China World Hotel, No. 1 Jian Guo Men Wai Avenue .
/> From past experience, it would be good if meetings could be grouped to
/> minimise getting stuck in bad traffic!
/> The subject I am researching is the implications for the world
/> economy, and in particular the developed economies, of the increasing
/> global importance of China, India and the other emerging economies.
/> How is the increased
/> weight in the world of emerging economies affecting growth rates, jobs,
/> wages, profits, commodity prices, inflation, interest rates, asset
/> prices, capital flows and exchange rates? Who will be the winners and
/> losers in this new
/> Please let me know if you need any more information.
/> And thank you in advance for helping me arange my trip.
/> Best regards
((end of example))
UPDATE FROM A CORRESPONDENT:
We have been getting several of this mails during the last days and. And I would really like to know who is behind all this, today’s mail looks quite well prepared and as sent to my assistant’s private mail address, which not many people are supposed to know.