Print 57 comment(s) - last by Hyperion1400.. on Jun 30 at 10:55 AM

Chinese software may contain stolen code from U.S. software developer

China's internet-filtering program which is designed to help ensure Chinese internet users aren't looking at crude material may actually contain pirated code stolen from a U.S. software company.

U.S.-based Solid Oak Software said some of its code from CyberSitter has been found inside the Chinese internet-filtering program China hopes to use.  CyberSitter's technology apparently includes a "list of terms to be blocked, instructions for updating the software, and an old news bulletin promoting CyberSitter," according to a recent Wall Street Journal news article.

University of Michigan researchers confirmed that a blacklist of terms is used by the Chinese-based software, though further independent verification is expected next week.  Researchers also discovered several vulnerabilities that could lead to a user's PC being hijacked by using this new custom software that will be mandatory for all PCs sold in China.

The product from Solid Oak Software is designed to be a filter for parents to monitor and block sites their children may use, with the Chinese government effectively doing the same thing.  

"That's impossible," according to Jinhui founder Bryan Zhang, responding to Solid Oak's accusations.

Solid Oak is unsure how to move forward, as it's unlikely company officials would be able to have any influence on the Chinese government.  

China is well known for censoring and blocking content over the internet, though talks of this filtering software has drawn another round of criticism towards Chinese government officials.  The country has more than 250 million internet users and has strict controls on what citizens may look at, with this latest software aimed at blocking out pornography and other illicit content, Chinese officials said.

Even though somewhat tech-savvy PC users are able to use internet proxies to view political sites and other content shunned by the government, the new software to be installed on PCs will keep the content blocked even if a person tries to use a proxy.

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They should
By Belard on 6/15/2009 9:05:35 AM , Rating: 3
Those 250 million Chinese Internet users should vote those people out of office. Who chooses their govt. over there?

Oh yeah... nevermind.

RE: They should
By Hieyeck on 6/15/2009 9:13:52 AM , Rating: 1
You laugh at the Chinese, yet China's economy is still growing in this "global" recession.

They must be doing something right.

RE: They should
By Goty on 6/15/2009 9:26:26 AM , Rating: 5
Yes, because economic growth is the one and only indicator of a successful government.


RE: They should
By Hieyeck on 6/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: They should
By The0ne on 6/15/2009 11:58:12 AM , Rating: 5
Personally, I think most are mostly happy because most don't give a shit until it affects them somehow and someway. China is so full of corruption it's not even funny; most are right in your face when walking down streets. If most do give a shit I don't think the government or most of its officials will still be there. But they really don't care. How can they? The government locks up influential people during the Tienanmen event and no one gets upset because they are doing this? Bunch of wusses if you ask me.

And just because they are seeing growth still doesn't mean there aren't troubles in China due to the depression going on. That tiny percentage of people that got laid off is probably more than the combined US figures. Hell, even the government is trying to control potential rights and what not due to the massive unemployment.

And while I do see the middle class growing they are very very small. The benefits of these economic "growth" goes to the rich. The poor stay down where they are. Wages and salary don't change, working hours remain the same and management is just a poor as ever.

But like you said, numbers really don't do this country any justice. One MUST visit this place to fully enjoy and vomit at it's state. I was at the enjoyment stage but heading quickly down the vomit stage as I learn more and more about this growing country on my visits.

RE: They should
By unableton on 6/16/2009 9:33:08 AM , Rating: 2
And while I do see the middle class growing they are very very small. The benefits of these economic "growth" goes to the rich. The poor stay down where they are.

I disagree with your analysis here. While income inequality has increased greatly in China since economic liberalization has been somewhat implemented, income is growing rapidly across all of the income distribution. The situation for the poor in China is better than ever before. Poverty headcounts are lower than they have ever been (approximately halfed in both rural and urban areas in just 15 years). It is also worth noting that increased income inequality is usually normal in developing countries and falls in later stages of development. What China needs to do, and seems to be making a decent enough effort in, is reducing inequality of opportunity. 9 year compulsory education even in rural areas is one such improvement that comes to mind.

RE: They should
By Goty on 6/15/2009 12:49:57 PM , Rating: 5
If the Chinese are mostly happy, it's because they don't know any better (censorship, anybody?). As for Chinese spoiling their kids with imported Mercedes, that must be pretty hard to do on the average income of <$900 USD per person (Source:

Yep, pretty hard indeed, considering the fact that 10% of the country tries to subsist on less than $85 USD per year, and more than 130 million live on less than $1 USD per day. (Souce:

Those Mercedes must be awfully cheap over there in China.

Less rhetoric, more facts, please.

RE: They should
By rudy on 6/15/2009 7:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
They are cheap as are the Vitton bags, cause just like the software they are knock offs.

RE: They should
By Goty on 6/16/2009 9:18:34 AM , Rating: 2
That's a good point, stuff is cheap when you don't have to design it yourself.

RE: They should
By FingerMeElmo87 on 6/15/2009 1:48:11 PM , Rating: 4
To say that "most" are happy is crap. the whole Tienanmen Square fiasco started out of people wanting democracy and freedom because there government wasn't giving it to them. it was, more or less, a mini civil war. by the way the Chinese government is trying to censor the entire country in one way or another, it shows that they are truly terrified of there citizens finding out about the truth about them and wanting them ousted once again via an angry mob.

RE: They should
By odessit740 on 6/15/2009 2:42:07 PM , Rating: 5
Chinese mostly clothed and fed? I doubt it. How about all of the poor people in the countryside? Yes lets forget about those and only focus on the ones living in large sprawling urban cities.

Most of the products in China is counterfeit anyways, from handbags to software to cloths. Chinese may be happy but they're definitely stealing from the rest of the world's intellectual/copywrite property.

Oh and about the Europeans having control of major chinese city? Yeah, I am sure that the people of Hong Kong would much rather be living under a self-sustained metropolis than taking orders from the 'party'.

Real Democracy > Communism + Oligarchical Rule.

RE: They should
By Samus on 6/16/2009 2:28:40 AM , Rating: 2
Heiyeck, give me a break. The real question is have YOU been to China? People there are happy if they can EAT. They're happy because they live in a society that barricades them from the truth. Might as well be in the Matrix. If they knew even the slightest about what goes on outside of their country they'd probably be pretty depressed seeing what the world has to offer...maybe that's why their government is censoring their internets?

RE: They should
By Targon on 6/15/2009 9:27:37 AM , Rating: 5
Yea, they have not enacted policies that encourage manufacturing to leave their country and go somewhere else. NAFTA encourages manufacturers to move their manufacturing to either Mexico or Canada where the cost of labor is cheaper. The problem is that it reduces the jobs and makes the USA dependent on other countries.

This also has the effect of making the currency exchange rate critical in deciding how much things cost, because if the US Dollar goes down in value, imported goods will cost more. If all goods were produced here in the USA, the only really big concern with the dollar having less value would be in oil prices(since there is not enough domestic oil production to satisfy demand).

Basically, this push toward a global economy is killing the overall economy here in the USA by allowing and even encouraging jobs to go to other countries. With that said, if China wants to put stolen software on every Chinese computer, then the charge for that could be that all the debt the US owes China suddenly goes away.

RE: They should
By FaaR on 6/15/2009 9:38:54 AM , Rating: 2
If the US declares its chinese foreign debt null and void - and especially over some insignificant piece of internet nannyware - you can bet the next response would be china refusing to borrow the US any more money and dumping its US dollar cash reserves onto the market, and/or other drastic measures. Such actions could have ripple effects, like making oil market switch to the euro instead of the dollar etc.

Of course what you suggest is NOT going to happen. I don't know why you even bothered posting something like that when it's so completely unrealistic...

RE: They should
By Kuroyama on 6/15/2009 3:16:33 PM , Rating: 3
They can't dump their dollar reserves because that would cause their exchange rate to rise against the dollar, and they don't want that. It's the same reason China keeps sucking of dollar denominated debt, despite whining about our level of borrowing. Of course there would be other huge negative repercussions if the US canceled debt they owned a foreign country.

RE: They should
By rudy on 6/15/2009 7:19:15 PM , Rating: 2
True the fact is we are all so rediculously inbred and dependant on each other no one can do anything. If the chinese stop buying our debt we cant afford their exported junk and their economy will tank just as fast as ours. This is exactly the kind of thing that would make a real depression which is why it never happens cause the chinese know it just as well as we do.

RE: They should
By mindless1 on 6/15/2009 10:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
If you are in the US when you refer to we, I have to ask are you stupid? If there is any large country that is not inbred it would be the US, comprised of natives, mexians, europeans, etc, the whole "melting pot" is indeed here. How many here are 100% native american? Not that I am biased against it, I'm only pointing out that most americans have varying percentages of multiple different peoples in their family tree. Not so true with many other countries.

RE: They should
By Lord 666 on 6/15/2009 10:04:46 AM , Rating: 3
A professor of mine gave me a lower mark on an assignment because I staunchly argued against outsourcing/offshoring/foreign manufacturing on the platform it was bad for our economy in the long run.

Back in 2004, all of those practices were the rage. Wonder what he is teaching now. Anyway, never let college get in the way of your education.

RE: They should
By knutjb on 6/15/2009 2:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe the professor got outsourced...

RE: They should
By nafhan on 6/15/2009 10:11:13 AM , Rating: 3
Do you really think NAFTA is the reason manufacturing has moved out of the US?
Manufacturing in the US needs to be done smart (i.e. high tech not labor intensive) or not at all. The cost of living in the US is to high for most labor intensive manufacturing to make sense.
High tariffs are kind of like hiding in the basement. You won't get hit by a car on your way to work (low risk), but you're not going to get there and make any money, either.

RE: They should
By Lord 666 on 6/15/2009 10:21:56 AM , Rating: 2
The United States labor pool issues run much deeper.

Why do we as a country allow children to drop out of high school at 16? Why isn't there a greater push in real math and science? Why is quality education so expensive?

Labor costs follow a supply/demand curve as well. If there was more trained talent available in the field, it would cost less to employee.

RE: They should
By amanojaku on 6/15/2009 10:41:40 AM , Rating: 3
This country doesn't "allow" children to drop out of public or private schools at any age. That's why we have (or had) truant officers. Schools even send their parents emails of attendance and homework or projects. It doesn't work, however, since those kids figure out ways to skip school, and the ones who don't still don't learn anything. It's not like you can force knowledge and work ethic into a person's brain. If kids want to drop out I say let them; record their names so they can't get welfare and we've just ensured our next cheap labor pool. Two months at Burger King was too much for me; I got a real job after a year of self study as a computer technician, which I then used to fund a college education. I didn't finish college because I landed a job as a network engineer and I broke six figures at 25. Knowledge and work ethic, the symptoms of a motivated person.

RE: They should
By Hyperion1400 on 6/15/09, Rating: 0
RE: They should
By The0ne on 6/15/2009 12:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
To add to that, school classes are now formed around a student to prepare them for their dropouts. You have classes like cooking, career research, computer arts, etc. Yea, students are really going to succeed learning these crap. And sure they'll be able to use them in college alright.

Where are the English, Math, Science, History, etc classes that covered most of what these new single targeted classes have to offer? I know they're there but they're not used the same way.

RE: They should
By Hyperion1400 on 6/30/2009 10:55:01 AM , Rating: 1
Don't even get me started man, I have about 1000 different conspiracy theories related to our shitty school system.

RE: They should
By 91TTZ on 6/15/2009 11:03:47 AM , Rating: 2
The United States labor pool issues run much deeper. Why do we as a country allow children to drop out of high school at 16? Why isn't there a greater push in real math and science? Why is quality education so expensive?

That's not the problem though. Having more highly skilled workers isn't going to prevent us from losing manufacturing jobs because highly skilled workers don't want those jobs anyway. We're losing out to cheap labor.

And even if you are only talking about highly skilled labor, a highly skilled worker in China will still be able to do the job for much less money than an equivalent worker in the US. It comes down to cost, and they will always be able to do the job cheaper.

RE: They should
By Hieyeck on 6/15/2009 11:48:59 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, because stuff made in America is ever so successful... [/sarcasm]

See GM, Chrysler. Compare Ford sales to those of foreign manufacturers, especially Japanese. It's capitalism people, and you're supposed to be its crusaders. But hell, looks like those damned commies are doing better than you, so why not give it a shot? Protect those jobs because those incompetent tards can't be bothered to retrain into something that can't be done by robots (yet).

Those people in Mexico you bitch and whine about, they're willing to work harder, do their job to the best of their capabilities, and do it for less than that 60 year old unionized tart makes just eating his baloney sandwich.

And it's not like jobs are hard to find, even in this economy. I saw about 5 "DRIVERS WANTED" signs at pizza places when I was visiting Niagara Falls (NY, not the Canadian side). I'm holding a job offer for a network enginner down in Dallas, and am only restrained by the fact that I can't get a work permit (the fact that I have the offer letter in my hand and the same position has been posted for 2 years means nothing to Immigration apparently. Probably because I'd be making twice that of the jealous desk monkeys in Immigration.) Your job protectionism is hard at work - go get that job you lazy tarts.

Hell, go mow lawns for $10 an hour. Go take that job back from the Mexican doing it for $11. Jobs don't get reduced, the job still needs to be done, and if it's going to be done cheaper elsewhere, it's going to move. Capitalism, you're living it now, so quit your b1tch!n'.

RE: They should
By knutjb on 6/15/2009 2:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
There have been some companies that have moved back to the US because of quality issues. Volkswagen has quality issues with Mexican assembled cars but not with their German built cars. BMW compared their US plant to their German plant and the US car was better built. A company that manufactures sleeping bags has move their line back from China to San Diego because they figured out how to automate their production and had better quality for less. Couldn't find the link that shows a Ford production line in Brazil that assembles all their cars on a single line. It can do different models one after the other as they are ordered from the dealer, UAW was fighting it because it was too automated.

Much of what illegal aliens bring to a job market is an artificial suppression of wages. They are willing to undercut market wages and benefits with under-the-table cash putting those who had those job on the street and not contributing to taxes. Or they steal SSN numbers but because they have suppressed the wages taxes paid are far less than what a correct market would provide. It happened in LA after Katrina too. If immigration is controlled properly, the job market functions correctly. Currently, the white collar jobs appear to be over regulated and the entry level is pure chaos.

Try supporting a family on $10 an hour, you won't make the rent in most locations. Many of those bottom barrel jobs you point to have been taken by illegals from kids just entering the job market. What you don't want to hear is US workers are more productive and make higher quality products than any other country.

What? You have to look for a job in Dallas? You don't get paid enough at home and you whine about the US, quit your ...

RE: They should
By jconan on 6/15/2009 2:17:32 PM , Rating: 1
VW did have a plant in the US but closed it because of quality issues as well as cost issues...

RE: They should
By fic2 on 6/15/2009 4:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
You mean the plant that closed 20+ years ago? According to:

most of the problems were because of VW planning and keep car models too long.

As far as quality of the plant, "It seemed that some of the reliability problems of the German-built Golf had followed the car to America." pretty much says it was an engineering problem and not a build problem.

RE: They should
By acase on 6/15/2009 9:29:09 AM , Rating: 4
Yah like stealing everyone elses' hard work.

RE: They should
By Golgatha on 6/15/2009 9:55:18 AM , Rating: 4
When you don't have to worry about human rights, environmental preservation, or silly things like copyrights on IP; it's pretty easy to make a buck.

RE: They should
By bangmal on 6/15/2009 4:26:50 PM , Rating: 2
That is exactly what your reviled acestors did to get their money and the left-over for you beggars, of course, plus the stealing and robbing around the world.

RE: They should
By TerranMagistrate on 6/15/2009 5:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
You're a dumbass to the fullest extent.

And those "reviled acestors" established the first systems of recognizing the importance of IP, patents, etc that the rest of the world now takes for granted.

RE: They should
By MatthiasF on 6/16/2009 2:30:29 AM , Rating: 2
Not that impressive when you consider their GNP and the fact they peg their currency to other currencies heavily.

To compare the growth of the biggest economies in the world in 2008.

USA - $14.33 trillion @ 307 Million People w/ 1.3% growth or $606.80 per capita(person)
Japan - $4.844 Trillion @ 127 Million People w/ -0.3% growth or $-114.42 per capita
China - $4.222 Trillion @ 1333 Million People w/ 9.8% growth or $310.39 per capita
Germany - $3.818 trillion @ 82 Million People w/ 1.3% growth or $605.29 per capita
India - $1.237 trillion @ 1166 Million People w/ 6.6% growth or $70.02 per capita

The most impressive is probably India. While Germany had the advantage of a strong shared Euro and Japan's growth was stifled by the Yen losing a lot of ground, India's growth continued and it's Rupee gained for most of the year.

While China hides behind heavy protectionist regulation of it's currency, it's poorer competitor India doesn't stoop to doing the same and in fact is leading the charge to helping third world countries get into the world capital market more easily.

RE: They should
By PandaBear on 6/25/2009 5:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
You idiot, he is not laughing at Chinese, but the government.

p.s. I'm Chinese.

Welcome to China
By nomagic on 6/15/2009 8:29:50 AM , Rating: 3
Welcome to China, where 99.9 percent of all software used is pirated.

Depending on where you live in China, sometimes you will have a hard time finding a legit copy, while pirated copies are everywhere!

RE: Welcome to China
By The0ne on 6/15/2009 12:08:19 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding on that one. I went out to purchase a laptop to use for testing in China and could not find a legal copy of Vista at all. And when I did at this one Dell store, probably not a actually Dell store, he was going to charge me about $100 more for it. I told him Dell includes the OS with their laptops but he disagrees. Instead he'll put a pirated copy of it for free. Yes very tempting of course...bastard!

Needless to say I ended not buying a laptop at all and had a coworker buy one from dell and bring it along during his trip. The funniest part is, the test engineer I'm leaving the laptop behind for is probably going to put a pirated version of XP on it because he absolutely hates Vista. Sigh. Can't win :)

RE: Welcome to China
By noxipoo on 6/15/2009 12:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure I ran into the same sales tactic when I tried to find legal software there, but then the copy they brought out that was suppose to be a real copy looked like it was bootlegged...

RE: Welcome to China
By The0ne on 6/15/2009 1:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't get to see the "genuine" copy of Vista but I didn't want to take a chance. However, your point is very true of movies. You really don't know whether you're getting a bootleg or genuine version. It's very strange because some stores will make the box and packaging very nice and elegant but when you see the packaging of the DVDs themselves and the coating it's horrible.

I did ask my colleagues there why they would buy and support pirated merchandise. Their answer was simple..."we don't make enough to buy originals." Simple yet truthful. I can't say I can blame them for going for what they can afford on their wages/salaries. And these guys are project managers, department managers, etc. They are making about 4000-6000 RMB a month. The lowly operator makes 1000RMB or less.

RE: Welcome to China
By bangmal on 6/15/2009 4:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
That is just lie. You would look less stupid if you have looked at the sales number of Windows sold in China each year.

oh wait your trained to suck every bashing china thing threw at you, never mind.

RE: Welcome to China
By HotFoot on 6/16/2009 11:56:32 AM , Rating: 2
It's not just software pirating. It's absolutely any kind of IP over there. Try contracting a Chinese manufacturer to make something for you without them taking your designs, spinning off a half-dozen competing companies and making the exact same product selling for half the price as the one they're making for you. Good luck trying to push for protection of your IP in China - the gov't there will just kick you out if you complain.

It happens over and over and over again.

By 91TTZ on 6/15/2009 11:08:33 AM , Rating: 2
With iron and lead.

We can either sit here and whine about it, or we can take care of the problem.

Not willing to do it? Then be content with your fate.

By noxipoo on 6/15/2009 12:27:20 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying we should invade because they pirate software and censor the internet? Think before you speak?

By 91TTZ on 6/15/2009 1:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying we should invade because they pirate software and censor the internet?


By jconan on 6/15/2009 2:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
US did invade along with Britain back in the old days of the 1800s to sell drugs to China! US and Britain were early examples of international drug mafia ring selling drugs to other countries. It may be great selling drugs to other nations but as the rule goes not in my back yard. However stepping forward to millennium we're against other countries like Colombia and Mexico from selling drugs in the US.

I guess they don't teach history in school like they use to anymore...

By 91TTZ on 6/16/2009 11:16:02 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong. Learn your history.

We never invaded them.

"In China recreational use of the drug began in the fifteenth century but was limited by its rarity and expense. Opium trade became more regular by the seventeenth century, when it was mixed with tobacco for smoking, and addiction was first recognized.[citation needed] Opium prohibition in China began in 1729 yet was followed by nearly two centuries of increasing opium use"

Sounds like they had an opium problem before the US was even a country.

By PandaBear on 6/25/2009 6:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
Actually US did invade China during the late 1800s along with 7 other nations. However eventually we return the loot back to China, and ask them to build a university with the return so they too, can have a good future. This university becomes the famous Tsinghua University.

Cut the cable to China
By Rob94hawk on 6/15/2009 8:42:30 AM , Rating: 2
What would China do with itself if we cut all the internet cables to the US?

RE: Cut the cable to China
By SSDMaster on 6/15/2009 8:48:30 AM , Rating: 3
Then the U.S. would be separated from the rest of the internet. There are root server's in the entire world though. So... we'd just isolate a chunk of the internet from a bigger chunk.

RE: Cut the cable to China
By Golgatha on 6/15/2009 9:59:15 AM , Rating: 2
Use satellites and then possibly shoot ours down?

RE: Cut the cable to China
By amanojaku on 6/15/2009 10:03:33 AM , Rating: 2
Not much, really. It would have to find someone else to spam. It's citizens can't see our porn or political sites, so that means they won't be missing much, other than DT.

By oab on 6/15/2009 8:56:28 AM , Rating: 4
Two things:

This surprises anyone how? and/or
Was this not already known years ago?

By crystal clear on 6/15/2009 11:15:09 AM , Rating: 3
No problem those Chinese hackers will find a work around for this Chinese internet-filtering program & its back to business as usual.

Its a question of time a solution will be posted on various sites on "HOW TO" bypass this filter.

China produces the best of clones just name it from hardware to software they got it "for sale".

Sounds pretty solid to me,,,
By Farfignewton on 6/15/2009 8:52:15 AM , Rating: 2
Damn, if they caught China using a list of terms to be blocked, I'd better hide my email filters.

Seriously though, it does not look good for China's censoring efforts if they're using a California company's probably english terms to block list.

Hello??? How is this news???
By aguilpa1 on 6/15/2009 12:33:04 PM , Rating: 2

By Strunf on 6/15/2009 6:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
The evil communist are stilling our software... get real people just look what that company claims to be theirs "list of terms to be blocked, instructions for updating the software, and an old news bulletin promoting CyberSitter," what crap is this...

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