Really, really slow news day at Slate

  • @Slow News Day said:

    I opened an email from an unknown sender. The message greeted me by a
    nickname known only to family and close friends. I was in Shanghai,
    unwinding late at night after a long day, pleased to be contacted by
    someone familiar from across the Pacific. I figured someone close to me
    must have gotten a new email address. But the note was signed “Eric.” I
    did not know an Eric.

    At the time, I was the chairman of a company that was building shopping centers in China.  The message was friendly and chatty, with several attachments, and it contained a proposal: I could pay 1 million renminbi
    (about $150,000), in exchange for which the sender would
    not forward the attachments to my business partners or competitors. It
    took me a second to digest what was happening. This was no
    friendly email from the home front, this was blackmail, or extortion.

    Finally, a law firm representing the bank sent Eric an email. It said
    that the authorities had been notified, the partners had been notified,
    and there was nothing to be gained by trying to expose what had already
    been disclosed. It was a gamble, as I really didn’t want to have the
    documents or emails widely circulated. But it worked.

    Oh, and by the way, this happened in 2007.

  • @Slow News Day said:

    The Times article described how the hackers would normally begin their probing at 8 a.m. and knock off after eight hours

    This would suggest it's a manual process. Amateurs.

    A UK paper did an article about someone discovering their desktop machine had become a warez repo when investigating why their broadband had slowed to a crawl. It wrote at length how this was an "IT Specialist" and not naive Johnny Homeowner, yet the quotes from the interviewee didn't really fill me with confidence that this "Specialist" knew their stuff.

    It didn't stop various family members and co-workers fearfully drawing my attention to the article.


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