Two Chinese Schools Tied to Google Attacks Linked to the Great Firewall and PLA (Update3)

An investigation into the cyber attacks on Google and other corporations has led to computers based at two universities in China, Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School. The New York Times reports: Computer security experts, including investigators from the National Security Agency, have been working since then to pinpoint the source of the attacks. Until recently, the trail had led only to servers in Taiwan. If supported by further investigation, the findings raise as many questions as they answer, including the possibility that some of the attacks came from China but not necessarily from the Chinese government, or even from Chinese sources. Tracing the attacks further back, to an elite Chinese university and a vocational school, is a breakthrough in a difficult task. Evidence acquired by a United States military contractor that faced the same attacks as Google has even led investigators to suspect a link to a specific computer science class, taught by a Ukrainian professor at the vocational school. Update: CDT’s further online investigation has found that, according to the school’s own website, the School of Information Security Engineering of Shanghai Jiaotong University is one of the main research units of the China’s “National Information Security Application Demonstration Project” “国家信息安全应用示范工程” – (code name S219) , and the Information Security Project* within the “National 863 Program**.” The school is “a training base for high-level Information Security experts in the national 863 production (east) base” (“国家863产业化(东部)基地信息安全高级专业人才培养基地”). And who are the trainers of these high-level information security experts? Here is just one example: Professor Li Jianhua (李建华), Deputy Dean of the School of Information Security Engineering. Research area:Information Security, Computer Communication Network , Information/Signal Processing, Artificial Intelligence. His titles include: Chief Expert of the Expert Group of Information Security Project of National 863 Program; Expert Committee of National 863 ...
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14 Responses to Two Chinese Schools Tied to Google Attacks Linked to the Great Firewall and PLA (Update3)

  1. known_knowns says:

    This is just bullshit. Lanxiang is a Vocational School than mainly trains cooks and barbers and teaching people Microsoft Office or Photoshop. In no way it can “trains computer scientists” for PLA (seriously, guys, if you want some awesome computer scientists, you really want to get some one from a vocational school instead of Beijing University or Tsinghua?). Yes, Lanxiang does supply some students as technical sergeant of PLA — to maintain cars.

    What really interests me is you guys at the website called “China Digital Times” don’t know what Lianxiang really is in CHINA. If not, let me provide you with some awesome evidents, the smoking gun:
    http://lengxiaohua.net/2009/07/15/why-lanxiang-school-better-than-harvard-university/

  2. a says:

    不错,蓝翔要出名了…

  3. Chas says:

    Dear CDT:

    your link “special training program for future PLA technology officers” seems to point to a news blurb that talks about cooks and mechanics enlisting after graduation:

    17名学生来自山东蓝翔高级技工学校厨师和汽修两个专业

    The term “技术士官” does not translate to “technology officer”, rather, “technical seargent”, as mentioned in comment 1.

    Please correct your mistake.

  4. known_knowns says:

    Guys at CDT, do you actually know what you have cited “天桥区有一个旨在为退役士兵、优抚对象搭建就业平台的双拥培训基地,这就是山东蓝翔高级技工学校。近5年来,学校对近3000名部队官兵、退伍士兵、军嫂进行免费技能培训,安置转业干部53名、转业军人156名、军嫂25名。”

    Have you ever seen those ads of Lanxiang? Do you have any common sense of China?

  5. Chas says:

    Xiao, if the news report CDT cited does not demonstrate computer scientists or technology officers, rather, cooks and mechanics enlisting, don’t you think it is appropriate for CDT to amend the ” special training program for future PLA technology officers” claim?

    Roland Soong at ESWN has an excellent write up (link provided below), you should take a look.

  6. Chas says:

    Xiao, your Lanxiang school blog (2) translation is also suspect. The original text is:

    为了进一步妥善安置退伍士兵,并总结出一套系统的、具有全国推广价值的“培训安置退伍士兵”经验,2009年12月25日上午,区办公室副秘书长郑际平,群公办处长梁安杰,山东省民政厅主任刘军,济南警备区政治部主任何学民等9人莅临山东蓝翔高级技工学校参加调研座谈会。

    会上,山东蓝翔高级技工学校党委书记李自祥首先向各级领导汇报了我校历年来在培训、安置部队官兵及家属、退伍士兵等方面做出的努力和取得的成果,得到了各位领导的高度认可。

    However, your article’s translation:

    “Lanxiang Vocational School party secretary Li Zixiang reported to a senior visiting PLA officer about the school’s work of training PLA officers”

    is nowhere to be found in the blogpost, especially the part about “senior PLA officer”, and “training PLA officers”

    The real context of the blogpost was about Lanxiang providing vocational training for reservists transitioning from active duty to civilian living.

    Your translation completely twisted its meaning to make false suggestion about the vocational school’s link with the military.

    If you are doing this on purpose, you are doing the overseas Chinese community a great disservice, as these twist of fact and misrepresentation contributes to media sensationalism and America’s rising anti-Chinese hysteria.

  7. Chas says:

    Xiao, here’s another mistake in your article. Zeng Qingzhu is not a “general”, he’s a “major general” withe local garrison.

    You seem to be making a lot of mistake, and they all seem to be helping you to make the case about Lanxiang’s supposed military link.

  8. Xiao Qiang says:

    Dear Chas,

    Here are responses to your comments:

    (1) In this CDT post, we are making a case that the Lanxiang Vocational School has a strong connection to PLA, and all the examples were used to demonstrate this connection. It does not matter if some of its graduates are cooks and others are car mechanics, and some of them are from the computer program or other Lanxiang programs. If these selected graduates join the PLA, and the PLA has training programs with the school on a regular basis, then this is the connection we are trying to show here.
    (2) Due to the time and resource constraints, CDT did not translate the full text of those links, rather, just translated an excerpt, or simply just summarize a key point from the quoted text. In the case you mentioned in one of your comments, “济南警备区政治部主任何学民” is being summarized as “a senior PLA official”, and the sentence “我校历年来在培训、安置部队官兵及家属、退伍士兵等” being summarized as “training PLA officers.” You are welcome to translate the entire text which will contain the same point we have summarized. The fact that Lanxiang is “providing vocational training for reservists transitioning from active duty to civilian living” also shows a link between the school and the PLA and that is the point we are trying to make here. Please note that this CDT post is not trying to prove any other point; we are simply providing additional context for readers of the NYT report.
    (3) “技术士官” can be translated as “technical sergeant” or”technology officer”. “Technology” (技术) here is being used as a general term, applying to all the training programs as well. I agree the former translation is better in some context. However, CDT’s claim that Lanxiang contains a ”special training program for future PLA technology officers” is still valid. Once again, the samples we cited are to demonstrate the military connection of the school; in addition to those samples, there is also plenty of evidence, including NYT’s interview with the School spokesperson, which reveals its computer program also regularly sends recruits to the PLA, not just cooks.
    (4) CDT also gives careful consideration to what online materials we use or translate. Some other online contents in this case, including the link you suggested in one of your comments have been considered by CDT as either not credible or irrelevant to our point, which is that Lanxiang has a strong military link.
    (5) “Major General” is a more accurate translation than the “General” in this case. Once again, thank you for pointing out this to improve the translation, and I have already made the correction. But this does not affect CDT’s claim which is that Lanxiang Vocational School has strong ties to the PLA and those illustrative examples are being used to support our claim.

    Best,
    Xiao

  9. known_knowns says:

    comment #1

    (1) In this CDT post, we are making a case that the Lanxiang Vocational School has a strong connection to PLA, and all the examples were used to demonstrate this connection. It does not matter if some of its graduates are cooks and others are car mechanics, and some of them are from the computer program or other Lanxiang programs. If these selected graduates join the PLA, and the PLA has training programs with the school on a regular basis, then this is the connection we are trying to show here.
    ———————
    It is quite strange that only after some one pointed out the nature of Lanxiang’s “training” is about cooking, you, Mr. Xiao admitted the fact. Why don’t you let the audience know the fact in the first place? Assuming the public don’t give a shit about the very fact? By your standard, I can aruge that Xiao Qiang “a strong connection to” US military force, because Boeing has close ties with US military, and you always fly with Boeing jetplane. How about ignore the later half of the sentence?

    Surely, Mr. Xiao, you want to show Lanxiang’s “strong connection to PLA” ONLY, despite whatever the nature of the so-called “connection” is? We are talking about hi-techs, we are talking about hacking, we are talking about Google, and all of a sudden, you want to show us some cooks or auto repairing staff were recuited by PLA. That’s called journalism, isn’t that?

  10. known_known says:

    (3) “技术士官” can be translated as “technical sergeant” or”technology officer”. “Technology” (技术) here is being used as a general term, applying to all the training programs as well.
    ——————-
    No. If you had ever seen “Galaxy Quest”, you’d know that it is Tech Sergeant Chen, instead of Technology Officer Chen, is in charge of NESA Protector’s engine room. Well, let’s get back to the reality. In the context of PLA, 技术士官 is technical sergeant, because 士官 is essentially a SOLDIER. The PLA officer with lowest ranking is lieutenant.

  11. known_known4 says:

    “However, CDT’s claim that Lanxiang contains a ”special training program for future PLA technology officers” is still valid. Once again, the samples we cited are to demonstrate the military connection of the school;”
    ——————–
    No, it is still invaild. You can’t say providing men retired from the PLA with cook course is ”special training program for future PLA technology officers”. I’m not surprised that you didn’t tell the audience what “special training program” they are. Let’s imagine such a situation:

    A:NY Times says the Hacking of Google links to Lanxiang school. According to my own investigation, Lanxiang Lanxiang contains a ”special training program for future PLA technology officers”.
    B:WOW, awesome. That’s a secret military training camp isn’t that. What does it teach?
    A:Well, cooking, fixing auto, cutting hair, using Microsoft office and Photoshop.
    B:What? you call that special training program?

    Maybe that’s exact the reason why you don’t want readers find out.

  12. Chas says:

    Xiao, it is pure conjecture on your part that “some of them are from the computer program”, given the fact Lanxiang does not offer computer course beyong Word and Excel operation.

    Do you have any evidence this 3rd rate vocational school offer computer science courses?

    AFP has since reported all 38 Lanxiang grads that enlisted since 2006 are either cooks or mechanics.

  13. known_known4 says:

    Well, this shows the real journalism, ha?