John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

It’s a Botnet Party Vietnam, Redux


Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry has a message for the thousands of Vietnamese citizens reportedly targeted by politically motivated cyberattacks: There were no attacks.

In a statement posted to the Ministry’s Web site Monday evening, spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Nga indignantly dismissed accusations that the Vietnamese government has been using botnets to silence opposition to a bauxite mining operation in the country run by China’s state-owned mining group, Chinalco.

“Such comments are groundless,” said Nga. “We have on many occasions clearly expounded our view on issues relating to access to and use of information and information technology, including the Internet. Vietnam law puts in place specific regulations against computer virus and malware as well as on information security and confidentiality.”

Sounds eerily similar to China’s bristling response to Google (GOOG) claims that it had detected a targeted attack on its corporate infrastructure originating in China, doesn’t it?

Which is not to say that the two are in any way linked. At the moment, security researchers say they are not. It’s just that indignant disavowals like these do seem to be the go-to PR strategy in countries where online political censorship to is known to be pervasive.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus