[funsec] Only '...130 malware active in China!'

Nick FitzGerald nick at virus-l.demon.co.uk
Wed Mar 28 20:50:47 CDT 2007

Fergie wrote:

> Any ideas what _this_ is all about? I just can't grok it...

I think some important content was lost in translation there...

As I read it, it's the malware equivalent of "publicly name and shame"
-- a long-standing (and I believe increasingly less effective) means of 
social control of "undesirable if not (yet) illegal" behaviour in 
China.  Started in Mao's early days (??) and still used today, for 
example to "out" prostitutes and their customers (at least according to 
a recent report I saw on BBC World or CNN).

What they're saying (I think) is that because running a botnet, writing 
malware, etc, etc is not technically illegal, although they know who 
130 of these people are, they cannot do anything specific to stop them 
through the legal system.  But they can publicly name these people and 
describe how bad/undesirable/etc what they are doing is.  This news 
story is basically the publication of the authorities' intent/threat 
that if these people do not desist RSN, they (the "Self-Discipline Work 
Commission of ISC") will publicly name them and their "crimes".  The 
idea is that, of those who do not stop voluntarily between now and the 
naming, at least some will as a result of friends, neighbours, 
relatives, etc pressuring them after they are named.

Does that make sense?


Nick FitzGerald

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