Bloomberg published a story that China's PRC had installed a tiny chip the size of a grain of rice on all Elemental SuperMicro Motherboard, giving them access to a treasure trove of corporation and national security secrets. These boards are used widely in corporations and even the Department of Defense. Leo says the article was well researched, well sourced, but the day after it was published, everyone, including corporations where 17 unidentified sources worked, have denied it. Even the US Department of Homeland security and the UK CyberSecurity Ministry.
According to Bloomberg, China added a tiny chip, about the size of a grain of rice, to network motherboards that would allow China to Spy on corporations. The chip was discovered by Amazon Security, which notified federal authorities. The servers were created by Chinese company Elemental, and are on everything from network business servers to NAVY WARSHIPS. Investigators have discovered that the chips were installed by the PRC at the manufacturing plant. But here's the twist ... everyone is now denying it.
It wasn't that long ago that Google pulled out of China because of the country's authoritarian demands and acts of censorship. Now reports are that the company that once said "do no evil" as their slogan, is developing a special Google browser for China that will allow the country to strictly control the flow of information online. So much for doing no evil.
April's router keeps dropping her. Leo says that routers do wear out and after several years, they become unreliable. It may just be time to get a new one. But her husband doesn't want one made in China. Leo says good luck with that. TP-Link has good routers, but that's in China. There are some that are made in Taiwan. That would do the trick. Asus also makes great routers. They are also updatable using DD-WRT open source firmware.
Mike is going to China and wants to know how he can use Gmail, Facebook or Twitter. Leo says that it changes all the time depending on the social unrest that's going on. There is a Wikipedia page that will show him. One thing he can do is create a Yahoo Mail account, have Gmail fetch it, and then use that. It's a workaround but it can work. He may be able to go to the .CN versions of websites, though.
China has banned live streaming services because it's becoming difficult for the government to censor the content of it. It was estimated last year that the live streaming industry is worth $9 billion.
Earl's daughter lives in China and wants to get a new Android phone. She wants a Samsung Galaxy S5. Leo says that she should probably wait and get the Xiao Mi Note 4 in China. There's a different Galaxy S5 for every region, and if she gets an S5 in the US, it may not work in China. So if she wants an S5, she needs to get the G9009D version to be supported in China. The iPhone would also work.
Last week, Chinese hackers targeted GreatFire.org in a DDoS attack, and now are attacking GitHub. DDoS stands for "Distributed Denial of Service," and this attack brings down a website by hitting it with lots of bogus requests from thousands or even tens of thousands of computers distributed all over the world. GreatFire.org was spending $30,000 a day in bandwidth trying to keep up with the excess traffic.
The way they are getting this to be a distributed attack is by commandeering users of Baidu, a popular search engine in China.
James' wife is going to China in a few weeks and he wants to know if there's anything new over there that isn't over here that she can pick up for him. Leo says that while manufacturing is mostly in China, a lot of the innovation still happens in the US. But Xiaomi makes some amazing phones that aren't available here in the US. There's also a lot of clones of iPhones and other devices there that look like iPhones, but are really Android phones that have been skinned to look like iOS.
Clare wants to find a cloud based solution that allows her to share files with employees in China. Leo says that can be a challenge because the Chinese government takes a dim view of cloud based traffic like DropBox.