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Hotel Rooms at St Regis in Shenzhen Easy Prey for Hackers

Posted: 07/21/2014 12:52 pm

St.-Regis-ShenzhenNow that basic household appliances are being built with wireless capabilities, it goes without saying that they can be targets of hackers. That appears to be the case at one upscale Shenzhen Hotel.

Security vulnerabilities in an iPad-operated digital “butler” application at the Shenzhen St Regis Hotel easily allows hackers to control any of the rooms’ thermostat, lights, blinds, and TV.

Wired published a report that detailed the findings of Jesus Molina, who stayed at the St Regis Shenzhen last year and was able to discover and exploit the service’s security vulnerabilities. Molina found that the iPads provided to every room were running an old communication protocol called KNX that was running unencrypted. Molina stayed for two days and changed to four different rooms in order to investigate further.

“I could have changed every channel in every room so everybody could watch soccer with me, but I didn’t,” he said. However, Molina was able to make the “Do Not Disturb” lights outside the rooms on his floor to blink like a heartbeat.

Molina will be sharing his findings with the Black Hat security conference in August. He also shared his discovery with the hotel’s chief of security, who acknowledged the problem and said they are working to solve it.

st regis shenzhen


Photo: My Fancy House, Trip Advisor


Fox News Host Refers To “Chinamen” In Highly-Criticized TV Rant

Posted: 07/14/2014 2:48 pm

fox news bob beckel

Fox News host of The Five, Bob Beckel, has criticized the Chinese people as the greatest threat to US national security, reports CCTV News. But that isn’t the only thing that has people in China upset. He also made the following remark on the July 10 broadcast of the show:

“As usual, we bring them over here and teach a bunch of Chinamen – err, Chinese people – how to do computers and then they go back to China and hack into us.”

Beckel then made a threatening gesture at the camera.

fox news bob beckelDemocratic state senator Ted Lieu made a statement on Saturday calling for Beckel’s resignation for making racist slurs. Lieu said:

We should all be alarmed by the racist, xenophobic comments by Fox News host Bob Beckel. His comments have no place in America, and this is at least the second time he has used racial slurs. He must resign immediately.

The CCTV report does not include the contention that Beckel had made a “racist slur”. The translation of “Chinamen” into Chinese in the report is not a pejorative. While unfamiliar, this translated term uses a colloquialism that is familiar to southern Chinese dialects.

However, the report does bring up that Beckel has shown anti-Chinese tendencies before in a previous comment when, after his eyes became swollen from swimming, he said “it made [him] look Oriental”.

The extent of the hurt feelings of the Chinese people can be seen in online comments:

We had taught the foreignmen–er, sorry, foreigners–how to make gunpowder, and then they came back to use the guns they invented to invade us. (A popular comment with variations repeated several times)

Isn’t this whomever “crying wolf”? Who is setting up an international monitoring system? Who is arguing the most forcefully? You know, yes you know. You know, you know, you know…

You should first give back the money you owe us before speaking.

Damned pervert America-man

What a bullshit comment

I’m too angry. Is this [network] trying to provoke an argument?

Threat? Ha, haven’t done you in yet.

Gunpowder was invented by us!

I suddenly have the urge to name off the four great inventions (of China)…

Fire him immediately? What kind of host is this?

You old bastard, did your mother teach you to speak that way?

He’s just trying to self-promote himself. I hope that no one is going to acknowledge his words.

Here is a video of Beckel’s remarks from the Thursday broadcast. The quoted passage begins at 0:12:

The FOX host had also made previous remarks regarding the limiting Chinese foreign exchange students,

Photos: CCTV News


Tired of homework, Foshan teen hacks local Bureau of Education website

Posted: 02/13/2012 1:11 pm

A 14-year-old Foshan student is deep in it after defacing his local Chancheng Bureau of Education website ( several times since the Chinese New Year holiday—in protest, he says, of the unrealistic amount of homework assigned over the holiday.

His most most recent hacking exploit was Monday last week, when the teen managed to disable the entire site for several days. His cyber-protests, however, have not fallen on deaf ears; even Xinhua reported on the stunt this past weekend, taking the time to talk to education officials in Foshan.

Xinhua writes that growing homework burdens for high school students have given rise to an “economic chain” online. Not only can high school students today easily find services advertised online allowing them to pay others to do their homework, but these services apparently now even offer group buy discounts, express packages, and even “anti-reconnaissance” (反侦察) services.

Because he didn’t mask his IP address, the student behind the attacks was easily tracked down. The school describes him as an average student, slightly obsessed with computers. As expected, he hadn’t completed his holiday homework load before it was time to go back to school this month, and decided to take down the government website instead. He confessed to the attacks, but appears to have gotten off without any fines or criminal charges.

Not only have the student’s low-level cyberattacks led to discussion locally about the issue of homework loads, but Xinhua writes that some schools in Foshan have also now begun tailoring assignments for individual students based on aptitude. In the case of students like this hacker, Xinhua writes, quoting one deputy bureau head in Chancheng, a gift for computers is something which ought to be fostered.

In schools in the city, the distinction is also now being made between mandatory assignments and those which are optional, leaving it up to students—and their parents—to decide how far to push themselves.

Further, now that Chancheng’s Bureau of Education site is back in operation, a forum has been added which students are being encouraged to use to offer suggestions and seek feedback from education authorities.

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