Chinese Hackers Have Cybersitter Law Firm in Cross-Hairs

Last week, I wrote about a closely-held company, Cybersitter,  suing the Chinese government for software piracy. This week, the law firm representing Cybersitter has apparently been targeted by hackers from China. The New York Timesreports employees at the Los Angeles firm of Gipson Hoffman & Pancione

began receiving well-crafted e-mail messages that appeared to come from other company staffers. The messages tried to get the victims to either open a malicious attachment or visit a Web site that hosted attack code.

Attormey Elliot Gipson said no one fell for the suspicious e-mails because they were not worded in a manner that matched the way people spoke.

“The email just didn’t seem right to me,” he said. Moreover, employees had been warned that something untoward might happen after the Cybersitter lawsuit was filed.

The Web-filtering software company filed suit after discovering that China had lifted at least 1,000 lines of code from a Cybersitter program and included it in the Green Dam software. Green Dam is purportedly a pornography blocker, but free speech advocates say it is also used to block political Web sites that are not favorable to the Chinese government. It is used on systems in schools and in Internet cafes, though the government backed off a requirement that all PCs sold in the country have the software.

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