Editors Note: Several months ago, WorldNetDaily international
correspondent Anthony C. LoBaido detailed the hacking activities of the
elite, anti-Beijing group, the
Hong Kong Blondes. In
his follow-up, LoBaido covered the activities of the Thailand-based Laurie Holden Hackers, a Hong Kong Blondes splinter group. In this latest report, LoBaido delves into cyber battles raging between hackers, governments and even cults.
By Anthony C. LoBaido
© 2000, WorldNetDaily.com, Inc.
Computer hacking activities have increased markedly in Asia as groups of cyber warriors target everyone from communist governments to software consultants to drug-running juntas.
One of the many tools these hackers use, however, doesn’t quite fit the mold of 21st century weapon of war — it’s known as “Hello Kitty.” The Japanese-created image — which adorns everything from pencil boxes to noodles to lawn mowers in the Pacific Rim nations — has spawned a multi-billion dollar empire. So great is the popularity of Hello Kitty that last year, when a McDonalds in Taiwan ran out of Hello Kitty dolls during a promotion, a full-scale riot broke out, complete with injuries and police.
Now, the latest step in the evolution of Hello Kitty has arrived. The kitten is now officially a weapon of cyber warfare waged by anti-fascist hackers targeting the oppressive regimes of communist China and the narco-junta in Burma / Myanmar.
“Hello Kitty is sweet, innocent and popular. It is a well-known symbol, especially in Asia. I would put it on a par with Coca Cola,” said Kim So Young, a South Korean, college-aged hacker who works with the shadowy Laurie Holden Hackers based in Thailand. The group — which is pro-Taiwan, pro-West and anti-globalist — is named lightheartedly for the resemblance its founder, former British M16 agent Tracey Kinchen, shares with actress Laurie Holden of “The X Files” fame.
“Our group, of course, is totally nonviolent. That’s the reason we are fighting the oppressive and violent nature of the regimes in communist China and Burma in the first place. Hello Kitty is perhaps the most nonviolent symbol on the planet, at least as a symbol that has mass market appeal in the age of consumerism,” Kim said.
WorldNetDaily has reported on the atrocities the Burmese junta committed against the pro-U.S. / UK Karen rebels and documented how communist China is
persecution of Christians in Southeast Asia.
Additionally, WorldNetDaily reported on the creation of the
Quantum photon key, a new encryption method that may forever change the nature of computer hacking and espionage.
“Nonviolence is the key,” says Kinchen. “We’d like to think of ourselves as 21st century Ghandis.”
A graduate of Oxford, Kinchen says the group relies in part on a trust set up by her wealthy grandfather, whose business ties spread to Hong Kong, Kenya, South Africa, the Isle of Man and other outposts of the British Empire.
During the recent election in Taiwan, Kinchen and her young Thai assistants Mini Jet and Maxi Coke traveled to Taiwan, where, working with the Taiwanese military, they spread the Hello Kitty logo on a multitude of PLA computers as a countermeasure to PLA attacks on pro-independence Taiwan based websites.
While they may consider themselves to be sovereign individuals, the new breed of computer hacker is increasingly selling his or her services to the highest bidder — be they rebel groups, oppressed hill tribes or rogue governments themselves. From Burma to Beirut, from Hong Kong to Havana, from Taiwan to Tennessee, cells like the Laurie Holden Hackers are coming together in an effort to organize resistance movements, network, share skills and, of course, market them. According to the experts who track the activities of hackers, Afrikaner enclaves in South Africa, Eastern European states like Bulgaria and Poland, as well as Singapore and Malaysia are the top breeding grounds for world-class hackers and groups.
These hackers, many of whom have found their genesis at third-world universities, are becoming increasingly sophisticated. A spokesman for the British Embassy in Jordan told WorldNetDaily that such hackers, “while being a nuisance to the corporate world, can be a useful intelligence tool to penetrate the cyber operations of rogue states hostile to the West and cults, which, of course, oppose the core social, political and religious values of the West.”
So great is the newfound power of transnational hacking groups that at the recent G-8 summit held in May, the world’s richest nations actually established a formal program to determine how best to respond to the hackers and their increasing power. Areas where hackers are currently active on behalf of government-sponsored asymmetrical warfare and propaganda programs include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kashmir, Kosovo, Taiwan and South Korea.
Nations like China, Russia, Iraq, Cuba and Iran are believed to have assembled the best non-Western cyber-warfare programs. Cyber-warfare control measures and agreements seem almost an impossible idea to implement at this time, especially in a field which is growing and changing on a daily basis. Since the U.S. boasts almost half of the world’s total computing capacity, it has the best means to wage offensive war in this theater. It also stands to suffer the worst consequences of such an attack.
Present Clinton recently ordered the creation of a special American force to conduct cyber warfare and also set up a system to recruit the very best computer students at American universities to carry out such attacks. By the end of 2000, the U.S. military will have brought all of its offensive cyber warfare operations under one roof at the U.S. Space Command in Colorado.
Reflecting on the culture within her hacking organization, Kinchen notes: “With us, everything is an open book. We are all on the same page with clearly defined goals: oppose totalitarian regimes and the Western transnational elites who traffic with them by using cyber warfare.”
Kichen added that she learned from her time with the Hong Kong Blondes to set up small hacker groups in “Maoist-style cells” independent of one another. That way, she said, “If the head gets chopped off, another can grow in its place without the larger group being exposed or compromised to the ruling powers.”
In their recent “attack” on the PLA websites, the Laurie Holden Hackers, using an idea conjured by Kim, spread this sophomoric message, littered with Korean characters, which poked fun at the amount of makeup South Korean women wear:
Yo Bow Sayo, [Hello] Go-yang-e, [Kitty] Yo Bow Sayo. I’ve got a toolbox full of makeup. My boyfriend didn’t call me. I’ve got a brand new cell phone covered with stickers from Hello Kitty.
In explaining why they continue to fight against the Burmese junta and communist Chinese, group member Mini Jet told WorldNetDaily: “There are very few jobs available in Bangkok now because of our
problems. When the people no longer have any virtue, they don’t care who rules them. Look at the popularity in South Korea of the North Korean dictator,
despite all of his crimes. We’ve got to keep spreading the message of freedom and try and awaken the masses from their slumber.”
Among the group’s recent missions is to monitor attacks on the websites of Falun Gong — the Chinese martial arts / spiritual group — as well as the recruitment activities of the North Korean hacker ace “Kuji” who, not long ago, hacked into the top-secret files of the Rome Air Force base in upstate New York.
Additionally, the hackers have worked for Japanese corporations seeking to gather intelligence on Japan’s Om Shin Rikyo cult, which has raised its own army of computer programmers who have installed computer systems in almost 100 top Japanese corporations. No one knows what’s been installed along with the assigned data. Bugs? Root-access privileges? Remote transmitters and monitors perhaps? The cult has stolen, through backdoors it set up at various outposts in Japan’s military industrial complex, secrets from the nation’s top programs in the fields of lasers, nuclear warfare, counter-intelligence and space flight operations.
Om’s cult is best known for its 1995 Sarin nerve-gas attack on the Tokyo subway which injured more than 5,000 Japanese citizens. Om’s group is home to some of the most brilliant scientific minds in the world. It has raised over $1 billion in legitimate computer sales within the nation. Moreover, its “M” division has done work for Japan’s version of the Pentagon, the national phone system and many top corporations. The leader of the group, Shoko Asahara, has learned to cruise Japan’s top universities to find new recruits to head his ambitious chemical, computer and other scientific projects.
The Laurie Holden Hackers, however, continue to focus most of their attention on the cyber operations of China’s People’s Liberation Army. Those operations aimed at cracking down on Internet freedom “have grown more bold since China was allowed permanent trade status by the U.S. Congress,” said Kinchen.
Internet use in China has doubled in the year 2000, climbing to a total of almost 17 million users. As the numbers of users increase, however, so do the measures to crack down on the Internet inside the communist nation.
- China’s state security police pulled down the PRC’s “first ever” pro-democracy website and began a manhunt for Xin Wenming, who allegedly posted “counter-revolutionary” content on the www.xinwenming.net website, attracting a large swath of China’s dissident community.
- Huang Qi, a man from Sichuan who published information on the Internet about the 1989 military crackdown at Tiananmen Square, faces trial for subversion. Huang faces life in prison if convicted on charges of “subverting state power.”
- China has set up an Internet police force in central Anhui province and has said that similar task groups would be set up in over 20 other provinces. Internet cops will work to help local banks identify and close loopholes in their electronic information networks and train volunteer “electronic security guards.”
- China arrested a high-school teacher for posting articles on the Internet critical of the communist authorities. Jiang Shihua, a 27-year-old computer-science teacher was arrested for articles published under the penname “Shumin,” meaning “common citizen” in the Chinese language. He faces a 10-year prison sentence if convicted.
- In a page from George Orwell’s “1984,” the PLA forbids increasingly popular local portals from posting news reports from sources other than state-controlled media.
- On Aug. 22, Chinese President Jiang Zemin expressed alarm over the free flow of “uncensored information on the Internet” and called for an international treaty to “police” the World Wide Web.
“There is no stopping the information age. There are no ‘electronic security guards.’ The Internet is Gutenberg all over again. The ice is melting around the feet of the butchers currently ruling in Beijing,” concluded Kinchen. “It’s only a matter of time before they fall into the pond — and no one’s going to care if they drown.”