Artifact Details

Title

How to Spy on 600 Million People: Hidden Vulnerabilities in Chinese IT

Catalog Number

102738188

Type

Moving image

Date

2016-07-07

Participants

Mullaney, Thomas, speaker

Publisher

Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, CA

Duration

00:54:25

Format

MOV

Description

The rise of Input Method Editors (IMEs) in China has had a profound impact on Chinese computing, making it today perhaps the fastest text input languages on earth due to its heavy reliance on predictive text, autocompletion, shortcuts, and abbreviations. At the same time, the rise of IMEs carries with it a profound security vulnerability that no one has discussed before.

Drawing on over a decade of research into the history of Chinese information technology in the modern age, Professor Thomas Mullaney addresses a hidden security vulnerability in Chinese IT that enables the surveillance of all Chinese computer users by the state or private interests—even when using seemingly "offline" or "private" programs like Microsoft Word, NotePad, TextEdit, and more. At a time when many of us have become wary of state surveillance over private communications—phone calls, text messages, and emails—this talk alerts us to ways in which it has become possible, in theory if not in practice, to spy upon any and all text input.

Join us as Professor Mullaney goes behind the scenes of Chinese IT to reveal the security vulnerabilities of IMEs.

Category

Lecture

Series Title

CHM Live

Credit

Computer History Museum

Lot Number

X7844.2016