Hacker ships tool to circumvent China's Green Dam filter

Hacker ships tool to circumvent China's Green Dam filter

Summary: A security researcher at the University of Michigan has released a tool that help Chinese computers users disable the censorship functionality of the controversial Green Dam Youth Software.

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A security researcher at the University of Michigan has released a tool that help Chinese computers users disable the censorship functionality of the controversial Green Dam Youth Software.

The Dam Burst utility, created by researcher Jon Oberheide, works by by injecting code into a running application and removing the Green Dam hooks that enable it to monitor and block user activity. This effectively restores the running application to its original uncensored state, Oberheide explained.

Here's the skinny from the Dam Burst documentation:

Unlike other tools that disable or uninstall the Green Dam software, Dam Burst does not require administrative privileges. Since Dam Burst can be run as an unprivileged user to disable the Green Dam censorware in currently running applications, it is very effective in situations where the user is restricted from obtaining administrator privileges and may wish to avoid censorship (eg. public/internet cafe computers that the user may not own).

As a pleasant side effect, disabling the Green Dam components within a running process actually increases the security of the end host as the vulnerable code paths within the Green Dam software are no longer exploitable by an attacker.

The Chinese government originally mandated that Green Dam be shipped on all new PCs but this pre-installation has been delayed.

A remote code execution vulnerability was discovered on Green Dam a short time after it was released for download.

Topics: Security, CXO, Government, Government US

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14 comments
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  • So any bets on how long before the U of M's IT system is attacked...

    ...from China?
    IT_Guy_z
    • Oh Come On, Get Real! haha :D

      MIT is where most of the Hacker Technology comes from. The only way they'll be attacked is from within!
      i2fun@...
  • Was thinking the exact same thing.

    I applaud their effort especially after China pirated US software to create the Green Dam product.

    It won't be long before the retaliations begin.
    Keeping Current
  • nobody saw that coming, did they?

    If hackers can get around all the efforts of Microsoft, Google, etc. etc. what chance does the Chinese government have? Especially since they have started from pirated software that they probably don't understand. I imagine there are multiple vunrabilities and as soon as they patch one the next will be rolled out. ROFLMAO.
    ca1ic0cat
  • Ironic, but...

    Yeah, I appreciate the irony.

    But if anybody believes that two wrongs make a right, they've got another think coming. If this researcher publishes his methods, as he no doubt will (or has already), it will become political ammo.

    I guess the only good thing about this all is that the reearcher was very open about what he's done. There's no chance that this can be construed as a secret government operation.
    RealGem
    • Don't Underestimate the Nut Jobs

      See, it was secret and totally funded by the DoD and the Illuminati, but they want to cover up it's secret, so they're being open about it...

      People like this guy and the reporter who swam across a lake to a dissident's house recently probably cause spikes in heartburn and headache medication purchases at the State Department (stimulating the economy?).
      MichP
  • U of M Hacker is a White Hat

    This really isn't any different than Voice of America and Radio Free Europe; except that it is a private individual/company and not the U.S. government doing the enabling.

    Of course, if I were the Pesident, I'd put this person in for a Congressional Medal of Freedom for his actions; regardless of whether or not this constitutes a violation of the DMCA.
    Dr_Zinj
  • 800 lb gorilla ...

    ... is that of the 5k-or-so attacks blocked at the firewall and/or router in our smallish data center (12 Web-facing servers), over 80%, barring an uptick in botted machine activity in Eastern Europe or Brazil, originate from China.

    But we ignore that and all the other uncomfortable facts so we can keep getting cheap tube socks ...
    nottheusual1
    • That's Ridiculous!

      Where do you get that rubbish and why didn't you include Africa? ...or why not just put all the blame or credit on the Chinese!

      You need to stop reading all your right wing tabloid propaganda. The largest SPAM and Bot Nets are based right here in America where the Profit growth is. Why in the world would anyone be interested in doing it just for fun! ....it's purely a capitalist past time! :D

      You give the Chinese far too much credit. But here in America, it's always THEM, never our very own government or corporations bent only on PROFIT!
      i2fun@...
      • Not purely capitalist

        These organizations are criminal in nature and action.

        Whether a dollar is used to buy food or to bribe someone does not make the dollar bad.

        As such, just because a criminal uses capitalistic methods does not make capitalism bad.

        Any system used by a criminal will result in bad things; evil if you will.

        I agree that our government and some corporations (not all) are in love of money and power and as such produce great suffering as the LOVE of money/power is the root of all kinds of evil.
        jrhue@...
  • censorship in the UK

    The regulator in the uk is slowly bringing in a government sponsored censorship programe.This blocks/ censors everyday shopping sites killing small businessess and social networking sites.Will this shut down the UK burocrates like china or will there be another solution for the red commi uk government?
    The Management consultant
  • RE: Hacker ships tool to circumvent China's Green Dam filter

    Unbelievable! I wonder what business you are in that you
    feel that your shopping and social networking site is
    under threat. Perhaps you feel that the market should be
    open for child exploiting images. The UK government
    supports an open and free Internet as long as it does not
    break our Nation?s laws. I would like to hear some
    examples of these blocks and censorship.
    Hamishk
  • RE: Hacker ships tool to circumvent China's Green Dam filter

    Actually, Green Dam met a lot of complaint at China at the first beginning. So the government has stepped back to make a compromise. As a result, Green Dam is not installed widely. And it's free to uninstall it. So there is not necessity to release software to "hack" it.

    Richard at sbin.cn
    hi2005
  • RE: Hacker ships tool to circumvent China's Green Dam filter

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