Solid Oak Software has hit media giant CBS with a demand for $1.2m, after the media giant's tech subsidiary posted downloads of the Chinese government's Green Dam Youth Escort software. Green Dam was the centrepiece of Beijing's abortive effort to force PC manufacturers to preload filtering software that would protect young …
Software is bad on so many levels
This whole thing was apparently terribly embarrasing for the Chinese governemnt. They changed their minds about home users and businesses having to install it, but said that internet cafes and schools still needed to run it on every PC, but after a couple of days they found out that the software was so badly written that school districts began allowing network administrators to remove it with little fuss.
The software would crash Microsoft Office applications if you accidentally typed in words that were coded phrases for controversial events, people or groups (Chinese often use homophone when talking about controversial things so lots of common words can trigger the software). The software also blocked access to school administration software or simply rendered it so unstable that it was unusable. It could down a program if you tried to type in a date on which something controversial happened at some time in the past. On early versions if you tried to type in the first two Chinese characters for the date of the Tiananmen Square protest in Word it would simply close your document without savign it.
Oh, and it opens a port on every PC that it's installed on so that it can update itself, but the port is virtually unguarded and the update server can be impersinated so the software could be used by a smart hacker to download their own code onto PCs that have it installed.
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