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Chinese hackers steal Tibetan writer’s online identity

www.TibetanReview.net, June 6’08

Chinese hackers have stolen the Skype identity of prominent Tibetan writer in Chinese and blogger Ms Woeser, both silencing her and possibly putting her contacts in serious danger. “My password has been changed and I can no longer log in … The hijacker has begun to make contact with people in my account,” Woeser said in a statement.

The hackers had impersonated her in instant message exchanges with her Skype contacts, apparently to trick her 170-odd contacts into revealing politically sensitive information which could then be used to trump up charges against them, Reuters May 18 cited her husband Wang Lixiong as saying.

Hackers also hijacked Woeser’s blog http://woeser.middle-way.net/, removed its content and left an animation of China’s five-star national flag fluttering below the headline: “Long Live the People’s Republic of China! Down with all Tibetan independence elements!!!” and above a photo of the author, whose books are banned in China, the hackers wrote: “Please remember this Tibetan separatist Woeser’s ugly face. Whoever sees this ugly face, please beat her hard like one beats a dog.”

The Red Hackers’ Alliance, a group of nationalistic hackers enjoying tacit support from the Chinese government, claimed responsibility for the attack. Woeser, 41, has been blog-posting a series of updates on the Chinese persecution in Tibet in the wake of the ongoing unrest there that began on Mar 10, the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising day.

Hackers have also accessed Woeser’s gmail account.

Authorities have shut down three of Woeser’s blogs maintained on Chinese servers in the past two years. Her recently hacked blog is hosted abroad and outside China’s firewall.

Woeser has been living in Beijing with her husband, who is a prominent dissident writer, since being dismissed from her state job and deprived of all staff welfare benefits, her books have been banned for allegedly being pro-Dalai Lama.

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