Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Dangerous Friends

I swear I read more than the FT, but again I’ve got a link to a story from today with a little more info on the Google China hacking. This one sheds a little more light on just how the hackers mad it happen:

The most significant discovery is that the attackers had selected employees at the companies with access to proprietary data, then learnt who their friends were. The hackers compromised the social network accounts of those friends, hoping to enhance the probability that their final targets would click on the links they sent.

So it turns out it was a Internet Explorer vulnerability they exploited, which makes me ask two questions: First, why were Google folks using IE? Isn’t that why they make Chrome? Second (and much more serious), if this turns out to be a coordinated attack by the Chinese government (now it’s being reported oil companies were hit with something similar), what happens? I mean that’s pretty serious stuff. Is there a scenario where we would go to war over information security? It’s scary stuff.

January 26, 2010