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China hacker's blog shows angst, and opens a window onto cyber-espionage

BEIJING — For a 25-year-old computer whiz enlisted in a People's Liberation Army hacking unit, life was all about low pay, drudgery and social isolation.

Nothing at all like the unkempt hackers of popular imagination, the young man wore a military uniform at work in Shanghai. He lived in a dorm where meals often consisted of instant ramen noodles. The workday ran from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., although hackers were often required to work late into the evening.

With no money and little free time, he found solace on the Internet. He shopped, chatted with friends and courted a girlfriend. He watched movie and television shows. He drew particular inspiration from the Fox series "Prison Break," and borrowed its name for his blog.

The blog provides a rare peek into the secretive hacking establishment of the Chinese military, which employs thousands of people in what is believed to be by far the world's largest institutionalized hacking operation. More...

03-21-2013 16:15