This is always sad because it takes away from the people, who are in need.
Heike over at the Dark Visitor is reporting that a Red Cross site has been hacked with the intent of "electronically" removing money intended to help the earthquake victims in China:
Verified by the Ministry of Public Security, a section of the official Red Cross website has been illegally hacked. According to the report, criminal elements gained access to the section of the website that held the special accounts for earthquake disaster relief donations.
An individual named Li Bujiu, had opened four fraudulent bank accounts to steal the funding.
Full story with more details from the Dark Visitor Site (Inside the World of Chinese Hackers), here.
Thus far, we haven't seen the flood of phishing, fake charity websites and the like come about as the result of the earthquake in China, or the cyclone in Myanmar reported in the West? Even this story isn't up on Google News yet.
Reuters did recently report that fraud is occurring inside China as a result of the earthquake disaster:
Police issued a warning after a flurry of text messages hit mobile phones, soliciting disaster assistance in emotional appeals, only asking that funds be deposited in private accounts.
The Reuters story -- which does mention that the Red Cross was shut down because of too many vistors (?) and had a page listing bank accounts to contribute to (??) -- can be seen, here.
The story in Reuters references the site, http://www.crcf.org.cn, which as of this writing appears to be up and running.
Not sure why more news on disaster fraud from China isn't being seen? It could be attributed to the "Great Firewall of China," or the fact that hacking and committing fraud carries far more serious consequences in China than it does here in the West.
Generally, if caught, offenses like hacking can mean the death penalty in China. In 2006, China carried out ten times more executions than the next country who still uses captial punishment. Generally, they use one round from an assault rifle (hollow-point) to the back of the head.
Of course, that doesn't mean that there isn't a lot of hacking coming from China. We see stories all the time about Chinese hackers committing corporate and government espionage. The Dark Visitor is an excellent site, run by a former intelligence type, about the mysterious world of hacking in the People's Republic.
I guess the difference on whether you get a bullet in the head, or not depends on whether certain authorities approve of your activity (my opinion). Of course, they are not beyond setting an example from time to time if certain political conditions exist.
Last year, China executed their former food and safety chief (Zheng Xiaoyu) for taking bribes in the wake of all the news stories about defective and dangerous products being exported from China.
With all the humans rights violations, fraud, hacking and deception that occur in the People's Republic, it's amazing that so many companies in the West continue doing business with them.
Sadly enough, some believe this has been at the expense of many people in their own countries. Given the human rights violations, it is also at the expense of a lot of Chinese people, also!
Perhaps, I'm old fashioned, but I sometimes wonder when people will come first?
Sadly enough, greed often gets in the way of this concept.