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Blog 9 current event

I read an article called, “Hackers Breach Tech Systems of Oil Companies” by John Markoff. This article is about how five oil companies’ computer systems were hacked into.  This current event interested me because the oil business is such an important one and is very much financially driven.  The US pays trillions of dollars every year on oil.  It is such a big topic in this generation because our fossil fuels are running out and you can only retrieve oil in select regions of the world.

The article says that the hackers were based in China and that the hacker attacks were similar to the ones of Google in 2009.  The hackers were stationed in Beijing and got ahold of the control systems of some computers in the United States and the Netherlands in order to further break into computers in Kazakhstan and Greece.  It amazes me how much intelligence some people have about hacking and technology.  It is frightening that it seems to be a reoccurrence in todays world because there is the possibility that someday our hackers could get so advanced that nothing in the cyber world is safe or kept secret.

The purpose of the hacking was to receive information on the oil field production as well as retrieving financial documents.   They also took information regarding the oil control systems, though there are no signs that show they have been tampered with yet.

Dmitri Alperovitch is McAfee Inc.’s vice president and Markoff includes some of his quotes.  For example, “These people seemed to be more like company worker bees rather than free-spirited computer hackers,” “These attacks were bold, even brazen, and they left behind a trail of evidence.”  By adding in these quotes of such an important figure in the cyber world, Markoff is creating himself to be a very reliable writer.  Throughout the article it states a few times that this is not just some random computer terrorists, but rather that there is an actual business based in China that has some sort of motive.  He also states that these hackers seem to be using regular business hours.  With that little information Markoff gives us, we can further believe that there is an actual business hacking into these systems and it makes the story dramatic and very concerning to the reader.   Though there is no proof that there is an actual business hacking team, the article leaves the reader to believe that this is true and actually happening in China.

Another frame that is included is that the article brings up a past issue with China and their hacking into Google. This is brought up several times throughout the article.  In my opinion, it is important to bring up these parallels to China’s history of hacking because it brings concern to many Americans.  There is already such a scare among the rest of the world that China will someday take it all over.  It is not a bad way to frame the article because Markoff is just stating what has happened before.  It is the fact that he brings up China’s Google hacking several times, where we can start to say that he is framing the article to be a little more bias.

I believe that Markoff framed this article fairly and was not over-the-top.  He is a subtle framer.  If he left out some information on the Google hackings in the past (which in fact, may not have anything to do with these current ones at all) and if he left out some information on their paranoid suspicion that there is a full on hacking business in China trying to get us (Because there really isn’t much evidence on who these people are), then I believe that Markoff would have a more balanced article.  Though I believe without his framing, the article would seem quite dry and substance-less.  It would be less dramatic and less newsworthy to the common person.

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