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Hackers Wreak Havoc with Nike

A hacker who signed his name as Danny and left wishes for a happy New Year defaced Nike (China)'s official website on Wednesday.

The hacked website was restored about an hour later and returned to normal operation at about 11:00 PM, the Beijing Times reported on Thursday. 

Bold red characters in both Chinese and English appeared on the screen against a black backdrop at the www.nike.com.cn site. The intruder mocked the world-famous sportswear maker, claiming the "Nike website is just so-so" and offering wishes for a happy New Year. He signed his name as Danny.

The Nike world website www.nike.com remained intact. The Nike Beijing office made no immediate statement concerning the event.

It is not known whether the hacking was related to Nike's television ad featuring NBA star LeBron James battling an animated kungfu master and dragons. China banned the ad earlier this month, describing it as an insult to the country's national dignity.

Also on Wednesday, a Beijing court found that Nike had plagiarized the concept and design of a 28-year old Chinese flash animator. Nike was ordered to pay 300,000 yuan (US$36,000) in damages.

On Christmas day, the official Chinese-language website for fast-food giant McDonald's, www.mcdonalds.com.cn, was attacked twice by a person or persons who left the name of "Chinese Hacker."

The McDonald's (China) homepage was found at 10:00 PM to have been replaced by a skull and crossbones made up of numbers and letters. The words, "Chinese Hacker," appeared in bold red letters at the top of the screen.

A paragraph in white Chinese characters read, "(We) strongly protest the official McDonald's website listing Taiwan as a country, Taiwan is an indispensable part of China. Any illusion of separating Taiwan from China or hampering the reunification of the Straits will be smashed! We have only one China."

At 11:15 the defaced homepage was modified by an apparently more moderate hacker, who deleted the skull and crossbones and edited the text to read, "Although it is wrong of McDonald's to list Taiwan as a country, we should not have done this. Amiability brings wealth."

The website did not resume normal operations until the afternoon of December 26.

(China Daily, China.org.cn December 31, 2004)

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