The Chinese government has ordered designers of the Green Dam censoring software to patch vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to take control of users’ computers.
In a detailed analysis last week, Scott Wolchok, Randy Yao, and J. Alex Halderman from the Computer Science and Engineering Division at the University of Michigan claimed to have found two major security vulnerabilities after only one day of testing the Green Dam software.
According to the report, the first vulnerability is an error in the way the software processes web sites it monitors, which the second is a bug in the way the software installs blacklist updates. However, both allow remote parties to execute arbitrary code and take control of the computer.
Speaking to the English language publication, China Daily, Zhang Chemin, general manager of Jinhui Computer System Engineering admitted that there were flaws, "just like any other software of this type" but went on to say that the company specializes in “producing internet filtering software rather than security.”
Zhang told CD that the government had asked the company to rush release security patches to fix the problems. "The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology told us to make the software safer as soon as a series of security vulnerabilities were found." Adding that programmers were working non-stop to develop fixes.
China has ordered that starting July 1, all computers must ship with the Green Dam software pre-installed on their computers. According to the Chinese government, the software is supposed to filter out pornographic content, however, recent analysis shows it also filters out political phrases too.