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Google Attackers Identified as Chinese Government

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the well-this-isn't-good dept.

Google 651

forand writes Researchers, examining the attacks on Google and over 20 other companies in December, have determined 'the source IPs and drop server of the attack correspond to a single foreign entity consisting either of agents of the Chinese state or proxies thereof.'"

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World War III - The Cyber War (5, Funny)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767208)

Coming to a planet near you.

Re:World War III - The Cyber War (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767254)

Just wait for the posters who state that, just like 9/11, this was actually organized by the US Government to foster dislike of China to facilitate favorable actions by the US military.

Re:World War III - The Cyber War (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767344)

Like 9/11, this was actually organized by the US Government to foster dislike of China to facilitate favorable actions by the US military,

Re:World War III - The Cyber War (5, Funny)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767584)

Thanks, I hate waiting.

Re:World War III - The Cyber War (4, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767422)

The Cybermilitary, get it right. We're facing an ipv4 shortage, haven't you read peak ipv4?? We must reclaim all of the ipv4 resources that China has been hoarding these years!

Re:World War III - The Cyber War (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767690)

you mean...
we have an ipv4 Gap??

Re:World War III - The Cyber War (0, Troll)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767858)

Just wait for the posters who state that, just like 9/11, this was actually organized by the US Government to foster dislike of China to facilitate favorable actions by the US military.

I sure hate those damn Chinese for flying planes into the World Trade Center and the Germans for bombing Pearl Harbor.

How on earth did you get modded insightful? Oh right, I must be new here.

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767294)

Idiot is trying to get a +5, Insightful rating by FP'ing idiot banter. Amen.

MOD PARENT DOWN (2, Funny)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767492)

Idiot AC is trying to troll by calling others trolls. Amen.

No, Seriously... (5, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767370)

If a foreign government had attacked non-digital assets of any US corporation, you would expect some kind of formal reprisal. Maybe not an airdrop of Marines, but certainly something more than Hilary Clinton threatening to write a stern letter.

What I have not doped out yet to my own satisfaction is whether the tepid response from Washington is the fault of the current administration, confusion regarding the digital nature of the breach and assets, or a little of both.

Re:No, Seriously... (5, Funny)

MakinBacon (1476701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767496)

There's nothing tepid about sending in Hillary Clinton. In fact, China would probably prefer if we used the marines.

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/u_s_condemned_for_pre_emptive_use [theonion.com]

Re:No, Seriously... (2, Insightful)

Snarkalicious (1589343) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767768)

Too right. A 'tepid' response is one that comes from 'administration officials'. Hillz is cabinet level, and internationally respected to boot. If she sends a letter, odds are good that Hu Jintao reads it himself.

Re:No, Seriously... (5, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767562)

If a foreign government had attacked non-digital assets of any US corporation, you would expect some kind of formal reprisal. Maybe not an airdrop of Marines, but certainly something more than Hilary Clinton threatening to write a stern letter.

What I have not doped out yet to my own satisfaction is whether the tepid response from Washington is the fault of the current administration, confusion regarding the digital nature of the breach and assets, or a little of both.

I think it has something to do with Chinese savings now being the foundation of much of the western economy, and the fact that China is a major nuclear power.

What China realised and the USSR didn't, IMO, is that they could forget the cold war and essentially buy the west with the west's own money.
/crazy theory

Re:No, Seriously... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767774)

China owns less than 1% of all US dollars in circulation, they're aren't a threat.

Re:No, Seriously... (5, Interesting)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767854)

The problem with this theory of winning the new cold war simply by buying the opponent is that it doesn't, and can't, lead to any kind of victory. By investing in US debt China has bound themselves in an unholy blood pact to the U.S. economy. We on some level need them to continue pouring money into the economy to pay for poorly thought out foreign policy, they on the other hand need us to continue to prosper or all of their investments become worthless. If one side wins both sides win, if one sides loose both sides loose. The Chinese have already shown their realization of this in their effort to keep interest rates low to prevent inflation from devaluing their assets.

Re:No, Seriously... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767638)

Although it's something of a sign of the administration holding conflicting opinions (increasing the legal value of digital content in copyright cases, while still being more dismissive of it in corporate espionage), I think it's just human nature to treat intangible digital assets differently from physical property, even when their differences are slight from a practical standpoint (secret documents, for example).

It's somewhat similar to the problem that the big media companies are having: most people who download content illegally probably don't really feel that they're "in the right", but they don't really care that much either. The intangible nature of the product seems to contribute to that - we're wired to place value on things we can hold, or stand on, or whatever. Making a big purchase in cash feels far more real than putting it on a card, too, for that matter. If someone had physically gone into Google's offices and looked through their filing cabinets people would have much more of a gut response to the issue.

One question that does raise, however: is it the case that we under-respond to issues without that gut reaction, or that we are simply over-responding in other cases?

Re:No, Seriously... (1, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767696)

And for some reason my comment posted as AC. Odd.

You left out (-1, Flamebait)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767698)

whether the tepid response from Washington is the fault of the current administration, confusion regarding the digital nature of the breach and assets, or something covert, being run from an office building in McLean VA.

Re:World War III - The Cyber War (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767688)

It's time, my friends:

10 years ago, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as hackers of fortune. If you have a problem with crackers, if no one else can help track them down, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The G-Team.

Re:World War III - The Cyber War (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767740)

Wait, is this the start of the Great War? Already?

But the US hasn't even annexed Canada yet!

CmdrTaco is hung like a toddler (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767210)

CmdrTaco's penis is so small that even an asian toddler looks like Mandingo in comparison.

But... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767220)

It couldn't be them. China would never do anything wrong.

That... or they'll just blame it on their status as a "developing nation" and that they shouldn't be held to the same standards as everyone else.

Re:But... (2, Funny)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767356)

But we Chinese have such tiny penis! How could we do such things with such tiny penis? You Americans have such gargantuan penis that you so much better than us!





(Yes, I do know that when South Park did this joke, they were really Japanese)

Re:But... (0, Offtopic)

fredrik70 (161208) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767470)

as they say: "It's not the size of the ship, its the motion of the ocean"

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

a-zarkon! (1030790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767436)

I am the last person to defend the Chinese government - but I read the article and it is not too clear on how they determined that the source is actually the Chinese government? Is it all based on the fact that the traffic is coming from certain IP addresses or is there (hopefully) more than just that to support the conclusion. Not advocating anyone trying to hack google, but if they did - pwning some unpatched pirated copy of Windows in China to use as a launching point wouldn't exactly be the worst approach to keep the heat from finding whoever was doing it.

Re:But... (5, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767686)

We know because we hacked their servers ... duh.

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767710)

They traced it to Chinese government IPs. Unless China comes out and says they were hacked, and are working with Google to find the nature of the attack, that's pretty ironclad.

Re:But... (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767758)

There's botnets running on government computers in most countries, China is probably not an exception. I'm not saying they didn't do it, just that IPs are not complete proof.

Re:But... (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767438)

It couldn't be them. China would never do anything wrong.

That... or they'll just blame it on their status as a "developing nation" and that they shouldn't be held to the same standards as everyone else.

The original official notification of this from Google's Chief Legal Officer [blogspot.com] where he mentioned human rights advocates and human rights issues causes this to seem above the average security breach:

Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

I can understand how "We can't enforce copyright on software and music when we're busy lifting hundreds of millions of citizens out of poverty as a developing nation" works but I can't understand how "We need to arrest and persecute human rights activists because we're a developing nation" works.

Re:But... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767516)

That... or they'll just blame it on their status as a "developing nation" and that they shouldn't be held to the same standards as everyone else.

No, you see that works for things like terrible environmental practices, hostile work environments, and building up military strength. All those things help development, no matter how harsh they are.

Hacking Google does not help China develop its industries.

It'd be like saying "Sorry I read your email, Its because I'm a starving college student".

Re:But... (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767684)

..and that they shouldn't be held to the same standards as everyone else.

Somehow I think that MI6, CIA, FSB, or other major security organizations, are committing countless similar attacks; they are just slightly better at hiding it. And such companies, or organizations, that they do attack wouldn't be investigated or reported by groups such as VeriSign.

Re:But... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767816)

Yeah, like they shouldn't be held accountable for policing their manufacturning facilities and keeping lead and cadmium [slashdot.org] out of childrens toys . Seems like WWIII has started a little early, no one bothered to inform us. China is actively attacking American corporations, as well as poisoning our children. I don't believe in war, per se, but I do believe in cutting trade ties. I spent a day going to the most expensive toy shops in the city, and all I could find was a really expensive doll made in China. The toy dealer said they could order a doll from Germany, for over $600. Who knows why we couldn't produce one for $40-$100 . . .

and... (0)

tangelogee (1486597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767242)

...dun dun duuuuuuunnnnnn... (cheesy cliffhanger music)

To quote Iago . . . (2, Funny)

Tanman (90298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767260)

Oh there's a big surprise! That's an incredible - I think I'm going to have a heart attack and die of not surprise!

can't say i'm surprised (2)

jacktherobot (1538645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767264)

now that its clear that the attackers were government agents the question is what will the US state department do.

Re:can't say i'm surprised (5, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767292)

Nothing.

Re:can't say i'm surprised (1, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767392)

I'd hope that this would be nice nice wake-up call to companies to use proper security procedures, but I'm guessing nothing will change.

Re:can't say i'm surprised (4, Insightful)

jwinster (1620555) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767502)

This same thing has been said for a long time. The fact is in the majority of companies (Google/Defense industry excepted), is that security is the first area of a company to get hacked to bits. So I don't think it's so much a procedural issue as much as it is a fundamental problem with visibility. The only time security workers get noticed is when something goes wrong, because when nothing bad happens, it just looks to management like they're not doing anything yet taking a good portion of their budget. All that said, you're probably right, nothing will change.

Re:can't say i'm surprised (2, Funny)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767424)

I dunno, give them some credit, Hillary Clinton might talk at them again. I'm sure they'll care deeply about that.

Re:can't say i'm surprised (2, Informative)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767486)

The trade deficit through China is still in our favor - appears to be over 200 billion if I was looking at the right website. China has a great deal of clout but so do we - restrictions on trade with China would hurt it way more than it would hurt us (even if everything in Walmart seems to come from China, the deficit is still in our favor and maybe we won't even have to deal with cadmium-poisoned kids as a result).

Re:can't say i'm surprised (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767722)

Well aside for a complete implosion of the economy and the dollar collapsing to be worth nothing, yeah it won't hurt at all!

Re:can't say i'm surprised (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767810)

I am not suggesting that we stop all trade immediately (that would be an interesting ethical situation since it would be appropriate to do so because of Chinese labor abuses but cause significant depredations in both countries as a result). Increasing tariffs does lead to escalation on both sides but specific talks can minimize the negative impact - and there will likely be some negative impact on our side. "Punishment" / Deterrence on a global scale will always have negative impacts to all parties involved. At issue is, can we find a solution with a less negative impact than the current one (large US companies worth billions having their infrastructure violated / potentially stolen)?

Re:can't say i'm surprised (1, Interesting)

system1111 (1527561) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767556)

Private companies, private matters right? Thats my first thoughts for sure when I think of something like this. But when you think about it where is the line? Where is the line when its one nation is funding and fostering corperate espionage against companies of another nation. When does some like this become an "economic" attack when doesn't it. If it deemed an attack on the economics of one nation whet kind of defenses or protocols do we have? I don't know the answers and I'm not saying its the case here but it certainly questions I think governments are going to ask themselves as these types of attacks become more and more public

Re:can't say i'm surprised (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767776)

Not much we can do; we are no longer the dominant economic superpower; China will soon surpass us. About the only we really can do is ask them nicely to use a little Vaseline next time.

Re:can't say i'm surprised (2, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767432)

I'm sure we'll respond with the same resolute and determined stance as we did with the Christmas Day Bomber.

Re:can't say i'm surprised (5, Interesting)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767564)

What did China do when they found all the bugs the US government put in the plane we sold them?

Nothing.
http://articles.latimes.com/2002/jan/20/news/mn-23796 [latimes.com]

Re:can't say i'm surprised (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767596)

now that its clear that the attackers were government agents the question is what will the US state department do.

The State Department will talk—that's what the State Department exists to do.

For anything beyond that, there are other agencies.

Overloards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767272)

I for one welcome our new asian overlords!!!

Re:Overloards (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767460)

You do... I don't... I am sorry. China's success is based on them slowly taking elements of our culture combined with the fact that they have a country with the worlds highest population Having about a billion more people then the United States (300 million) occupying the same geographical size, and having many of the same resources. The question isn't wow look how strong china is, it is why isn't china so much more powerful. It is because their government/culture doesn't work well.

Honestly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767298)

If that does not generate a stern response of some western politicians it will be a very bad sign

Re:Honestly (5, Insightful)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767352)

Bad China! BAD! Now give me more cheap, exploitable labor. AWWWE, how can we stay mad at you!

Re:Honestly (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767614)

Bad China! BAD! Now give me more cheap, exploitable labor. AWWWE, how can we stay mad at you!

Wait, you won't give us an more lithium batteries until we apologize? Crap, and we have to comply with environmental regulations too. Ok you win, we're sorry we told everyone you were unfairly hacking us. Please don't hold it against us!

Finally above ground (5, Interesting)

mejogid (1575619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767336)

It's hardly a secret that governments conduct cyber-espionage - what seems shocking in this instance is that they have been caught and that a major company, a telecoms giant and the US government have all gone on the offensive. This seems like a pretty dramatic shift, and you have to wonder what China's really done to provoke such a reaction after everyone's spent the last decade quietly appeasing them to try and get a foothold in their markets. It sounds like reading the subject lines of a few Chinese activists' emails is only the tip of the ice berg in this case, it'll be interesting to see what else has yet to be revealed.

Re:Finally above ground (2, Interesting)

Delwin (599872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767434)

Copenhagen.

Re:Finally above ground (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767462)

I'm just surprised that they used the same provider. I would think someone conducting espionage would vary their proxies a bit more.

I guess standards/budgets go down in the intelligence industry as much as any other industry in a bad economy.

Re:Finally above ground (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767468)

I couldn't agree more. Something else is clearly going on here. The response by government officials is a marked difference from previous instances of espionage conducted by China. My wild speculation is that the information which was sought was of a different calibre than previously seen, that is they wanted to use the information to quash internal strife. The US has been playing along with China in the belief that given a long enough time they will succumb to a free market capitalism. Perhaps the US government is finally realizing that to change China needs to have information more widely available.

Re:Finally above ground (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767526)

Those of us who manage network security for large and/or interesting companies have been dealing with Chinese originating probes for many years - they have been the majority for a long time. The only difference here is a major company went public, instead of telling us security guys to keep it to ourselves...

This is probably why (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767338)

This is probably why Google has threaten to leave China in the first place. Just using the filtering issue as the public excuse.

Re:This is probably why (2, Insightful)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767736)

Google was never ambiguous that the reason they are threatening to leave is because the government was hacking their servers. The removal of the filtering was just an extra "fuck you!" to the Chinese government. They tried playing nicely with the Chinese and they still took advantage of them.

It gonna go great... (1)

spribyl (175893) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767340)

Until the "independent" hackers turn into criminal gangs and/or rebels and turn on them.

Re:It gonna go great... (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767674)

But there will always be loads more government hackers to find them out, so they can be dragged into prison without trial and held indefinitely. So even if someone managed to figure out how to rebel in spite of the communist propaganda stream, they'd have to realize how little good it would do.

Our response is? (4, Interesting)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767362)

So what are we going to do about it? By we, I mean we as:

1. a body of corporations (those 20 or so affected)
2. a nation
3. a global community of nations (UN)
4. a cybercommunity

What can we do, and what is most likely to happen?

Re:Our response is? (1)

ZenDragon (1205104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767804)

IMO it is the responsibility of our government at least to defend its citizens, be they actual people or corporations operating in the US. Im not sure what retaliation would be in this case though. Im sure we have had some soft of cyber espionage going on against them for quite some time now. We just happen to be a little better about not getting caught I would assume. In any case, the fact that we have difinitively proven they have made some attempt to hack and have commited crimes against the US, give us every right to retaliate using whatever means necessary to defend our own integrity. Were do you draw the line though? It starts with a few cyber attacks, then what? Im kinda on the fence with this one, part of me says fight back, the other part asks what purpose that would serve.

SHOCKING (4, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767384)

Who didn't see that one coming from a mile away? I called it the moment I read that there was a sophisticated attack on Google.

Whether its all fabricated or not, I like the idea of Google pulling out of China. Google is one of the leading innovators in the western world - and by keeping their services out of China it sends a message to the government: Stop Oppression.

Re:SHOCKING (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767796)

It actually is fairly shocking they found evidence the Chinese government was responsible. Usually it's just "hackers in China." Who the Chinese can disown.

You read that China was responsible in the same blog post that the attack was disclosed in, so you didn't really deduce anything of note.

Write Google (4, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767390)

and tell them how proud you are that they finally took a stance befitting their "do no evil" stance. Better late than never, and they deserve our support for this courageous action. I for one have changed my mind about them significantly based on this single action alone.

Re:Write Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767652)

they finally made a business decision that on this occasion falls in line with their "do no evil" facade.

Fixed that for you.

everyone knew it all along (1)

kai_hiwatari (1642285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767400)

Doesn't surprise me. Doesn't everyone know that it was them all along?

Re:everyone knew it all along (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767546)

I guess the only ones who didn't know were the people investigating the case.

next up... (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767404)

google builds self-destructing data-centers that explode and erase all data when the chinese seize them...

Re:next up... (3, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767756)

next up... google builds self-destructing data-centers that explode and erase all data when the chinese seize them...

Sorry, I don't think it's likely Google will switch to Microsoft IIS anytime soon.

Really? (0, Redundant)

rocket97 (565016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767412)

Does this come as a surprise to anyone?

Re:Really? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767494)

No. It’s more of an I-told-you-so directed at anybody who ever doubted it.

Re:Really? (3, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767570)

This question is repeated endlessly at almost every major world event, "Does this come as a surprise to anyone?"

Stop already, its just a useless waste of bits.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767760)

Your girlfriend is a useless waste of bits.

heh (0)

mackinaw_apx (1444371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767416)

God damn mongorians, tear down my shitty (fire)wok! /southpark

Consequences? (4, Insightful)

psherma1 (1082607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767418)

If the EU can fine a US company for what amounted to unfair business practices, what should the US do to China? Debt? What debt?

Re:Consequences? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767832)

As the government relies on foreign entities, mainly China, to finance the massive federal deficit, that would result in America becoming bankrupt over night.

Never trust the Chinese! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767454)

If I've said it once, I've said it 1000 times. DO NOT TRUST THE CHINESE!!!

We need to deport every last one of these motherfuckers. Naturalized or not they will never be Americans. Their allegiance is to China PERIOD. DEPORT THEM NOW!

Cue all the liberal cunt multiculturalists who think the world is one big love-in. Joke is on you whiteboy! You're a subhuman barbarian in their eyes, even your Chinese "friends" in University. Have fun kissing their asses fools!

News from our correspondant: Cartman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767466)

Google: Stop Probing me!
Chinese: Respect My Authorita!
Google: Follow your own **** law. Screw you guys! I'm going home!

Confirmed: China is a "Developing Nation" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767504)

China really must be a "developing nation" if the might of their government either:

1) Can't even manage to get a machine on the internet that's 'anonymous' or 'obtained by proxy' that people can't trace back to the government
or:
2) Can't keep track of their stuff sufficiently well that someone else can't use their stuff to mount an attack on Google

We in the West often take for granted just how advanced our societies and governments are. I'm fairly sure even we Brits could manage to make it appear like the attack came from a primary school, or maybe a Tailor's shop. Our American cousins are a little better funded and advanced, so I'm sure, easily capable of making it look like the attack came from the Moon, or failing that a local Starbucks.

Re:Confirmed: China is a "Developing Nation" (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767672)

The last time China was called on this, several members of the US Congress had their machines pwned. The reply from China? "We are not advanced enough to do this." Whatever.

Buh bye to China (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767506)

I know it was you, China. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!
sincerely,
Google.

What if *google* was was being used for espionage (0, Flamebait)

gaspar ilom (859751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767522)

What if the Chinese government feared that Google was being used to engage in espionage against its interests? (either by US intelligence authorities, or other actors, like Taiwan?) Hasn't Slashdot reported for years about hardware and software backdoors being mandated by government? Is it so hard to believe that the NSA might pressure Google (or, surreptitiously alter google.cn) to engage in espionage for the United States?

Re:What if *google* was was being used for espiona (1)

alewar (784204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767628)

... and that's why they hacked the emails of those human right activists?

Re:What if *google* was was being used for espiona (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767636)

Take it easy, cowboy.

Re:What if *google* was was being used for espiona (1)

Lomegor (1643845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767704)

Yes, of course that can be. But if you or someone else (maybe the Chinese government) really think that that is the case, they have to prove it before making accusations.

Re:What if *google* was was being used for espiona (2, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767826)

Gmail, the aspect of Google that was being hacked is not available in China.

Been complaining about this for years (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767538)

Working for a Defense contractor, one of our systems was compromised. Fortunately, the idiot who gained access screwed up SSH which alerted us to what was going on, and prevented them from erasing their tracks. All SSH connections were from computers in China. They've been doing this for years, and no one has really called them on it until now. It takes Google to make a big enough splash before anyone really pays attention to it.

I for one... (0, Offtopic)

Orleron (835910) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767592)

...welcome our Chinese Government Hacker Overlords.

In the words of Master from Mad Max: Thunderdome (4, Funny)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767606)

...embargo on!

still no evidence linking the goverment (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767678)

After RTFA it seems the only thing solid is that command server was located in China, them belonging to "agents of the Chinese state or proxies thereof" remain pure speculation at this point unless some one come out and provide evidence that links to the government ,such as registration records or money trail etc. This could still well be the works by some local hacker groups, and since the servers being attacked is outside of China they are not even breaking local laws there. Though I wouldn't be surprised they have a wink-wink relationship with the local police.

Obligatory... (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767682)

Well duh...

(I am honestly surprised that I haven't seen someone post that comment yet.)

Fight China -- the capitalist way! (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767714)

This is the answer, and we all know it.. If we move all our industries out of China, it becomes nothing but an empty husk. Google doesn't really have a lot to lose by exiting China, but it certainly makes for big headlines when they decide to do so. Maybe other corporations will follow. The only way Western countries stand a chance in the next 20 years is if we disentangle ourselves from China.

Of course they are "proxies of the government"! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767718)

Due to the "Great firewall of China", don't all outgoing connections from China have to go through a government-owned proxy server?

Re:Of course they are "proxies of the government"! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767748)

Yes, but it has to indicate where to send the return packet somehow.

What happens when China seizes assets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30767728)

In the even that China gets pissed off, and simply seizes all of Google's assets in China while they're live, how much information do you think will be compromised?

Unleash the hounds (5, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767820)

The Wall Street Journal had a great article about some of the details behind the scenes of this particular incident, and also another article that did a good job of summarizing what has been discussed here over the last couple of years. The main stream media is openly stating that the People's Liberation Army is actively encouraging "citizen cyber militias" to conduct "cyber attacks" (good Lord how I hate that term) against foreign (read, United States) corporations. Although they haven't gone so far as to state that those militias have active backing of the government, they have said that the government is turning a blind eye to their activities. Furthermore, the WSJ goes on to state that there are United States agencies involved in similar espionage activities.

Given that background, it seems like hacking Chinese companies should be fair game for up and coming "security researchers" here in the United States. In the 1990s the United States government made it quite clear that they were going to come down hard on people who mess with government and Fortune 500 systems. Given the option between really securing the systems and punishing those who exploit the lack of security, they went with the latter. A lot of people, myself included, decided that once we turned 18 and faced the threat of real Federal prosecution, the wise move was to turn off the war dialers, stop snarfing ESN/MIN pairs out of the air, and stop trying to run exploit code against computers that we don't control.

We can't hone our craft in the United States anymore. Although there is a whole market for securing IT resources against attack, there isn't a playground to pick up skills in. My suggestion is that China is that playground. My suggestion is that Chinese corporations in the United States are the targets. I mean lets face it, there are hundreds of thousands of compromised computers in the United States. The United States government can't be held accountable for malicious activity directed toward Chinese corporations. It would be unfortunate for those entities to be DDoS'd. It would be unfortunate for their internal workstations to be the target of vulnerability research.

Where is the report? (4, Insightful)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767822)

I can't find the link to the actual report in TFA.

I don't doubt that there's a strong suggestion that the Chinese government was somehow involved in the intrusion attempts mentioned by Google, and generally it isn't Google's habit to lie or deceive in these high profile matters.

But two days after the Google announcement a report comes out saying "yes it's the Chinese government, yes it's them!"? Without obvious links to the actual report?

I just sense it's just the "security companies" trying to ride the PR bandwagon. I mean, it's just on everybody's mind, and "somebody had to say it out aloud". So you cobble together related bits and pieces and make a grand pronouncement, making everybody happy. But does it prove anything? Not until we find the evidence. Until then it's all just hearsay.

Besides, would you really base your conclusions on findings from "VeriSign's iDefense security lab"? From the company who tried to f*ck up NXDOMAIN?

This is not the end of the story. I suspect more juicy bits will come through.

Why would China do this? (3, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30767848)

The premise is that China hacked Google to access the accounts of these Chinese Human rights activists. Given that Google already complies with Chinese law, why did China not openly contact Google over this?

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