IT Chimes Blog

Google backs their network – China hackers on it again!

January 15, 2010

The Shanghai market of Google is estimated to be around 3.1%, despite that Google has been considering the prospects of continuing in China. Recently, there have been varied attacks on the private information stored by Google. There has been information suggesting that these attacks have been aimed at certain Chinese activists. The restriction on the freedom of speech for these activists could be a reason. Monitoring them would in fact provide the government with vital information about these people.

Recently, a zero-day vulnerability was detected in Adobe (PDF file attachments). It is suspected to have been executed by the Chinese intelligence. Though these are yet to be proven, evidence suggests that Google and other companies like Adobe were on the list of the targeted. There have been many companies affected by these hacks. These activities are known to have been conducted by China- there is a history of hacks conducted by China. Activities of such magnitude lead to the withdrawal of companies such as Google from China. They have been dropping hints of the fore said. Suspicion of highly selective targeting on corporate infrastructure is one of many considered.

China’s rising economy does provide an incentive to be in the market but if business is hard hit, it results in long term losses. It is like a cyber-war which is being conducted between countries. This kind of new warfare is very tricky for major contractors of defense and finances. A cyber-war might just erupt. If such an occurrence does take place, then all those stuck in the middle, especially the private sector would be in huge losses. This calls for companies to strengthen their security lest they become easy targets.

Earlier victims like Dow Chemicals and Northrop Grumman are amongst those who have already suffered losses. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the instrument used to hack into the system. The vulnerability of the web browser was unknown. These browsers took control over the company data and accessed individual computers, gaining inside information and intellectual property data. The level of sophistication was that demonstrated by those at a national high level.

Google has revealed that intellectual data was stolen from Chinese accounts. In order to deceive investigators, hacks sent extracted information to different servers in Taiwan and Illinois. Investigation also revealed that servers maintained by a San Antonio web-hosting company were used to transmit stolen data. China denied all claims amidst the accusations.

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