Google says cyber attacks launched against it by China are forcing it to abandon censorship practices it’d reluctantly imposed in 2006.
[Sidenote - actually, it was earler than that. It was censoring news within mainland China by excluding certain sites two years before, as p2pnet revealed.]
Then Microsoft Security Advisory 979352 Released admitted, “we have determined that Internet Explorer was one of the vectors used in targeted and sophisticated attacks against Google and possibly other corporate networks.”
To the delight of Google (and probably Firefox as well) Australia, France and Germany have as a result issued issued Internet Explorer warnings.
Next up, Yahoo says it knew about the attacks all along but “chose to remain silent after its bigger rival went public”, says Reuters, going on:
Then the Obama administratiojn decided it was time to help Google out with an official protest to the Chinese government”, said the Washington Post.
“We will be issuing a formal demarche to the Chinese government in Beijing on this issue in the coming days, probably early next week,” it has state department spokesman P.J. Crowley saying.
The diplomatic message will “express our concern for this incident” and seek an explanation, he said.
Now, sources who are “familiar with the situation say the attck “may have been facilitated by people working in Google China’s office”, says Reuters, going on >>>
Security analysts told Reuters the malicious software (malware) used in the Google attack was a modification of a Trojan called Hydraq. A Trojan is malware that, once inside a computer, allows someone unauthorized access. The sophistication in the attack was in knowing whom to attack, not the malware itself, the analysts said.
Local media, citing unnamed sources, reported that some Google China employees were denied access to internal networks after January 13, while some staff were put on leave and others transferred to different offices in Google’s Asia Pacific operations. Google said it would not comment on its business operations.
Last week, “What’s really interesting about the Google vs China thing is not that it’s happening, it’s that anyone gives a damn, least of all China,” said p2pnet, adding:
“Google is, after all, a huge American corporation that exists to make profits for its shareholders — nothing more — and anything and everything it does is subservient to that.”
Stay tuned, of course.
..… and identi.ca
abandon censorship – Google to halt China censorship, January 12, 2010
p2pnet revealed – Google ‘Don’t be Evil’ amended, April 15, 2008
Internet Explorer warnings – Australia, France, Germany issue IE alerts, January 15, 2010
Reuters – Yahoo knew of attacks before Google, kept mum, January 15, 2010
Washington Post – U.S. plans to issue official protest to China over attack on Google, January 16, 2010
Reuters – Google probing possible inside help on attack, January 18, 2010
p2pnet – Google vs China: the Chinese view, January 186 2010
Use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site. Subscribe to p2pnet.net | | rss feed: http://p2pnet.net/feed
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.