Google accuses China of hacking more Gmail accounts

By on June 2, 2011, 4:25 PM

Google revealed Wednesday that hackers compromised hundreds of Gmail accounts, including those of government officials in the US and several Asian countries, military personnel, journalists and Chinese political activists. Before you panic, the search giant stressed that its internal systems haven't been breached. Instead, the hackers used phishing tactics to coax account credentials out of the victims, so unless you were targeted (and took the bait), your account is perfectly safe.

Once the intruder(s) gained access, they used Gmail's forwarding feature to monitor messages, though it's unclear what, if any specific contents they were looking for. No person or group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Google claims the phishing campaign originated from Jinan, the capital of China's Shandong province -- the same region linked to the December 2009 attack on Google's network. That incident caused Google to move its Chinese site to Hong Kong.

China has refuted the claims, calling them unfounded and even underhanded. "The so-called allegations that the Chinese government supports hacking is completely fabricated with ulterior motives," said Hong Lei, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Meanwhile, an article published today by Xinhua, China's official press agency, has slammed Google for its accusations, saying "the world's largest Internet search engine provided no solid proof to support its statement."

The report also accused Google of unsavory practices. "Google has not always followed business ethics as it says. The American media reported in mid-May that Google had not been vigilant about policing online pharmaceutical advertisements because they are so lucrative. As a result, the Internet search leader distributed online advertisements from illegal pharmacies." We're not sure what relevance that bears, besides portraying Google in a negative light.




User Comments: 10

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Win7Dev said:

I'm sorry, but what the hell does illegal pharmacies have to do with Chinese people hacking gmail accounts? If google says people from china hacked accounts, they probably did. The Chinese government seems so convoluted after reading techspot articles the past few weeks.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

my gmail account was hacked several months ago. Believed to have happened since my facebook account used to use the same password. The IP that google reported to me was located in China so I guess that gives them more ammo on China, wither someone is faking their IP or not.

arod916 said:

Quote me on this, "one day a war will be started due to hackers being a-holes and exercising their bs rights to experiment or whatever their stupid reasoning is." More and more the internet is enriching our lives but the other edge of the sword is that it is ruing the world we live in other ways. World War III, "The Internet War".

kamikit said:

Hmmm, I got a warning about a month or so back that my email logged in from two chinese ip addresses. It didn't really scare as much as it just surprised me but nonetheless, i changed every single password on every site associated with it and my one other gmail account.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wonder why haven't Sony accused Chinese Govt. for all of their security/hacking related troubles. Get over Google, instead of being acting stupid do something to fix the issue and improve your security.

Leeky Leeky said:

Why would some of the type of people being mentioned even use Gmail anyway? - Surely they'd have access to considerably more secure government communication options?

ramonsterns said:

arod916 said:

Quote me on this, "one day a war will be started due to hackers being a-holes and exercising their bs rights to experiment or whatever their stupid reasoning is." More and more the internet is enriching our lives but the other edge of the sword is that it is ruing the world we live in other ways. World War III, "The Internet War".

This has to be, by far, the silliest thing I've ever read on the internet.

Guest said:

Anyone out there who still thinks that China is a country governed by the rule of law has simply not been paying attention.

Guest said:

Please list examples of how the internet is enriching our lives all the time.

Personally, plastering every detail of ones' life on facebook/twitter, and having to walk around bumping into walls as you read the latest messages on your iphone/bb, is not enriching at all.

Whatever happened to a good book, a walk, some TV, working out, talking with the spouse..yet all that is trumped, because OMG I GOT MESSAGE I HAVE TO READ IT RIGHT NOW.

I'm having a bad day. :)

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Guest

By that measure no developed country is ruled according to the true spirit of law, remember Gitmo, the torture centers littered across the planet, renditions etc. ?

The point is law, is used as a pretext to malign others, however, when it comes to their own actions, law is something which can be twisted / tweaked or simply ignored on the pretext of 'security'.

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