Feeds

China denies role in cyber attacks on Google

Claims 'groundless'

High performance access to file storage

China has denied it was involved in the December cyber attacks on Google and at least 33 other companies.

On Monday, the BBC reports, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology rejected claims that the state had anything to do with the attacks - or any others.

"The accusation that the Chinese government participated in [any] cyber attack, either in an explicit or inexplicit way, is groundless. We [are] firmly opposed to that," the unnamed spokesman told the government-run news agency, Xinhua. "China's policy on internet safety is transparent and consistent."

Google outed the attacks nearly two weeks ago, saying they originated in China. Mountain View threatened to leave the country if it couldn't reach an agreement with the Chinese government to stop censoring results on its local search engine.

According to Google, "a primary goal" of the the attackers was to access the email accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Google said that attacks on two Gmail accounts were largely unsuccessful, but that a subsequent investigation showed that the accounts of dozens of activists in the US, China, and Europe "have been routinely accessed by third parties."

Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the Chinese government to investigate Google's claims, saying: "Countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of Internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century." She also backed Google's intention to stop filtering search results in China, saying that US outfits such as the Mountain View giant should not support "politically motivated censorship."

"Countries that censor news and information must recognize that from an economic standpoint, there is no distinction between censoring political speech and commercial speech," she said. "If businesses in your nation are denied access to either type of information, it will inevitably reduce growth.”

This is the first time the Chinese government has addressed the cyber attacks head-on. Last week, however, it reiterated that Google and other foreign outfits must obey local law. That same day, Google postponed the launch of two Android phones in the country.

But later in the week, during the company's quarterly earnings call, CEO Eric Schmidt downplayed the situation, saying that the attacks "probably" came from China and that - as of now - Google's business in China is unchanged.

"We continue to follow their laws. We continue to offer censored results," he said. "A reasonably short time from now we will be making some changes there. We have made a strong statement we wish to remain in China. We like the Chinese people. We like our Chinese employees. We like the business opportunities there and we would like to do that on somewhat different terms than we have. But we remain quite committed to being there." ®

Update

This story has been updated to clarify how Google characterized the attacks.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.