Feeds

China denies role in cyber attacks on Google

Claims 'groundless'

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.