Feeds

Google blames glitch not hacker for 'Chinese' bio bug

Manchurian madness

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Google has blamed a snafu that resulted in an executive biography page for senior execs at the search engine giant rendering in Chinese for some on an unspecified glitch, rather than politically motivated hackers.

The peculiar glitch happened on Tuesday, just a day after Google pulled down the shutters on its Google.cn search operation and began attempting to redirect Chinese surfers to uncensored search results from servers located in Hong Kong, Google.com.hk.

Chinese authorities responded to the move - which Google had been threatening for weeks since it discovered Gmail accounts held by Chinese dissidents as well its intellectual property was targeted in a malware-based hack attack - by restricting access to Google's Hong Kong–based servers.

At around the same time of Tuesday Google corporate biography pages - which displayed a run-down of the careers of biographical information on Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and other senior execs - began rendering in Chinese for some surfers.

The Guardian, which first reported the glitch, explain that the bug was inconsistent across geographies and for different surfers, but repeatable. The glitch meant that the US corporate site partly mirrored its Hong Kong sibling, the paper adds.

The bug prompted some speculation in the Twitterverse that the site might have been targeted by a DNS hack or some form of subtle defacement, possibly in revenge for Google's decision to quit China.

Not so, according to Google, which stepped in on Tuesday to explain the screw-up was caused by a unspecified issue and not criminal hackers, as an update to Google's Twitter account firmly states:

We've fixed a bug on our corporate exec page that displayed the incorrect language to some users. (The site was *not* hacked.)

Screenshots of the borked Google exec pages can be found in a Business Insider story here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.