Feeds

Google blames glitch not hacker for 'Chinese' bio bug

Manchurian madness

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.