Feeds

Google blames glitch not hacker for 'Chinese' bio bug

Manchurian madness

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New twist as rogue antivirus enters death throes
That's not the website you're looking for
ISIS terror fanatics invade Diaspora after Twitter blockade
Nothing we can do to stop them, says decentralized network
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.