Feeds

Google blames glitch not hacker for 'Chinese' bio bug

Manchurian madness

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

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
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
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.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
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.