Feeds

Google chief 'paranoid' on security after China attack

Schmidt spins Chrome for security line after epic fail

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google's chief exec said the search engine giant is paranoid about further security attacks in the wake of a high-profile assault it blames on hackers in China late last year.

Answering questions following an presentation before 400 chief information officers at the Atmosphere 2010 cloud technology conference on Monday, Eric Schmidt said Google took the unusual step of going public about targeted attacks against the firm involving attempts to steal intellectual property as a warning to others.

The attacks, which also targeted the Gmail accounts of Chinese dissidents, relied on exploits against a then unpatched flaw in IE 6 and affected at least 30 other blue-chip firms as well as Google.

"When we were attacked we faced a moral question," Schmidt said according to a Techcrunch report. "Most companies would be embarrassed… we decided we had to tell people as a warning."

The search engine giant tightened up security defences and accelerated plans to move workers over to Chrome OS netbooks in the wake of the attack. Hackers are reckoned to have targeted a Google system involved in processing wiretapping requests from law enforcement. This system relied on Microsoft's antiquated IE 6 browser, leaving Google open to attack.

Schmidt said the attack relied on breaking into a single system based on an outdated browser. This compromised system was used as a stepping stone to penetrate other systems and create further disruption.

Google was now "paranoid" about security in the wake of the incident, Schmidt told conference delegates, Cnet reports.

Schmidt advised delegates to run only the latest version of web browsers and operating system software, before going on to claim that its web services and platform technology will be more secure than alternatives. "We ultimately believe the web platforms we’re building over the last year will be inherently more secure (Chrome, Chrome OS)," Schmidt said.

Techcrunch has a transcript of Schmidt's Q&A session at Atmosphere 2010 in a story here. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?