Google hack raises serious concerns, US says

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton asks the Chinese government for an explanation

A coordinated hacking campaign targeting Google, Adobe Systems and more than 30 other companies raises serious concerns, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday.

In a statement released late Tuesday night, Clinton said that the U.S. government is taking the attack -- which Google said came from China -- very seriously.

"We have been briefed by Google on these allegations, which raise very serious concerns and questions," she said. "We look to the Chinese government for an explanation."

Sources familiar with the situation say that more than 30 U.S. companies, including Adobe Systems, were hit by this targeted attack, which Google first discovered in mid-December.

Using an attack that exploited an unpatched bug in widely used software, the attackers were able to gain footholds in these companies and siphon out valuable intellectual property.

In Google's case the attackers also gained access information about the e-mail accounts of Chinese dissidents.

While attacks of this nature have hit the military, federal agencies, and government contractors in the past, Google is the first technology company to come forward and acknowledge it has been hit.

Google apparently feels strongly that China is behind the attack because the company said Tuesday that the event helped convince the company that it "should review the feasibility of our business operations in China."

The company now says it will no longer censor search results on Google.cn, a move that could put it out of business in China.

Google's competitor, Yahoo, also condemned the attacks.

"We stand aligned with Google that these kinds of attacks are deeply disturbing and strongly believe that the violation of user privacy is something that we as internet pioneers must all oppose," the company said in a statement.

A company spokeswoman declined to say whether or not Yahoo had been hit by the attack as well.

Yahoo doesn't directly do business in China. It sold its Yahoo! China business to Alibaba.com in 2005, but it is a major shareholder in that company.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlesecuritydata breachChinahacking

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?