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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityhackingGoogleChinadata breach

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?