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A new approach to China

A new approach to China
Like many other well-known organizations, we face cyber attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis. In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident--albeit a significant one--was something quite different. First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses--including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors--have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities. Second, we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

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Google vs China: the Chinese reaction so far 13 January '10, 02:19pm Follow When Google issued its “Stop censoring us or we quit your country” announcement, it was a bold and unexpected move. So, how have the Chinese responded? Microsoft admits Explorer used in Google China hack Microsoft has admitted that its Internet Explorer was a weak link in the recent attacks on Google's systems that originated in China. The firm said in a blog post on Thursday that a vulnerability in the browser could allow hackers to remotely run programs on infected machines. Following the attack, Google threatened to end its operations in China. Microsoft has released preliminary guidance to mitigate the problem and is working on a formal software update. So far, Microsoft "has not seen widespread customer impact, rather only targeted and limited attacks exploiting Internet Explorer 6".

Google password system was target of Chinese hackers Google's internal system which lets people access its services via a single password was the target of the Chinese hacking attack last December that led the company to withdraw from the mainland, according to the New York Times. The system, known internally as "Gaia" – after the overarching planetary consciousness posited by James Lovelock – is behind the interface which lets not just users but also Google developers to log in and gain access to the company's resources. Millions of people use that interface to access documents and email from anywhere in the world using Google's "cloud" services. However, users' passwords have not been compromised: Google is understood to follow standard security practice, by which passwords are only stored in encrypted form known as a "hash". When a user logs in, the password they supply is encrypted using the same method and compared to the hash.

Google, China censorship standoff ends - Jul. 9, 2010 Google's stock price has dropped about 18% since March 22, when it stopped censoring search services on, its Chinese search site.By Aaron Smith, staff writerJuly 9, 2010: 11:28 AM ET NEW YORK ( -- Google said Friday that it has renewed its license with the Chinese government to continue operating in that country, ending a standoff over censorship. "We are very pleased that the government has renewed our [Internet content provider] license and we look forward to continuing to provide Web search and local products to our users in China," said Google on its blog. Google did not make any concessions regarding censorship, Tokyo-based Google spokeswoman Jessica Powell said.

Reputation Is Dead: It’s Time To Overlook Our Indiscretions Trying to control, or even manage, your online reputation is becoming increasingly difficult. And much like the fight by big labels against the illegal sharing of music, it will soon become pointless to even try. It’s time we all just give up on the small fights and become more accepting of the indiscretions of our fellow humans. Because the skeletons are coming out of the closet and onto the front porch.

China Has Ability to Hijack U.S. Military Data, Report Says China in the past year demonstrated it can direct Internet traffic, giving the nation the capability to exploit “hijacked” data from the U.S. military and other sources, according to a new report. Recent actions raise questions that “China might seek intentionally to leverage these abilities to assert some level of control over the Internet,” according to excerpts from the final draft of an annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. “Any attempt to do this would likely be counter to the interests of the United States and other countries.” On April 8, China Telecom Corp., the nation’s third-largest mobile-phone company, instructed U.S. and other foreign-based Internet servers to route traffic to Chinese servers, the report said. The 18-minute re-routing included traffic from the U.S. military, the Senate and the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Google Threatening To Leave China Over Hacking, Email Leak UPDATE 4:31 PM ET: Get latest updates on Google's China developments on our liveblog here. SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc. will stop censoring its search results in China and may pull out of the country after discovering that computers hackers had tricked human rights activists into opening their e-mail accounts to outsiders. The change-of-heart announced Tuesday heralds a major shift for Google, which has repeatedly said it will obey Chinese laws that require some politically and socially sensitive issues to be blocked from search results that are available in other countries Google disclosed in a blog post that it had detected a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China." Further investigation revealed that "a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists," Google said in the post written by Chief Legal Officer David Drummond. Google did not specifically accuse the Chinese government.

Google Defies Korean Censorship Law - Last July, I reported how YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, submitted to pressures from the the South Korean government in defiance of Google's own policies. It prevented Korean users from viewing a video clip which irritated the head of the National Police Agency -- the mastermind behind the brutal suppression of last summer's relay demonstrations. This post is an update to that situation. Since before Lee Myung-Bak's ascent to power, but particularly since then, the Korean government has been pretty active in instructing major web portals to delete any content which the ruling group found objectionable. Material that raised suspicions about the integrity of prominent members of the ruling group, such as the video clip noted above, was targeted particularly ruthlessly. Tech-savvy users turned to foreign websites such as Google Groups and YouTube in an effort to resist censorship; still, those foreign websites turned out not to be the safe havens that they seemed before.

Just two Chinese ISPs serve 20% of world broadband users If you need a reminder of just how big China is—and just how important the Internet has become there—consider this stat: between them, two Chinese ISPs serve 20 percent of all broadband subscribers in the entire world. Telegeography has updated its world Internet service provider database and finds that the sheer scale of China dwarfs just about everyone else. China Telecom is the largest ISP in the world, with 55 million subscibers.

Chinese "Night Dragon" hackers target Western energy firms Hackers based in China appear to have launched a "coordinated, covert and targeted" campaign of cyber espionage against a number of prominent Western energy firms. According to a McAfee report cited by the Wall Street Journal, the hacking incidents - dubbed "Night Dragon" - may have begun as early as 2007 and are still ongoing. The hackers routinely managed to scrape gigabytes of sensitive data about oil- and gas-field ops, project financing and bidding documents. "We saw no evidence of sabotage activities in these attacks. These individuals almost seemed like company worker bees.

Yahoo Drawn Into Google's Cyber War With China Yahoo (YHOO) was drawn into the growing international cyber-war between Google (GOOG) and the Chinese government Saturday after it declared its support of the U.S.-based search giant. Google threatened to pull out of China after it became the victim of a massive cyber attack that is believed to be masterminded by the Chinese government. Now several other U.S. companies are also believed to have been victims of a similar attack, including Yahoo.Yahoo said it is "aligned with Google" in its rebuke of Chinese censorship, and condemned "any attempts to infiltrate company networks to obtain user information."

10 Most Censored Countries - Reports New York, May 2, 2006--North Koreans live in the most censored country in the world, a new analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists has found.The world's deepest information void, communist North Korea has no independent journalists, and all radio and television receivers sold in the country are locked to government-specified frequencies. Burma, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, and Libya round out the top five nations on CPJ's list of the "10 Most Censored Countries." In issuing its report to mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, CPJ called state-sponsored censorship one of the most urgent threats facing journalists worldwide. CPJ studied press freedom conditions in dozens of countries around the world to assess the access people have to independent information and the methods leaders use to stifle the news.

The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet Two decades after its birth, the World Wide Web is in decline, as simpler, sleeker services — think apps — are less about the searching and more about the getting. Chris Anderson explains how this new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism. And Michael Wolff explains why the new breed of media titan is forsaking the Web for more promising (and profitable) pastures. Who’s to Blame: Us

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