China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

Summary: Following Google's announcement on Wednesday that hundreds of Gmail accounts had been hacked by a campaign stemming from Jinan, China, the Chinese government is refuting claims that it was involved in any way.

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Following Google's announcement on Wednesday that hundreds of Gmail accounts had been hacked by a campaign stemming from Jinan, China, the Chinese government is refuting claims that it was involved in any way.

The situation has become rather tense for a number of reasons, especially by the fact that many of those Gmail accounts belonged to "senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists," according to Google's official blog.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei addressed the situation and told reporters:

"Blaming these misdeeds on China is unacceptable. Hacking is an international problem and China is also a victim. The claims of so-called support for hacking are completely unfounded and have ulterior motives."

Google hasn't placed the blame directly on China - although the two have definitely had their spats over privacy, censorship and other issues in the past.

Nevertheless, an investigation has been launched stateside by the White House and the Pentagon to determine the extent (and more into the source) of the problem, but it's a bit of a gray area as only personal email accounts seem to have been affected.

The security breach has been attributed to phishing and malware scams, which are quite common all over the globe. But given the targets of the scam, we're likely going to see more scrutiny and tension over this situation in the days ahead.

Related coverage on ZDNet:

Topics: Security, Browser, Cloud, Collaboration, Google, China

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34 comments
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  • Of course I am inclined to merely believe a Chinese officials denial.

    Everyone knows that government officials never lie, spin or deflect ...
    existential
    • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

      @existential

      Yes, and there is no religious persecution in China.
      gamc
      • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

        @gamc and yes there was no racial discrimination (by law) in the US either.
        Bradish@...
  • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

    Well, I do have to kind of concede one point. U.S. Government officials should not be conducting official U.S. Government business over a personal, free and inherently insecure email service such as Gmail. Anyone who just explicitly believes the Chinese Foreign Minister's statement is probably not getting the whole truth, either.
    swmace
    • Exactly

      @ swmace

      It's absolutely astonishing that US government officials have apparently been using an insecure service like Gmail for official communication. I'd never say this about private users, but government officials doing something so stupid almost deserve to be hacked.
      WilErz
    • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

      @swmace

      And they should not be fooled by 'phishing' either! Any senior government official fooled by phishing should be fired.
      mejohnsn
    • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

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  • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

    Rachel:

    Good Article. Ur a top notch writer (envy). But subject "CHINA DENIES... well, EVerything..." is now, well, kind-a dumb, moot. I think even Tech Geeks like us, guys/girls (when applicable anymore) who -as a group- think socialism is actually good and captialism is bad, STILL already know CHINA has NEVER, not once, nor WILL EVER, admit to ANYTHING!! ANY-THING! So, maybe name future article involving CHINA should be maybe something like 'CHINA DENIES AGAIN! WOW! THATs a SHOCKER!" -or- 'wink. wink. CHINA still innoncent. who would-a known!'

    HAH! Get smart GEEKS! We're self-defeating. And u know what happens to animals like us in the Wild, huh? YEh. SAVE AMERICA - VOTE GRASSROOTS. ("google" the term)
    ULTRALAN
    • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

      @ULTRALAN <br><br>I am not a "Tech Geek" like you. I don't know what environment you live in but you're mistaken if you think the majority of "Tech Geeks" share your philosophy.
      <br>If your writing reflects your age, I doubt you understand socialism. <br>Socialism only benefits slackers that don't want to pull their weight in society. <br>
      If you want to save America, I suggest you move to China and get a job in the iPad factory (I hear the jumpers are creating openings) where you can experience socialism first hand.
      StillLearnin
      • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

        @StillLearnin
        You haven't spent much time in China, have you?
        ait10101
      • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

        @StillLearnin
        fyi - China is communism--Europe supports socialism.
        jaskevold
    • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

      @ULTRALAN
      Wow, you actually think techies are a bunch of Socialists like you ?!?!?! How old are you? You have not done much research on Socialism have you? Ever talk to folks who have lived in countries that have intentionally tried to be Socialist? Those people will tell you Socialism, and any attempts at it, are not pretty.

      On top of all thats evil about it, it is not sustainable. Fiscally it just doesn't work, which is why China is currently practicing a sort of socialist capitalist hybrid system, which ultimately will fail as well, could be the only thing that ends up saving us all from them.

      You should do more research before you make such profoundly warped statements.
      Spoiled Pork
      • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

        @Spoiled Pork yes the Chinese system will fail as the US system is failing and the British system failed mid last century or earlier. Understand history and tell me on country that did not fail...your turn is coming wherever you are!
        Bradish@...
      • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

        Those people will tell you Socialism, and any attempts at it, are not pretty. <a rel="follow" href="http://www.amii.co.in/affiliation.aspx">International Accreditation Organization</a>
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        Karston1234
    • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

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  • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

    It is about time the west reigned China in. Maybe they weren't directly involved, but they were certainly the benfactor and beneficiary. The words plausible deniability comes to mind. Reign them in now before its too late
    striker67
    • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

      @striker67

      How do we do that? By bombing them? That would be an overly aggressive response. Plus it could start WW3, they are to Russia what the UK is to the USA.

      The only way to stop them is to cut them off from the entire western economy, no more cheap made in China goods, no more Ipads and pods, no more sharing or trading of ANYTHING with them; and that will NEVER happen. We are doomed, this will not end well.
      Spoiled Pork
      • Relatively easy

        @ Spoiled Pork

        Western governments could easily use the same sort of tactics the Chinese use to give local firms advantages over foreign competitors. If shipments of goods from China suddenly started facing import delays, blockages, problems with regulatory approval and so on, the (non-Chinese) producers would catch on pretty quickly, and start moving production from China to other low-cost countries. For China, this would mean lower growth, higher unemployment and probably political unrest. For the West, it would just mean marginally higher prices.

        The problem for the West, and especially the US, has been the mistaken view that China is just another business partner, like any Western country. In reality, many in the undemocratic Chinese government/military view the West as enemies, and already imagine they're fighting some sort of quasi-Cold-War against the West. The West need to show that doing mutually beneficial business is something we're all in favour of, but that if the Chinese government/military treat the West as enemies, Western governments will reciprocate.
        WilErz
      • RE: China claims no involvement in Gmail hacking

        @Spoiled Pork
        You are just the type the Chinese like to exploit. A door mat they can walk on.

        WilErz, you are spot-on. We need to start making it more difficult for the Chinese, treat them as a hostile element. Put tax incentives to produce in America. Set up disincentives to manufacture in China. Look toward South America for manufacturing if need be. The Chinese view the West as stupid and we have been, we let them steal IP without punishment. If we don't move to a strong stance now China will have no trouble transferring our wealth to their country.
        Kabcock