acknowledged that the attack resulted in theft of IP and source code.
Reports have surfaced that claim Google is considering
leaving the Chinese market due to the theft of the IP and because
its Gmail accounts are being repeatedly targeted by hackers. Google
has reported that the accounts of human rights activists in China and
the accounts of tech companies are most often targeted.
Chief Legal Counsel David Drummond said when Google announced the
attack, "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."
Since the attacks, the
relationship between Google and the Chinese government has continued
to deteriorate with Google announcing that it would uncensor all
searches on its Chinese website. The Chinese government issued a
veiled response saying that it welcomed all internet firms that
follow its laws.
New information surfaced that lays some of
the blame for the attacks at Microsoft's feet. A memory
flaw in Internet Explorer was reportedly exploited in attacks
against Google and other firms including Adobe.
reports today that Google is probing the attacks and is considering
that the attackers might have had
insider assistance from Google employees. The attacks targeted
specific employees that had access to very specific parts of the
The attackers used a trojan that was a
modified version of Hydraq. Security analysts say the sophistication
of the attacks wasn't in the method of attack used, but that the
attackers knew exactly what people inside Google to target with the
A Google spokesperson said, "We're not
commenting on rumor and speculation. This is an ongoing
investigation, and we simply cannot comment on the details."
media citing sources within Google report that some Google China
workers were cut off from access to internal networks after January
13 and some staff were put on leave. More staff members at the Google
China offices were transferred to other offices within the Google
Asia Pacific area.
Reuters reports that Google is also
set to have talks with the Chinese government in the next few days.
The talks are sure to focus on Google's plan to uncensor search
results and the attacks on its networks. The U.S. government is
getting involved in the search for answers to how the attack on
Google's networks happened. A diplomatic note has reportedly been
sent to China from Washington asking for an explanation on the
December attacks against Google.
Google only said about the
talks, "We are going to have talks with them [Chinese
government] in the coming few days."