Google Hacked By China… Google Returns The Favour

Here’s an interesting plot twist to this Google vs. China story. How does Google find out who’s really responsible for the hacks that they’ve detected? Simple, they hack the hackers right back:

It managed to gain access to a computer in Taiwan that it suspected of being the source of the attacks. Peering inside that machine, company engineers actually saw evidence of the aftermath of the attacks, not only at Google, but also at at least 33 other companies, including Adobe Systems, Northrop Grumman and Juniper Networks, according to a government consultant who has spoken with the investigators.

Seeing the breadth of the problem, they alerted American intelligence and law enforcement officials and worked with them to assemble powerful evidence that the masterminds of the attacks were not in Taiwan, but on the Chinese mainland.

Geez. This wasn’t just a one time deal. How evil. Hopefully the companies that were hacked along with Google take whatever steps to ensure their security. As for who’s behind this, it’s not so clear:

But while much of the evidence, including the sophistication of the attacks, strongly suggested an operation run by Chinese government agencies, or at least approved by them, company engineers could not definitively prove their case. Today that uncertainty, along with concerns about confronting the Chinese without strong evidence, has frozen the Obama administration’s response to the intrusion, one of the biggest cyberattacks of its kind, and to some extent the response of other targets, including some of the most prominent American companies.

Lovely. But at least it puts the perps on notice that when you hack Google, you’re hacking the wrong people.

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