Quantcast

Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

FBI investigating Google hacker attack

By Matthew Lee

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 08:25 a.m. HST, Jun 02, 2011


WASHINGTON >. The FBI is investigating allegations that computer hackers in China broke into Google's email system, but no official government email accounts have been compromised, the Obama administration said Thursday.

"These allegations are very serious," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters. "We take them seriously. We are looking into them."

She had no comment on reports of China's involvement.

Google said Wednesday that personal Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including senior U.S. government officials, military personnel and political activists, had been exposed. Google traced the origin of the attacks to Jinan, China, the home city of a military vocational school whose computers were linked to a more sophisticated assault on Google's systems 17 months ago. The two attacks are not believed to be linked.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration doesn't restrict government employees from using personal Gmail accounts, but does direct workers to use government email for official business. He had no comment on who in the administration may have been affected by the hacking.

Clinton said attacks such as the one alleged by Google were a prime reason the State Department has for the first time created a cyber-security coordinator. "We know this is going to be a continuing problem and therefore we want to be as prepared as possible to deal with these matters when they do come to our attention," she said.

The Pentagon said Thursday it had little information since the reported breaches involved personal accounts rather than government email. And since the accounts were not official, the U.S. Department of Defense didn't know whether defense employees were among the targeted individuals, the statement said.

A day after Google exposed the breach, China denied on Thursday that it supports hacking and said it is part of global efforts to combat computer security threats.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters that hacking was a global problem and Chinese networks had also been targeted by hackers, but he gave no specifics. He said China was working to crack down on the problem, but he didn't respond when asked whether it would investigate this specific incident.

"Allegations that the Chinese government supports hacking activities are completely unfounded and made with ulterior motives," Hong said.

Google said all of the hacking victims have been notified and their accounts have been secured.

The hackers appeared to rely on tactics commonly used to fool people into believing they are dealing with someone they know or a company that they trust. Once these "phishing" expeditions get the information needed to break into an email account, the access can be used to send messages that dupe other victims.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which has a hand in regulating the Internet, referred questions about the allegations to another regulatory agency, the State Council Information Office, which did not respond.

The intrusion last year targeted Google's own security systems and triggered a high-profile battle with China's Communist government over online censorship.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(0)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout

Wassup Wit Dat!
Can You Spock ‘Em?

Warrior Beat
Meal plan

Volley Shots
Fey, Enriques on MJNT

Political Radar
Wilhelmina Rise, et al.

Court Sense
Cold War