Google China hack attack controversy: two schools fingered

More controversy over last month's Google China hack story. Two Chinese schools have been accused of launching the attack: Shanghai Jiaotong University and Lanxiang Vocational School; the U.S. is "investigating". In IT Blogwatch, bloggers dig deeper.

By Richi Jennings. February 22, 2010.


Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention a pleasant little ditty...     Cade Metz has met the enemy:

Two Chinese schools have denied ... that they were involved in ... cyber attacks on Google and at least 33 other outfits sometime. ... The New York Times ... reported that the attacks had been traced to Shanghai Jiaotong University and Lanxiang Vocational School.


In January, Google told the world that attacks originating from China had pilfered unspecified intellectual property. ... The Chinese government later denied any role in the attacks. ... [Google] said that attacks on two Gmail accounts were largely unsuccessful, but ... accounts belonging to dozens of ... human rights activists ... in the US, China, and Europe "have been routinely accessed by third parties.".

Aaron Back and James T. Areddy are back and ready:

U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials are investigating links between the attacks and two Chinese schools. ... Jiaotong has long been regarded a hacking center. ... In October 2007, the university ... highlighted a talk by Peng Yinan, who was described as a hacker famous for attacking U.S. Web sites.


Chinese Internet users ... left enthusiastic messages on online message boards following the news. “Wanna be a hacker and hack Google? Go to Lanxiang!” said one. “The report is better than any local advertisements the school has ever done,” ... said another.

Clifford Coonan can cope:

Chinese universities have strong military aspects ... [and] the military has ... recently started to woo graduates in a major way as the government tries to revolutionise the armed forces to keep in step with western armies.


So far, 38 students have been recruited by the military for their talent in auto repair, cooking and electric welding,” said Zhou Hui, director of Lanxiang school’s general office. He disputed claims ... that there was a link to a computer science class taught at the school by a Ukrainian professor.

Mu Xuequan agrees:

The report attracted great attention from Chinese netizens. Many laughed at the suggestion that a simple vocational school, which mainly offers courses like cooking, auto repair, hairdressing and basic computer skills classes, had the capacity to stage the cyber attacks.

Mike Ferro is fair and balanced:

It seems like there is no definitive evidence where the attack actually originated. It could be plausible that the hackers used the schools as a relay point to the target destination.

But this Anonymous Coward is hardly surprised:

Seriously, so what? China is in a cold war with the west. Sadly, the west has not woke up to this. This is just one more of their approaches. And to be honest, it is smart on their part. The west is working hard to avoid another cold war, but we are in it and losing it.

Meanwhile, antifoidulus reacts strongly:

This attack finally convinced me to go ABC with my buying habits, ie Anything But China. I refuse unless absolutely necessary to buy goods manufactured in China. ... **** them, **** them all.


If you are vigilant you can find really good deals on stuff not made in China. ... Clothes made in Vietnam have much better quality than those made in China, ditto for electronics and Japan. ... Boycott China.

And DeltaQH offers this point of clarification:

But don't boycott Taiwan (Repuplic of China).

So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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