WikiLeaks: China was behind 2009 Google hack

Cyber attacks which led Google to cease censoring search results in China were ''directed'' by the Chinese Politburo, according to diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks.

According to The New York Times, among some 251,287 confidential communications between 274 embassies around the globe were cables revealing official Chinese involvement in the attacks.

A Chinese contact reportedly told the American Embassy in Beijing in January this year that the Google cyber attacks were part of a ''coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government.''

American government and business systems and systems of US allies were also targeted, according to the cables.

The Google attacks occurred in mid-December 2009 and were reported by the search giant to be a ''highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google.''

At least twenty other companies were also targeted including Adobe Systems, Symantec, Yahoo, Northrop Grumman and Dow Chemical.

Google also stated that ''a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.''

As a result of the attacks, Google reversed its policy of complying with Chinese censorship and began redirecting search queries from mainland China to servers in Hong Kong which delivered uncensored results. The resulting dispute with the Chinese government was only resolved in July when Google backed down and agreed to resume censoring searches from google.cn.

WikiLeaks began publishing a massive cache of diplomatic cables on Sunday and will continue to release them over coming months. Just hours before the first cables were published, WikiLeaks reported via Twitter that it was ''currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack.''

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42 Comments

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The Visitors said,
I love WikiLeaks.
What is wrong with you? Why would you love such sleazy website! You much be out of your mind or just not American. (Shaking My Head)

Toorop said,

He loves WikiLeaks for bringing out the truth. No matter what country one belongs to, one should always stand with the truth.

After all, one word of truth outweighs the whole world.

who wouldn't wanna probe google in the US ... who knows what data or how far their searches go into specially in government departments. But as others say, google themselves said it at the time it was them all along.

To be honest they shouldn't be doing the spying if they don't want people to find out

Indeed... Or at least try learning how to keep their secrets, well, secret...

DSLJay said,
Granted it sucks what China did. However, the wikileaks documents also make the United States look bad for spying on it's allies.
I honestly think the founder of wikileaks wants everyone to turn on everyone else and start world war 3.
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2...es-sparks-diplomacy-crisis/
Wikileaks does not release documents based on what they contain... They don't control the information they get, they just release what they do get after filtering names and stuff. It's not their fault if information they release makes countries get mad at each other.

China is just trying to mind its own business guys, lets not try and pin everything on em, if we can but for a moment.

"At least twenty other companies were also targeted including Adobe Systems, Symantec, Yahoo, Northrop Grumman and Dow Chemical."

That does'nt look good on Symantec. A company that provides firewall and anti virus software. :-(

Gothic_Rebel said,
"At least twenty other companies were also targeted including Adobe Systems, Symantec, Yahoo, Northrop Grumman and Dow Chemical."

That does'nt look good on Symantec. A company that provides firewall and anti virus software. :-(


Just because they were targeted doesn't mean they were successfully attacked.

DARKFiB3R said,
What are "cables", another way of saying communications?

It usually means a message sent abroad.

DARKFiB3R said,
What are "cables", another way of saying communications?

Similar saying to "Sending a wire" both mean sending a message electronically to a far off location... left over terms from the olden days basically

They just proved the obvious. Well, that's good in a way.

I'm all for Wikileaks. What they're doing is very righteous, making information available that the public has a right to know.

Recon415 said,
They just proved the obvious. Well, that's good in a way.

I'm all for Wikileaks. What they're doing is very righteous, making information available that the public has a right to know.


As long as people don't get carried away and get on the high horse of pretending that they have the right to know everything about everything.

vanx said,

As long as people don't get carried away and get on the high horse of pretending that they have the right to know everything about everything.
Agreed. The goal is to keep the ****ers ruling the various countries in check and it looks like this is a step in the right direction. So far so good.

As for Google, they got what they deserved for not following Chinese law. At least corporations cannot be bigger than the government in China. Also, it proved how insecure Google's infrastructure is.

Edited by Jebadiah, Nov 29 2010, 11:20am :

Jebadiah said,
As for Google, they got what they deserved for not following Chinese law. At least corporations cannot be bigger than the government in China.

I think you have a little reading comprehension problem. Google was complying with their laws before the attacks. It was only after the attacks that Google said "**** you" to China and began redirecting search results to Hong Kong.

roadwarrior said,

I think you have a little reading comprehension problem. Google was complying with their laws before the attacks. It was only after the attacks that Google said "**** you" to China and began redirecting search results to Hong Kong.

When the government does something wrong, you don't go breaking laws. It is still illegal whether it was provoked or not. What Jebadiah said is 100% true. Twist it how you want but what Google did was still illegal.

ILikeTobacco said,

When the government does something wrong, you don't go breaking laws. It is still illegal whether it was provoked or not. What Jebadiah said is 100% true. Twist it how you want but what Google did was still illegal.


What Google did was illegal in China, but then what China did was illegal in the US. I'm not saying two wrongs make a right, but it certainly does send a message.

The resulting dispute with the Chinese government was only resolved in July when Google backed down and agreed to resume censoring searches from google.cn.

Boy, Google sure showed them.

Relativity_17 said,

Boy, Google sure showed them.

Love the journalism 'cause that's completely wrong and shows the author is incapable of doing research. The only "backing down" that Google's done is that instead of automatically redirecting users to google.com.hk, they now show an image that users click on to go to google.com.hk which is uncensored.

MrA said,

Love the journalism 'cause that's completely wrong and shows the author is incapable of doing research. The only "backing down" that Google's done is that instead of automatically redirecting users to google.com.hk, they now show an image that users click on to go to google.com.hk which is uncensored.

+1, was going to post that.

Edrick Smith said,
Good to see google backed down as everyone cheered them on saying they were the savior. But corporate business continues as usual.
They never hid the fact that they backed down. But I don't see how it was "good"

The Google attacks occurred in mid-December 2009 and were reported by the search giant to be a ''highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google.''
Wasn't this the same attack that happened because Google was running an outdated version of Adobe reader and IE6? Not exactly a highly sophisticated attack then

If it was, then this news is quite quite old.

/- Razorfold said,

If it was, then this news is quite quite old.

The news here is that the Chinese government were officially responsible, not just a strong rumour.

~Johnny said,

The news here is that the Chinese government were officially responsible, not just a strong rumour.


It's still strong rumor, as it refers not to Chinese official documents, but to American documents. And there is a lot of false statements and false accusations made by reporters of those documents.

So it's still just a rumor.