China's government blasts Google on Gmail account attack blame

On Wednesday, Google announced that it had discovered that hundreds of its Gmail accounts were the victim of an attack that it said originated from China. Today that country's government has gone on the media offensive, blasting Google on the implication that China's government had something to do with the Gmail attacks. The Telegraph web site reports that Hong Lei, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said, "Blaming these misdeeds on China is unacceptable." He added, "Hacking is an international problem and China is also a victim. The claims of so-called Chinese state support for hacking are completely fictitious and have ulterior motives."

In fact Google's blog post on Wednesday didn't directly blame the Chinese government for the attacks. It only said that the attacks seems to have originated from Jinan, China. Google said that the attacks affected the Gmail accounts of "hundreds of users including, among others, senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists."

Google added that it believe that the object of the attacks was "to monitor the contents of these users’ emails, with the perpetrators apparently using stolen passwords to change peoples’ forwarding and delegation settings." Google said it detected the effort, informed the affected users and "secured its accounts". It also said that it has informed the normal government agencies about the attacks. The Gmail accounts did not affect Google's internet network with Google saying, " ... these account hijackings were not the result of a security problem with Gmail itself."

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