Last week’s Gmail hacking incident and Google’s statements that indirectly point to the Chinese government as the source have the China speak:
“The Chinese Foreign Ministry rejected rejected those accusations, and the party newspaper warned Google against playing a risky political game.
By saying that Chinese human rights activists were among the targets of the hacking, Google was “deliberately pandering to negative Western perceptions of China, and strongly hinting that the hacking attacks were the work of the Chinese government,” the People’s Daily overseas edition, a small offshoot of the main domestic paper, said in a front-page commentary.”
China says that “Google has become a “political tool” vilifying the Chinese government, an official Beijing newspaper said on Monday, warning that the U.S. Internet giant’s statements about hacking attacks traced to China could hurt its business.” However Chinese Gmail hacking is reportedly part of a long-standing campaign by “cyberspies” in China to gain access to US defense and corporate information.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
James Mulvenon, a China and cyber-security expert, has been tracking a four-year phishing campaign against China specialists in Washington. He’s logged more than 100 rounds of attacks against 30-40 China specialists, many of whom have rotated in and out of government…
…The goal of this campaign in Washington appears to be to gather information from individuals who communicate with U.S. officials about China matters, Mr. Mulvenon said.If cyberspies gather sensitive but unclassified data from Washington research institutions and a smattering of U.S. officials, he said, “you get a pretty good picture of what’s going on in Washington as it relates to China.”
The campaign attempts to trick China specialists into opening attachments that would provide hackers access to their computers. In the beginning, Mr. Mulvenon said, the emails were easily identifiable as fraudulent. They contained lots of spelling errors and odd wording choices that would make more sense in Chinese than American English.
But the recent ones appear to come from people the target would know and contain text that plausibly could have been written by the alleged sender of the email, he said. The topics range from meeting agendas and the Olympics to President Barack Obama’s trip to China and conference invitations.