Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

New Info: Chinese Hackers Targeted GOOG's Internal Spy System

Posted by Tom Foremski - January 13, 2010

Computerworld has a very interesting story about the Google/China flap.

Reporter Robert McMillan quotes an unnamed source:

...they [hackers] apparently were able to access a system used to help Google comply with search warrants by providing data on Google users, said a source familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press. "Right before Christmas, it was, 'Holy s***, this malware is accessing the internal intercept [systems],'" he said.

Google was already hosting a spy system that could provide the Chinese government, and any other government with user data. They merely had to request that data through a search warrant. That internal spy system became the weak spot in Google's security technology.

But why would the Chinese government try to hack into a system that was already providing it with user data?!

Clearly, the Chinese government was looking at collecting data on all other Google users, not just human rights activists. China was trying to spy on us all!

And it was Google's internal spy system that compromised all its users.

Kimo Crossman, an SVW reader, makes an astute observation when he says that "wiretapping systems increase attack vectors."

Google's own spying system became the perfect system to hack because it was already collecting all usefull data.

Google's anger with China is understandable. But to use human rights as a pretext for pulling out when it was Google's own spy network that got it into trouble seems outrageous.

. . .

Please see: GOOG v China Highlights Security Risk Of Wiretapping Systems


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