Two Chinese Colleges Linked to Google Attacks

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The attacks on Google and others have been linked to two Chinese colleges, according to a report in The New York Times

Investigators have named two colleges in China which they believe to have taken part in the attacks which hit Google and other companies earlier this year, according to a report in The New York Times. 

According to The NY Times, the attacks, aimed at stealing trade secrets and computer codes and spying on Chinese human rights activists, may have begun as early as April – months earlier than previously thought.

The newspaper, which cites “people involved in the investigation”, says the attack has been traced to computers at Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School, and evidence “acquired by a United States military contractor that faced the same attacks as Google” has led investigators to suspect a link to a computer science class taught by a Ukranian professor at the vocational school.

Spokespeople for the schools reportedly told The Times they had not heard American investigators had traced the attacks to their campuses.

The attacks, nicknamed Aurora, are believed to have hit more than 30 companies, including Google, which claimed the cyber-attack originated in China.

Since Google’s announcement, researchers have sought to confirm the source of the attacks, but have largely come up wanting. Previously, researchers had linked the attack to systems in Taiwan. There was also a report tying a cyclic redundancy check algorithm in a Trojan used in the attacks to a Chinese research paper, but the significance of the code has been disputed.

The controversy has sparked tensions over cyber-security between the United States and China. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked the Chinese government to conduct a thorough and transparent inquiry into the matter, and the Chinese government has repeatedly denied any involvement, and responded angrily to Clinton’s speech.

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