Snotty Nosed: Google Hacking Row Continues As Oz Battens Down Cyber Hatch

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As Google’s row with China continues a leading newspaper brands the Gmail owners as “snotty- nosed.”

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Chinese authorities who last week were accused by search giant Google of hacking into the accounts of hundreds of Gmail user accounts, known as phishing, have vehemently denied the charge painting themselves as victims rather than perpetrators of the major cyber attack on highly confidential US government departments, among others.

Following the accusations, its Foreign Ministry office released a statement denying any involvement in the recent attacks claiming its own networks were also subject to attacks and suggested Google had ulterior motives.

“Allegations that the Chinese government supports hacking activities are completely unfounded and made with ulterior motives,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told media last week, suggesting it was a worldwide problem and far from confined to China.

This was backed up by editorial in China’s Global Times paper, which branded Google as “snotty nosed” and cited its failure to gain a larger grasp of the Chinese market as the reason behind the attack, reports The Guardian.

Us Defence and State Depts and Chinese political activists among the targets which the search giant traced back to Chinese city of Jinan, a base of the People’s Liberation Army.

Among the hacked accounts were “senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly S. Korea), military personnel and journalists.” Hotmail and Yahoo e-mails were also subjected to pshishing which saw hackers aiming to gain account passwords and actively monitor accounts.

 

This comes as Australia kicked off its own cyber strategy on Friday with attorney general Robert McClelland announcing a white paper on cyber security, the findings of which will be released early next year.

The cyber threat to Australia is real, evolving and a growing test to our national security establishment,” Minister for Defence Stephen Smith at the announcement.

“Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and targeted. They are no longer confined to random acts of opportunism.”

Online attacks come from a wide range of sources and from highly skilled “adversaries,” Smith admitted.

The strategy will allow Australians connect to the internet with more confidence, and “examine what we need to do to protect ourselves online, the role of government, industry and the public in protecting our interests,”  covering areas including consumer protection, cyber safety, cyber crime, and defence.

This announcements comes as as it was also revealed that government departments here are subject to daily cyber threats.

”I doubt whether there would be a 24-hour period in which you wouldn’t get something,” Dennis Richardson, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, told a Senate committee on Thursday.

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