China defends net policies as hack victims emerge

Robert Clark
15 Jan 2010

The Chinese government has defended its internet censorship in the wake of Google’s announcement that it is planning to close its mainland China business.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, said foreign companies operating in China must do so “in accordance with the law.” China’s internet was “open”, she said without elaboration.

In a lengthy paper posted to its website, China’s State Council Information Office said the China’s internet media needed to ensure they published “positive” news to “guide opinion”.

Separately, a number of Gmail users emerged to report suspect hacks into their accounts, including Zeng Jinyan, the wife of jailed activist Hu Jia and US-based Tibetan activist Tenzin Seldon.

Seldon, a student at Stanford University, said Google had examined her laptop and confirmed that hackers had gained access to her Gmail account, NYTimes reported.

VeriSign's iDefense security lab said in an analysis that it had sourced the recent cyberattack on Google and other companies to the Chinese government, blog site Ars Technicareported.

"The source IPs and drop server of the attack correspond to a single foreign entity consisting either of agents of the Chinese state or proxies thereof," the report said, citing sources in the defense contracting and intelligence consulting community.

The report said that the malicious code was deployed in PDF files that were crafted to exploit a vulnerability in Adobe's software.

However, Adobe denied its software had been the entry point for the attack.

Meanwhile, Google could withdraw from China as early as February, a Google staffer told the Chinese paper National Business Daily.

The employee said staff have no longer have any work to do at the Beijing office and have lost access to Google’s worldwide servers.

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