Google and China censorship. What do you understand? Believe it or not, some people don’t really know what is happening between Google and China. They just know they are not in good terms.
Problem identify: Cyber Attack
Cyber Attack 1
Identify attack: Google engineers first started to suspect Chinese intruders were hacking into private Gmail accounts .
Analyse reason for attack: David Drummond, Google’s chief counsel, said, “A primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.”
Attacker: According to George Kurtz at McAfee, the attacks were part of a large-scale, well-organized operation called Aurora.
Result: Google has stopped censoring its search results in China, and has considered pulling out of the country entirely.
Cyber Attack 2
Identify attack: Hacker used IE’s vulnerability to hack
Method of hacking used:
1) Microsoft has released a bulletin stating that a zero-day exploit in Internet Explorer 6 and higher was the attack vector.
2) McAfee’s George Kurtz confirms that IE 7 and 8 vulnerabilities were used
3) iDefense speculated that PDF-phishing may have been a vector too. But it has not been shown definitively to be an attack vector yet.
Cyber Attack 3
“This is a big espionage program aimed at getting high-tech information and politically sensitive information — the high-tech information to jump-start China’s economy and the political information to ensure the survival of the regime,” said James A. Lewis, a cyber and national security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “This is what China’s leadership is after. This reflects China’s national priorities.”
Google declined to provide details on what exactly the attackers took and whether it included any information about super-secret search engine technology that drives the company’s profits.
The attacks targeted 34 major American companies in all, including Adobe (ADBE), Northrop Grumman (NOC), and Juniper Networks.
Google has promised to stop censoring its search results in China, threatening to pull out of the country altogether if it can’t operate an unfiltered search engine.
Google hopes it can persuade the Chinese Government to agree to changes that would enable its China-based Google.cn site to show uncensored search results.
Google disputes in China
Google is engaged in two other disputes in China. It has been charged by an association of Chinese writers of copyright theft as it displayed books in the local language without obtaining their permission. Google is in negotiations with the association but has refused to accept its demand to apologize.
Google has also been criticized by the Chinese censors for allowing its site to be used for distribution of pornography.
If google pullout from China
- A possible Google pullout that could anger China’s public and embolden other companies to vent grievances
- “The political outcome is that it could stir up a restive group of people, which is the younger people and the Internet users in China who may look at access to information as a civil right,” said James McGregor, a senior counsellor for consulting firm APCO Worldwide Inc. and a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.
- “We’re not going to see a lot of foreign companies stand up and walk out of China but you might see a lot more foreign companies standing up and being much tougher in dealing with what they consider to be an unfairness in market access and trade issues,” McGregor said.
- The Commerce Ministry tried Friday to avert damage to ties with Washington and business confidence, promising investors good conditions and saying U.S.-Chinese trade ties would not be affected by a Google departure.
- “Google I haven’t been able to live without you since 2005,” said a note left by one of the site’s 291 members. “If you go, what will China’s netizens do?”
- Chinese and foreign businesses rely on Google’s email, maps and other services based abroad, which could lead to disruptions if authorities try to retaliate for a Google pullout by blocking access to its U.S. site.
- The conflict also could fuel trouble for China’s companies abroad, where its swollen trade surplus and complaints about trade barriers are straining ties. Chinese investments in mining and oil face opposition in Australia and elsewhere.
- “Chinese companies abroad will start hitting a ceiling caused by this stuff happening at home,” Clark said. “Being Chinese might be a liability.
- “If Google quits china, it leaves Microsoft, Yahoo, and Baidu as the primary sources for accessing the Chinese searching audience. Without Google, assuming Yahoo and Bing remain, that 30 percent share will re-distribute–most likely to Baidu, which will further cement its leadership position.”