Attacks on Google, other US firms traced to two Chinese schools
San Francisco (US), Feb.19 (ANI): The series of online attacks on Google and dozens of other American corporations have been traced to computers located in two Chinese schools, including one with close ties to the Chinese military.
The Chinese schools involved are Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School, according to several people with knowledge of the investigation who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the inquiry.
The New York Times quoted people involved in the investigation, as saying that the attacks, aimed at stealing trade secrets and computer codes and capturing e-mail of Chinese human rights activists, may have begun as early as April, months earlier than previously believed.
Google had announced on January 12 that it and other companies had been subjected to sophisticated attacks that probably came from China.
Computer security experts, including investigators from the National Security Agency, have been working since then to pinpoint the source of the attacks.
Until recently, the trail had led only to servers in Taiwan. Tracing the attacks further back, to an elite Chinese university and a vocational school, is being seen as a breakthrough in a difficult task.
Evidence acquired by a United States military contractor that faced the same attacks as Google has even led investigators to suspect a link to a specific computer science class, taught by a Ukrainian professor at the vocational school.
The contractor at a meeting of computer security specialists shared the revelations.
Jiaotong has one of China's top computer science programs. Just a few weeks ago its students won an international computer programming competition organized by I.B.M. - the "Battle of the Brains" - beating out Stanford and other top-flight universities.
Lanxiang, in east China's Shandong Province, is a huge vocational school that was established with military support and trains some computer scientists for the military.
A company, which has operates the school's computer network, has close ties to Baidu, the dominant search engine in China and a competitor of Google.
Independent researchers who monitor Chinese information warfare caution that the Chinese have adopted a highly distributed approach to online espionage, making it almost impossible to prove where an attack originated.
Spokesmen for the Chinese schools said they had not heard that American investigators had traced the Google attacks to their campuses. (ANI)
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