back to article US will complain to China about Google hacking

The United States will issue a formal diplomatic note to China expressing concern about cyber attacks that hit Google and dozens of other companies, and that researchers say originated in that country. "We will be issuing a formal demarche to the Chinese government in Beijing on this issue in the coming days, probably early …


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  1. Rob Dobs

    Time to fight back in the WAR with China!!!!

    I have said this a million times. These are systematic attacks coming from the Chinese government directly, or with their blessing and control. China has ATTACKED our property and interests on dozens and dozens of occasions. They have even gone so far as to 'clip' one of our information gathering planes and hold the crew hostage (remember back BUSH the failure first started his reign?).

    It is time we hold them to task for attacking and stealing from the world at large to better their own lives and agenda of China.

    Why don't we snip the damn fiber cable at the border until they learn the rules of the civilized world.


    Hello... is anyone in the US/UK government out there listening? They are undertaking a full fledged cyberwarefare against our nations, people and corporations and we want to send an God DAMNED note!!!!!

    They steal from Cisco, and now Huawei shit is installed all over the US cause its cheaper... This will keep happening to industry after industry until we all have to bow to the mighty red chairman common am I the only one worried about how we are taking this up the ass and doing NOTHING!!!!!

    1. Misoriented

      That's great and all, but...

      What exactly do you suggest we do about it? There's only three options that I see:

      1. Send a stupid note

      2. Refuse to do business with China

      3. Start shooting

      #1 is, of course, what they're doing. The result will just be that China gives an equally stupid response and ignores it. #2 isn't going to send a real message, because not enough companies would get behind it unless there is a large embargo imposed. Even then, few countries would get behind it, and it would only serve to piss the Chinese off. It wouldn't make them better people. At the same time would cost a lot of people a lot of money for nothing. #3 is not only a bad idea in a general sense, but it'd be a huge overreaction in this particular case. If you've got a #4, I'd love to hear it.

      1. Raymond Cranfill

        Quite simple Response

        Tell the f--king Chinese the next rime they pull this s--t, we'll freeze every last cent owned by them in the United States and use the proceeds to compensate the companies that the chinese have wronged. It is amusing how well these faux communist have learned to be balls-t-the-wall nineteenth century capitalists in a scant 30 years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          It's like the retards picnic - and if the yanks do that then the Chinese will call in the debts and the US will crash. A lot of other investor nations would pull out of the US too, and it would be left thinking "gee listening to dumb ass hawks gets us fucked."

          You're a moron if you don't think all this junk isn't tit for tat. Everyone is spying on everybody and everyone is trying to get one up, in lots of different ways (false attacks, false reports, real attacks, attacks via third parties, etc etc etc) the only difference is the only propoganda you get to here is the Wests.

          It's all bollocks, just powerful people playing games. And stupid people getting hard ons.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          RE:Quite simple Response

          I take it your a yank then (and angry flag waveing one by the looks of it).

          The US already has an A2 credit raiting, pull a stunt like that and it will go down to A3, or even B, meaning no-one would touch it, and the US economy would slide in to the sea. It would be much like you turning to your credit card provider and saying "im not paying my bill because I don't like you". Your other credit cards and loans would then be called in.

          Dispite what alot of angry yanks thing we don't live in a world where you can go around being a gun totein' cowboy.

          Also, you should probably take a look at the companys the US has wronged over the years by trying to spread US law to the whole world.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Polite suggestion..

      .. you better take your medicine and lie down somewhere quiet.

      1. Evidence and common sense. Sure, an organisation that has the sophistication to do targeted, multi vector zero day hacking won't possess the skills to route its traffic so the origin is cloaked. Duh.

      2. "The USA was a pirate nation for the first 100 years of its existence, ripping off the patents and trademarks of the imperial European powers it had liberated itself from with blood." (etc - Cory Doctorow). Pot, kettle, especially with unwarranted attacks and espionage.

      3. "Civilized" world? The US? Ever heard of rendition? Waterboarding? Gitmo? Collateral damage? This is not to say the Chinese are doing very well with respect to Human Rights, but at least they're not pretending. Chinese had a functional civilisation when most of what calls itself the US was not even sperm in a country under imperial rule somewhere else. Oh, and I nearly forgot: "rules"? You mean like "trade agreements - or any other international agreement - the US just doesn't seem to be capable of holding itself to?". There is a reason international partners are more and more reluctant to do business with a US company.

      4. Be careful with sending that note. The serious unbalance in the Chinese population means there are a LOT of men who won't find a life partner. Let me translate that: that's a Godawful amount of cannon fodder.

      5. The blithering idiotic excuse for a PM knows about as much about diplomacy, collaborations and international relationships as Michael Jackson knew about child care. Far too eager to engage, and highly suspect motives.

      You might want to focus your energies on fixing what came off the rails in the US. It once was a nation to look up to - now people are ashamed to show their passport. That's not right, but you can't fix that by blaming others.

      And take those %&ç! pills.

    3. ach20


      "It is time we hold them to task for attacking and stealing from the world at large..."

      You seem to have forgotten about the war in Iraq! Why don't you hop in your gas guzzler drive round the corner and buy a big mac - that should shut you up!

  2. Trev 2

    Shouldn't that be "most strongly worded note"?

    Isn't the usual form to "protest most strongly" or in "strongest possible terms" when dealing with countries you know will basically stick one or two fingers up at you (unless there's a Chinese insult)?

    Google talking to the Whitehouse is probably equally useless and the equivalent of "I'm gonna tell on you". At least they could have told China "my dad's bigger than your dad and will beat you up".

    All we need now is for Google to use it's huge worldwide bandwidth to launch a DDoS against these Chinese IPs and it'll be settled in the best way possible - everyone gets a clip round the ear from Europe and goes back to sulk in their corner. Everything can be translated into school politics.

  3. heyrick Silver badge


    While the attacks might have been chased to IP addresses within China, are we yet even completely sure it _was_ the Chinese? Not conveniently hijacked Chinese computers, zombies, and such?

    Whatever, SOMEBODY has a little more skills than a clone script kiddy, and I don't see a diplomatic mutter is going to make the slightest bit of difference.

    Doesn't, eventually, the end hacked company have to take some responsibility for using software known to have BIG security issues when alternatives exist? Like, say, GOOGLE'S OWN BROWSER at Google HQ!?!?

  4. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Oh yeah, that'll work

    I expect the hacking attempts to stop right away.

    The only thing I expect this to accomplish is fill the recycling bins at the Chinese embassy, and to give the diplomats a little laugh.

  5. Daar Istia

    Pot Kettle


    Quite the lobby that the big G has going !

  6. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    I want to be there, in China!

    Yeah, sure, a state agency tasked with espionage and smart enough to do a targeted penetration (no, this not a Bond movie, stay with me) is suddenly not capable of routing its hacking work through a couple of other hacked resources across the world. Duh.

    I would *love* to be in the room when the Chinese get this letter). What's more, I would like to see them put the response together when they have finally finished laughing. They will have lots of fun with that.

    They'll probably send a letter directly to Google too, asking Eric Schmidt if he's got something to hide (search for "Eric Schmidt cnet blackball" if you don't get this one).

    AFAIK Google is not doing well in China against Baidu, it's thus simply marketing in camouflage, and it's about $$ . The rest is pretty much irrelevant as far as I can tell. Move along, nothing special to see here..

  7. Mike Flugennock

    Leaked text of US diplomatic complaint:

    "Hey, what's the goddamn' idea, spying on political dissidents over the Internet? THAT'S _OUR_ FUCKIN' JOB!"

  8. Forename Surname

    More concerned about stopping gay pride celebration

    I think we've had enough news on this particular item. Nothing will come of it, China's internet will stay filtered to varying degrees throughout the country. Beijing lax, Guilin highly filtered.

    I'm more concerned about the fact that in Beijing goverment agencies have closed down the forthcoming gay pride celebrations. Shows just how backwards the Government still is, even in the usually more progressive Beijing area.

  9. Neal 5

    And I'm sure they'll be so

    impressed, that the Chinese will immediately mend their ways and instantaneously convert to the thoroughly civilised model of Democracy that the US represents. I can already hear the Iranian,Syrian and North korean ambassadors to China whispering to the higher echelons of the Chinese government, "you better start towing the Yankee line sonny Jim, you know what American diplomacy has done for Iraq and Afghanistan, not to forget that not too far distant episode of Grenada".

    Expect to see instant reform Monday 9.0 A.M. We all know that the Chinese will cave in to the merest whiff of pressure from Obama.

  10. windywoo
    Thumb Up

    Can I issue a formal complaint to the US?

    About their invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan?

  11. Simon Dragon

    Writing to the wrong people

    Not much use writing to the Chinese government: it's going to turn around and wipe its arse at the Yanks, the same as it did to the UK.

    If I were the US Govt., I'd be writing to Microsoft to ask them why they continue to allow IE to be such a bubbling crock of shit in the first place.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Well, ...

    ... if the new US of A administration is looking for a reason to bring business and jobs back to the home lands it looks as if China has given them very good reasons to do so.

    But! It is not just the one thing.

    What with speculators almost ruining western finances and crippling lots of countries with masses of unexpected debt with further consideration of strong overseas developments in pretty advanced technologies one could say that the west taking care of the west is now a pretty important thing.

    If new friends start acting in awful ways what value the friendship?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Cut them off

    China should be cut off from the world wide web. it may not stop them but will limit there access to the rest of the world. if your user can not be trusted you normally cut them off from the network.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I bet

      I bet their government would love that, they're trying hard enough anyway, and any real espionage attempts would be launched from satellite nations anyway. China wins all rounds, full control of their own "internet" and able to launch attacks without risk.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Cut them off

      This option is already open to you. Look up the range of IPs allocated to countries you don't like and block them at your firewall. Job done.

      Unless of course it is important (for some reason) that everyone else is forced to do it too. Mmm, yeah, that must be it. A little armchair dictator wants everyone to do it his way.

  15. Cliff

    Import taxes

    If the US start increasing import duties on Chinese goods, it'll help level the playing field in terms of the cost of goods, and that'll get the attention of the Chinese Government. But the fact that the US is $1Tn or so in hock to the Chinese, who could easily bankrupt the US if they dumped their $ holdings, means that won't happen.

    A strongly worded letter let's the US seem to be doing something, but frankly they're powerless against China, and terrified of them too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In most of the western world...

      we've been living in an artificially inflated economy for 30 or 40 years, it is increasingly looking like it's time for this to happen. Salaries and debt would have to be adjusted, but this could put more people to work by bringing many manufacturing jobs that have gone to the eastern world back to Europe and North America.

      Governments can talk about the knowledge economy til they are blue in the face but when a country doesn't actually manufacture anything anymore, well we seen, are seeing, what happens.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      And then the chinese increase import tariffs on US imports, a lot of US companies depend on exports to china, they also depend on imports from China. Protectionism would lead to ruin.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You are right, when there is...

        a (mostly) fair playing field. When the there is not then penalties need to be applied.

        About China calling in the US debt that it owns. It will when it is most advantageous to the Chinese. Let's not forget that they don't have an electorate to answer to. I absolutely believe that they would do harm to their own growth if the pain inflicted would greater for others. I think that it would be wise for western nations to that they ensure that they have the ability to manufacture anything that they need that is manufactured in the east. It won't be too many years before the Chinese will be able to blockade access to and from their corner (side?) of the earth.

        I see no reason why they wouldn't do the above, they have 1.6 Billion people to look after and the worlds resources are rather limited.

  16. Ammaross Danan

    @AC: Re: Cut them off

    "China should be cut off from the world wide web."

    Not only would this stop (most) hack attempts, but I do recall that a fairly large bulk of spam/virii comes from this region of the world... might at least alleiviate my spam filter from having to work so hard.

    Yes yes, I'm aware of the M$-hijacked Windoze (l)uzers that are part of a spam botnet, but even that is tolerable if the developers are sitting in a sandbox.

    Just wait until they start hijacking satelite internet feeds and have to get on the net that way.

    1. JaitcH

      Satellite dishes need permits

      Satellite dishes are rare in China and require special permits.

      The Chinese Plod are even taught to make sure the licenced dishes are pointed in the right direction.

      I use a portable satellite terminal when I visit CN which is very similar in appearance to a computer. especially when I stick Lenovo labels on it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wrong Way Round

      "Not only would this stop (most) hack attempts, but I do recall that a fairly large bulk of spam/virii comes from this region of the world"

      Every data set I've ever seen on the matter has the US at number one ...

  17. M Gale

    Permits are easy to get...

    ...when you are the issuing authority.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Made in China

    Surely the reason everyone is interested in doing business in China is that, while it's a communist country there are plenty of people to be exploited making whatever it is the Western world needs them to do at a cheap price. If it were to become a fledgling democratic society, over time I doubt it would offer such great value for money, and in the long run as wealth is distributed globally it will no longer be as exploitable as it once was. While it may only be a matter of time before the Chinese population as a whole decide they'd like the Western version of freedom, the West is probably quite happy with the status quo. And let's be honest, if it wasn't for China our beloved techno gadgets would probably cost a lot more, and who in their right mind would want that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      a fledgling democracy, western freedoms. I suggest you look into Chinese history, it's very very long, and it makes Europe look like a pretty peacful bloodless place over the past 3000 years.

      Also you should think about just how free we are, once you think about it the answer is not very, we just have a slightly brighter illusion of Freedom, and we are free to consume more, and our ability to consume is limited by other peoples ability to consume and their ability to produce. We're all tiny self deluding cogs in a giant consumer machine. Only people who arn't prisoners to it are super rich, super poor, and the handful of people living off the radar (Amazon, etc) but even they'll end up consumed by it in the end.

      Also once China isn't cheap there'll be another poor nation to milk, Africa is full of people that could provide labor, as is Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, everywhere is full of poor desperate people we can exploit. Of course once the labor moves from one place to another the last place becomes poor again as though it's been visited by locusts. A rather fitting image of us "free westerners" a plague of locusts feeding off of poor nations willing to feed us our desire for cheap tatt.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Lessons of history

    The Chinese learn the lessons of history well. How where the Germans defeated in two world wars? by being out produced by the UK & Empire, US and Russia. So if your long term plan is to become the number one superpower, you must destroy the enemies capability to produce. We in the west are doing everything possible to aid them in this. Manufacturing in the UK and US has been decimated in the last 20 years. In one generation a multitude of manufacturing skills will be gone, as greedy corporate accountants shut down manufacturing in the west to "benefit" from cheap Chinese labour.

    I was at a boardroom meeting in 1999 for an electrical/electronics company in Rhode Island, when hourly daily rates where discussed. In the US it was $7.5/hr, the UK $12/hr, In the Caribbean (they had a plant there.) it was $1 a day, and China? Labour costs for the product did not factor into the products cost breakdown, as the factory owner was paid a flat monthly fee. I said that if they shut down the US and UK operations and all those people where out of work and this was repeated across manufacturing sectors, then who would have the money to buy their expensive products, not the unemployed factory worker, or the chinese factory worker? I was called a Luddite.

    China is a monster that we in the west have created, and every day we feed it more, so that it gets bigger and stronger. So should we be surprised when the monster turns on its keeper?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      A little balance...

      What your saying might go down a storm at the gold club where people rant angrily about how the dirty foruns are stilling our jobs, but not round here.

      1) companys are pulling out of China now, just as they did with India and Taiwan before, when they realised why things are cheaper - quality.

      2) Top 6 Manufacturing Countries in 2008

      1 USA

      2 China

      3 Japan

      4 Germany

      5 Italy

      6 UK

      The only change from 1990 is China has come from No 7 to 2.

      Adjusted Per Capita:

      1 Germany

      2 Japan

      3 US

      =3 Italy

      5 UK

      6 China

      Chinas output per capita is about half of the UK, so well below 6th if you bother to go futher.

      Baised on UN data

      Now please STFU and stop crying "we have no manufacturing left." Find out for yourself rather than taking what Fox tell you as gospel.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Reality check

        In the Electronics Industry, this is true. The number of UK manufacturers and Sub Contractors have been completely decimated. Circuit board manufacturers have GONE to the wall, only niche ones left. The electronic distribution companies have suffered as a result, HB Electronics? gone, MicroMart? gone, to name just two. The rest are struggling to survive or have been left in such a poor condition that they are easy targets for "mergers" which means job losses. Manufacturing companies? Black & Decker, Spenymoor? Gone, Matsushita (Panasonic) Wales, shut down its manufacturing, moved to China and Hungary, Mitsumi? Shut down, Applied Energy moved manufacturing to China. Now we turn to the mechanical aspects, Tool makers? Cheaper in China, most metal cutters gone to the wall, so the truth is out there, just look, don't need Fox News, what ever that is. I could write lists and lists of companies closed by Cheap labour China. So yes in a generation skills lost. Just don't get me started on Ship building, an Island Nation with little Ship building capability....we are screwed as a Nation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Your just pulling names out of the air.

          There are plenty of companys out there, and you are just naming ones that have gone to the wall in a ressison. The fat remains that we are just as strong as we ever were, and the stats show it.

          As for things like ship building, of course that has gone. Noone wants the ships we can build, one off mid sized ships. They want the production line supertankers and trading ships. Like so many industrys they went to the wall by not changing.

  20. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    What is really going on here? ...

    The most shocking thing about this hack on Google isn't that the Chinese tried to hack Google. Its the way its being drummed up into a high profile PR storm.

    Hacks like this happen all the time *between many combinations of countries* so why are they suddenly making such a big thing out of it. What do they gain from making it a big thing?


    (1) Hacking happens all the time like this.

    (2) Industrial espionage has been going on for many hundreds of years between companies in all countries.

    (3) Spying in general has been going on for more than a thousand years.

    So what is their real goal for this high profile new campaign? Its not a shock to the people who work in these security areas, so why are they pretending this is a shock and an affront to them?

    I've said it before, we have 4 players in this game. Google, Chinese Government, human rights activists, and US Government hiding behind Google and now the US Government is revealing its hand, and trying to give its Oscar winning performance by acting like the affronted party.

    Its a political PR game. e.g. the 4 players...

    Chinese Government: They are easy, they seek to find out about opponents working against them.

    US Government: Well they want to paint Chinese Government as bad, (Chinese are bad, look they spy, so don't do business with the Chinese, trust us instead), although they play exactly the same spying games.

    And that leaves Google, effectively say, hey world, we do care, honest, look we are stopping people spying on these email accounts (whilst our vast server side spyware, spies on millions of people and we have ties with the US government, not least of which via directors who have connections with US security and spy services). Yeah right, Google, you care, I believe you, and pigs really can fly.

    I don't think any of the 3 major players in this are pure. They all have agendas and misinformation is all part of their game.

    As for the human rights pawns, it just goes to show how the big players take such an interest in people like them, not because they are important, but because they can stir up decent among larger numbers of people. (Large numbers of people can oppose governments so all governments fear large numbers of people moving against them. The trick in politics is working out how to herd the large numbers of people, to do what you want them to, to give you power to influence others in power). Which is very interesting, because in this case, by Google highlighting the case, we have a definite amplifying effect to increase the attention on the Human Rights Activists opposing the Chinese Government, and bingo, we have win for the US Government, helped by their friends at Google.

    Its the usual political chess move power games. But have to give them credit, they have played it brilliantly and now they are going for their Oscar winning performance by acting like the affronted party.

    So if there is anyone who still can't see through this two faced political game playing which as usual is played with relentless cunning and duplicity, then you better read up on the concept of Machiavellian, because its applied to political game playing for 500 years! i.e. (Also its a common pattern of behavior you find in the actions of Narcissists and worse (e.g. Sociopaths) and its no surprise to find these kinds of Personality Disordered people seeking power in politics).

  21. Gary Riches

    @Rob Dobs

    You are saying that America needs to do something to show the Chinese that being naughty is wrong yet you site that the Chinese are evil because they held the crew of an "information gathering plane"...

    You do realise that was a spy plane? They were flying where they shouldn't be, spying on China. Stealing their secrets.

    1. cphi

      actually they were flying in international airspace

      and they only emergency landed in China because an incompetent PLA jock kamikazed them.

      spying yes - not stealing. they were simply passively listening in on chinese military signals. not aggressively hacking their systems.

  22. Jigr69
    Paris Hilton

    China has US by the short and curlies.

    The biggest contributor to the IMF is China, the biggest recipient of IMF money (loan's etc) is USA. China has enough reserves of US dollars that it could easily cause the collapse of the US dollar, and still have enough then to buy quality US firms at knock down prices.

    Until the US lives within its means, and rids itself of Chinese financial support, there is very little the US can do!

    Paris, well the title says it all.

  23. Mutantone

    Filtering equals censorship

    “The news service went on to report that Google representatives briefed the Obama administration before it disclosed the attacks and announced it planned to stop filtering search results inside China.”

    Myself I am more worried about their filtering content. We all know China is a closed door political system, that is as it was before world war two's end. We supported it to defeat the Japanese. We paid the price in Korea and Vietnam and now sit by as they continue their regime and who is it that is paying for it all? we are! What bothers me is that Google for some reason filtered it's content. What ever reason they did it, that they did it is the part that I do not get. Where else are they doing so at the request of the government? The only reason we are hearing about it now is because the disclosed attack on Google. Again where else is Google “filtering” , censoring content and for what reasons?

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