Well, that was the biggest news bombshell to land in quite a while. Google reveals that it’s been hacked by Chinese cyber attackers and says it will no longer play along with China’s repressive Internet rules.
China’s response? See ya, Big G. Don’t let the bamboo curtain hit you on the way out.
[ This isn't the first time China and Western companies have locked horns, as Cringely points out in "China: Web surf at your own risk." | And stay up to date on Robert X. Cringely's musings and observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
Now it seems the apparent agent of Google’s undoing was a zero-day flaw in Internet Explorer. (That’s it -- it was really all part of Microsoft’s fiendish plan to take down Google. Conspiracy theorists, start your engines.) Microsoft has confirmed the flaw, which affects IE in all current versions of Windows, but hasn’t said when it will issue a patch.
IE: It’s the gift to hackers that keeps on giving. Clearly there’s enough irony here to fill 1.3 billion daily supplements.
The attack, dubbed "Operation Aurora" by security researchers at McAfee, was far too sophisticated and too targeted to be the work of amateurs, Google concluded. So it made a very public show of walking out while not actually accusing the Chinese government of anything -- in all, nicely played.
But while the media hands out atta-boys to Google for standing up to Merciless Ming and his evil cronies, I feel compelled to ask: What about the last five years while Google has been doing business behind the Great Wall? Have we not had plenty of other examples of China using technology to harass and imprison its citizens? Did Google finally manage to translate “Don’t be evil” into Mandarin?