US investigators pinpoint author of China Google attacks: report

22 Feb 2010

The author of the sophisticated computer code used in the China-based cyber attacks on internet search giant Google last year has reportedly been found by US investigators.

The suspect, who is in his 30s, is a highly skilled freelance security consultant whose work is made available to the Chinese government, the Financial Times reported, quoting an unnamed investigator working for the US government.

China has denied any role in the attacks on the computers of several US businesses and Chinese human rights activists which prompted Google to threaten to close its Chinese search engine.

The alleged discovery of the code’s author follows a New York Times report that said a separate investigation had traced the source of the attacks to computers inside two Chinese educational institutions, including one with alleged links to the Chinese military.

The named institutions, the Shanghai Jiaotong University and Lanxiang Vocational School in eastern Shandong province, issued denials at the weekend though the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

“The report of the New York Times was based simply on an IP address,” Xinhua quoted a Jiaotong University spokesman as saying. Given the highly developed network technology today, such a report is neither objective nor balanced.”

Li Zixiang, Lanxiang’s party chief, said an “investigation in the staff found no trace the attacks originated from our school” and denied reports that the school had trained computer scientists who went on to join the military.