Friday, June 3, 2011

CHINA:Why is Hillary Clinton so interested in cyber-attacks on Google?

Hacking Gmail is small fry compared with potentially devastating defence hacks. But Clinton seems to care only about Google
Hillary Clinton has described the allegations that Gmail was hacked as 'very serious'. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
There has recently been a lot of media attention focused on a relatively unsophisticated and even mundane act of information exploitation against high-level Gmail users and, not surprisingly, a Chinese IP address.

There's absolutely nothing new or sophisticated about the attacks, which have been going on for a year or more and which essentially add a forwarding instruction so that others can read copies of everything coming to your Gmail account or even be allowed access to your account – all without you knowing about it. In fact, a Washington DC-based security researcher published samples on her blog last February; I recall giving it a quick read back then and thinking how the simple strategies are still the best when it comes to hostile or criminal acts in cyberspace.

Spear phishing attacks are simple, elegant things that cost almost nothing to develop except a bit of homework on the potential targets, and they continue to work regardless of millions of dollars being spent to stop or intercept them.