Google Aurora Hack Was Chinese Counterespionage Operation

A posting from Informationweek Security : A high-profile information security attack against Google in late 2009 — part of what was later dubbed Operation Aurora — was a counterespionage operation being run by the Chinese government.

Former government officials with knowledge of the breach said attackers successfully accessed a database that flagged Gmail accounts marked for court-ordered wiretaps. Such information would have given attackers insight into active investigations being conducted by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies that involved undercover Chinese operatives.

“Knowing that you were subjects of an investigationallows them to take steps to destroy information, get people out of the country,” a former U.S. government official with knowledge of the breach told the Washington Post, which first reported the news. But the official cautioned that the attack also could have been a subterfuge operation by Chinese intelligence agencies designed to trick U.S. intelligence agencies into believing false or misleading information.

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