Gmail users targeted by Chinese hackers

A man rides past the logo of Google's China headquarters in Beijing.

MOON: Do you have a Gmail account with Google? Seems Chinese hackers may have been after your password.The online giant says they targeted the log-ins of hundreds of Google email accounts, including those of senior U.S. government officials, Chinese human rights activists, and journalists.

Our China Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz reports.


ROB SCHMITZ: The FBI says it's working with Google to learn more about the hackers.

Shanghai-based tech analyst Michael Clendenin says it's likely one of two groups.

MICHAEL CLENDENIN: One is government hackers who have a directive to do it. The other group are independent Chinese hackers who are a little ticked off that Google thumbed its nose at China, no matter where Google looks, it's on the losing side of the game.

Clendenin says this latest news may help explain why Google's search engine and its email service inside China have been slow all year.

Google says these latest attacks appear to be coming from the city of Jinan, in Eastern China. Jinan happens to be home to a military base. There's also a vocational college there that U.S. investigators linked to a previous attack on Google.

Clendenin says for Google, it may not matter whether the Chinese government is behind the attack. He says Google's continued refusal to censor its own search engine in China will mean more attacks to come.

In Shanghai, I'm Rob Schmitz, for Marketplace.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

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