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Recent Google Hack Traced to Chinese Schools

The New York Times reports that investigators have traced the recent hacking attacks on Google back to computers located at two schools in China, one of which has close ties to the Chinese military. The attacks may have even started earlier than previously believed, possibly attacking Google and other companies as early as April 2009. There's even indication that one link leads to a specific science class taught by a Ukrainian professor.

The two schools in question are Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School. The University provides one of China's top computer science programs while the vocational school was established with military support and trains many computer scientists for the military. The NYT said that the vocational school's network is maintained by a company close to Google's competitor, Baidu.

Lanxiang Vocational School is also where the Ukrainian professor teaches science.

Speculation is a mixed bag: it's believed that the vocational school is being used as camouflage for government operations. Others claim that a third country is using the schools as a cover for a "false flag" intelligence operation. There's also talk that the attacks were nothing more than criminal industrial espionage on a grand scale, set to leech technology secrets from American companies.

There's also the possibility that students were testing their hacking skills by breaking into foreign websites. A professor at Jiaotong’s School of Information Security Engineering said this was actually normal, however he also said that hackers could have hijacked the university's IP address during the Google attack.