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Search Engine Giants get Political

Thu, 21st January 2010, 20:08

A couple of developing news stories more reminiscent of the tit for tat that was associated with big governments of the cold war era. First Google announced in a blog post that it had been, or more specifically human rights activist mail accounts had been the target of sophisticated hacking attempts. The post then goes on to say, without saying, that the Chinese government was behind the hack. Therefore Google is rethinking it's deal with the devil and may even need to withdraw totally from China. Just a causal observation but I doubt this defense mechanism will deter the hackers hiding behind the great wall!

Next volley came a couple of days later when China's most widely used search engine, Baidu announced plans to sue Register.com after a January 12 attack that left Baidu's main search engine inaccessible for several hours. The fault of Register.com led to the malicious and unlawful altering of the domain name of Baidu, which made thousands of people unable to visit Baidu.com and brought serious losses to Baidu," the company stated.

Register.com responded on Thursday that the lawsuit filed by Baidu Inc. alleging the attack on its site was due to negligence by Register.com Inc. is "completely without merit. Register.com takes cyber-terrorism very seriously as we are working closely with federal law enforcement officials who are investigating this crime as well as the recent similar attacks on Twitter and Google," spokeswoman Alice McGillion said in a statement.

All Baidu searches were redirected to a home page carrying the message: This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army. The Iranian embassy in Beijing rejects any speculation of a connection between the hackers and the Iranian government, and roundly condemned the attack, according to a Chinese state television report.

baidu_hacked

The security blog Praetorian Prefect states that the IP address baidu.com points to was temporarily routed to 174.121.0.7 via ISP ThePlanet.com . The site normally shows sites in Beijing, China. It appears that the defacement site was hosted at a couple of different places. Two other domain names are referenced on the page: cyberarmyofiran.com and ircarmy.com. The first, IP 70.35.29.162, shows hosting by Netfirms in Markham Ontario in Canada. The second, ircarmy.com, is at IP 69.147.83.188, showing hosting by Yahoo in Sunnyvalue, California.

Just another casual observation but lately some influential types have expressed concern over China's cozy relationship with the Iranian government. I suspect the story will continue to unfold.

 

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