Two Schools in China Implicated in Operation Aurora Attacks

In the latest news regarding the Aurora attacks, which targeted search engine giant Google and a number of other companies, two Chinese schools have come under suspicion of possible involvement in the attacks. Chinese computer science schools, Shanghai Jiaotong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School, both with ties to the Chinese military, are being investigated for possible links with the attacks, according to a report in the New York Times.

Officials at each of the schools say they have not yet heard from US investigators. Security researchers have determined that the attacks actually began last April, which is much earlier that was previously understood. It is still unclear who specifically perpetrated the attacks and whether or not the Chinese government was involved.

China has a relatively strong tradition of ‘nationalist hackers’ who attack websites and organizations that are seen as defaming China. A professor at Jiaotong University said “I’m not surprised. Actually students hacking into foreign Web sites is quite normal.”

“I believe there’s two kinds of situations. One is it’s a completely individual act of wrongdoing, done by one or two geek students in the school who are just keen on experimenting with their hacking skills learned from the school, since the sources in the school and network are so limited. Or it could be that one of the university’s I.P. addresses was hijacked by others, which frequently happens,” the professor said.

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