WHOA: That Huge China Hacker Attack Broke Into Google's Super-Secret Password System

Creepy Googleplex

Photo: Stuck in Customs

More details of that huge attack on Google that precipitated the company’s withdrawal from China have been leaked to John Markoff of the New York Times.The story is fascinating and worth reading in its entirety. 

The good news is that Google doesn’t think your Gmail password was stolen.  The bad news is that Google isn’t sure.

John Markoff, NYT:

Ever since Google disclosed in January that Internet intruders had stolen information from its computers, the exact nature and extent of the theft has been a closely guarded company secret. But a person with direct knowledge of the investigation now says that the losses included one of Google’s crown jewels, a password system that controls access by millions of users worldwide to almost all of the company’s Web services, including e-mail and business applications.

The program, code named Gaia for the Greek goddess of the earth, was attacked in a lightning raid taking less than two days last December, the person said. Described publicly only once at a technical conference four years ago, the software is intended to enable users and employees to sign in with their password just once to operate a range of services.

Keep reading at the NYT >

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