Google passwords reported breached in '09 attack

google_china.top.jpgBy Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The cyber attack that breached Google's systems in 2009 managed to gain access to the password codes used in online programs, including e-mail, calendar and business applications, according to news reports Tuesday.

Google Inc. (GOOG, Fortune 500) announced the December hacking earlier this year, but this is the first time that details have emerged regarding the nature of the breach.

The attack prompted Google to shut down its strictly monitored Chinese search engine, Google.cn. The company cited the targeted cyber attack and censorship rules as reasons for the shutdown. The rules prohibited access to online pornography, certain religious material and sites that criticize the Chinese government.

In a blog post in January, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer David Drummond said the hackers' prime goal was to raid the accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., did not immediately respond to a phone message and e-mail from CNNMoney.com.

The company has been active in China since 2006. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play

Search for Jobs

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
Nasdaq 5,089.36 -1.43 -0.03%
S&P 500 2,126.06 0.00 0.00%
Treasuries 2.22 0.03 1.37%
Data as of 4:41am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.75 0.02 0.12%
Hewlett-Packard Co 34.76 0.93 2.75%
Microsoft Corp 46.90 0.00 0.00%
Intel Corp 33.45 -0.10 -0.30%
Frontier Communicati... 5.06 0.10 2.08%
Data as of May 22
Sponsors

Sections

Malaysia Airlines is nearly finished with its tough restructuring plan -- which will include cutting about one-third of its workforce -- in its efforts to recover after two plane tragedies last year. More

The True Cost, a new documentary, chronicles the evils of the clothing industry and asks us to stop buying so much cheap stuff More

Google filed a patent for a toy that will have sensors and cameras, and can control connected devices. More

Sarah Kauss launched S'well to rid the world of plastic water bottles. In five years, she's sold 4 million of her stainless steel bottles. More