When Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s servers were breached in 2009, the Chinese hackers who gained access may have been privy to some sensitive national security information. That’s according to a report by Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima.
Details On The Chinese Hack Of Google
Officials told The Washington Post that the hackers were able to access a database which contained years of information about various surveillance targets of the U.S. Hackers were believed to have been trying to learn which Chinese intelligence agents located in the U.S. were under surveillance by U.S. authorities.
Even still, officials haven’t been able to determine how much sensitive information the hackers were able to uncover. However, they do say that the database that was accessed by the hackers had plenty of details about court orders which authorized officials to keep an eye on certain people. Those orders could have indicated that the U.S. was actively engaged in espionage on Chinese agents who used Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Gmail service as their email accounts.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) said in 2010 that Chinese hackers had breached its servers, although it did not mention the sensitive database with court order information. After the breach, the search giant and officials from the FBI and the Department of Justice were disputing whether the TBI should be allowed to look at technical logs and other information pertaining to the hack.
Microsoft May Also Have Been Targeted
Last month, one of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s senior directors seemed to indicate that the company’s servers had also been a target of Chinese hackers around the same time Google reported its breach. David Aucsmith said they believed that whoever was targeting their servers was also trying to determine which accounts were being watched by U.S. government officials.
Since the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) official hinted that the company had also been targeted, the company itself denied that its servers had been compromised. Aucsmith later said that his comments weren’t meant to be specific about any particular attack.