US probing Google hacking allegations against China
The United States is investigating the "very serious" allegations by Google that China attempted to hack into the personal Gmail accounts of senior US officials, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday, DPA reported.
"These allegations are very serious. We take them seriously, we're looking into them," Clinton said.
Clinton said federal authorities were investigating Google's accusations. White House spokesman Jay Carney said no official government emails had been hacked.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said in Beijing earlier Thursday that the allegations are "unacceptable" and "unfounded."
Clinton said the State Department was informed by Google of the incident before the internet company went public on Wednesday.
Google's statement said the hacking attack on Gmail via use of phishing appeared to have originated in Jinan, China. Google said the targeted accounts included senior US government officials, Chinese political activists and officials in several Asian countries, mostly South Korea.
The allegation is likely to deepen the already serious rift between the powerful US internet company and the Chinese government.
Wednesday's allegations came after Google alleged in January 2010 that is had been the target of a sophisticated cyber-attack originating in China, which also targeted more than 30 other prominent companies.
In response, Google said that it would stop abiding by Chinese censorship requests that it had honoured since opening a China-based search site in 2006.