Investigators have uncovered a link between two schools in China and the notorious
Aurora attacks that victimized Google and dozens of other companies, according to a news report from The New York Times.
Citing sources close to the investigation, The Times reported
the attacks, which were aimed at stealing trade secrets and
computer codes and spying on Chinese human rights activists, may have begun as early as April - months earlier than previously thought.
According to The Times, the attack has been traced to computers at
University and the
Vocational School, and
evidence "acquired by a United States military contractor that faced
the same attacks as Google" has led investigators to suspect a link to
a computer science class taught by a Ukranian professor at the
vocational school. Spokespeople for the schools reportedly told The
Times they had not heard American investigators had traced the attacks
to their campuses.
Researchers nicknamed the attack Aurora. All totaled, it is believed to
have victimized more than 30 companies. Among them was Google,
which claimed the cyber-attack originated in
Google's announcement, researchers have sought to confirm the source of
the attacks, but have largely come up wanting. Previously, researchers had linked the attack to systems in
Taiwan. There was also a report tying
a cyclic redundancy check algorithm in a Trojan used in the
attacks to a Chinese research paper, but the significance of the code
has been disputed.
The controversy has sparked tensions over cyber-security between the
United States and
China. The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked the Chinese government to conduct a thorough and transparent inquiry into the matter, and the Chinese government has repeatedly denied any involvement.