Google officials say a problem with certain corporate Web pages being displayed in Chinese was due to a bug, not the actions of hackers.
According to a report in the Guardian, some users searching “Google executives” through Google were given an English result entitled “Corporate Information – Google Management” that took them to a page with the biographic information of top executives displayed in Chinese.
The Guardian also discovered the page http://www.google.com/corporate/ being displayed in Chinese and directing visitors to the new, uncensored version of Google aimed at Chinese users. The redirection only occurs in some areas, according to the paper.
Though the Guardian speculated the problem was caused by hackers, Google said it is actually due to a bug, and that users have also reported the pages appearing in languages other than Chinese.
“This is not a hack but rather a bug affecting the language displayed to some users, and we are working to fix it soon,” a Google spokesperson told eWEEK.
The problem raised eyebrows because it was discovered on the heels of Google’s decision to stop censoring its Google Search, Google News, and Google Images sites on Google.cn. Instead, Google is redirecting users in China to an uncensored search engine based in Hong Kong.
Google and China have gone back and forth on the issue of censorship since January, when Google announced it had been the victim of a cyber-attack originating in China and that there had been repeated attempts to access the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. The Chinese government has steadfastly denied any involvement, and has called on Google to follow the country’s laws if it plans to do business there.
More than 30 other companies, including Adobe Systems and Juniper Networks, were also victimized in the Aurora attack.