Foreign journalists in Beijing hit by email hackers

The journalists apparently discovered that their accounts had been hacked after Google announced last week that hackers had attempted sophisticated attacks on its security infrastructure. The attacks were traced to mainland China.

Google also said that two Gmail accounts had been compromised and, separately, that dozens of people pressing for human rights in China had had their email accounts hacked. In retaliation, Google had said it would talk to the Chinese government about ceasing the practice of self-censorship of its Chinese-language search engine, Google.cn, and that the search company could close down or curtail its operations in China.

The two foreign journalists recently victimised by hackers were among a large number of Gmail users in China who checked their accounts after Google’s announcement and discovered that their accounts had been compromised.

In many of those cases, it was unclear exactly when the hackers had broken into the accounts. The attacks are separate from those that were aimed weeks ago at the security infrastructure of Google and more than 30 other companies and entities, most of them based in Silicon Valley, California.

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