U.S. authorities identify Chinese hacker partly responsible for Google attacks

The Chinese hacker saga continues, with some pretty huge news having emerged in the past few hours. U.S. authorities have identified, so they think, the sole person responsible for the underlying code used on attacks on Google and others. He’s a “freelance security consultant” in his 30s, and he was able to take down almighty Google by exploiting a previously unknown hole in Internet Explorer. Being an Internet Explorer public relations guy must be pretty difficult.

There’s a key distinction in that previous sentence that must be stressed: the identified man is merely responsible for the code; he didn’t actually carry out the attacks. It’d be like you creating a light saber (somehow!), and your next door neighbor using it to go crazy in the center of town.

You’ll recall that Google became incensed over the hacking, and state censorship. and subsequently threatened to pull out of China altogether. China basically reacted with, “Door let the door hit you on the way out,” while others say the whole spat is something of a proxy for a larger China-U.S. spat.

The extent to which the state was involved with the man’s “hacking” is still unknown.

As the world turns, I suppose.