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Stanford Student Victimized in Online Attack Against Google

Tenzin Seldon, a 20-year-old student from Stanford University, is one of the human rights activists who became a victim of the advanced Internet assault against Google and its users.

Seldon said that during early January 2010, Google had contacted her to say that an individual from China had gained access to her Gmail account when she herself was using it. Consequently, Google desired to intercept the hacker, as reported by Nbcbayarea during the 3rd week of January 2010.

Seldon, who wanted to help Google in its inspection, handed over her laptop to the company. But although Google spent six days in scanning the computer, the company couldn't locate any malicious program on it.

An industry source (aware of the case) said that Seldon's laptop might have received an advanced type of malicious program, which had been designed to dig Gmail passwords and transmit them back. The program, according to the source, then deleted itself from hard drive of her computer, as reported by Mercurynews on January 16, 2010.

Apart from the industry source, Seldon from her side said that she didn't recall opening any suspicious file attached to an e-mail. She hadn't told her password to anybody, as reported by Mercurynews.

Gabriel Stricker, Google Spokesman, said after the completion of the laptop's inspection, the accounts definitely weren't compromised through Google, as reported by Sfgate on January 16, 2010. Thus, the most significant action Google could take was to tell publicly that the activity was widespread online and end-users required to do an extra to safeguard personal computers, Stricker indicated.

Reacting to what Google decided, Seldon stated that she appreciated the attitude of the company towards warning of withdrawing from China in case it was barred from working freely there, as reported by Paloaltoonline on January 18, 2010.

In the meantime, Google remains just short of making a direct accusation against the Chinese government that it is carrying out digital spying. However, according to security analysts, the definite response of the company nearly proves the blame right.

Eventually, it seems that Seldon's incident has become a diplomatic issue that has triggered a controversy.

» SPAMfighter News - 1/27/2010

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