Google vs. China: It's On - NBC Bay Area
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Google vs. China: It's On

Hacking charges hit home



    Pres.Barack Obama warned us about cyber attacks in his State of the Union address last week. It's plagued social media companies for months. Scott Budman talked to security experts who are fighting back. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013)

    Banks, the military, the press, tech companies, even soft drinks - the accusations have never been sharper: The United States is at cyber war against China.

    The latest claim comes from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who calls out China as cyber enemy  No. 1 in an upcoming book, "The New Digital Age."

    But he's not alone.

    American intelligence officials say they can trace recent cyber attacks to the Chinese Army itself. A New York Times story published Tuesday details how a Chinese Army unit is believed to have hacked the United States.

    Those attacks are being blamed for disrupting everything from the New York Times to Coca Cola, which blames hacking for disrupting a planned deal to buy a Chinese beverage company.

    China, of course, denies engaging in any type of cyber-espionage.

    In a statement, Sen. Diane Feinstein said: “Multiple American sources have raised the issue of cyber attacks with Chinese interlocutors—all to no avail. In fact, there has been complete denial among the Chinese that this is occurring. I have personally raised cyber attacks with Chinese officials as recently as last week. Again, complete denial."

    Google, which says it traced a 2010 cyber attack against itself to Chinese hackers, says it's been busy working to keep its site (and therefore its users) secure. But its chairman - Schmidt - is throwing blows, saying China's cyber attacks are damaging to the U.S. economy.

    We'll be talking to Silicon Valley cyber security experts about what's they're doing to try and keep our machines safe.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese Government insists it does not engage in cyber hacking.

    Also Tuesday, Google's stock price topped $800 for the first time amid renewed confidence in the company's ability to reap steadily higher profits from its dominance of Internet search and prominence in the increasingly important mobile device market.

    Scott can be found on Twitter: @scottbudman