Two schools in China eyed as possible sources of recent Google cyberattacks

Investigators have traced a string of cyberattacks on Google this year to two schools in China, one of which has close ties to the country's military, according to media reports.

However, it is still unclear whether the Chinese government was in any way involved in the attacks, which a team of officials from the National Security Agency and dozens of security experts have been researching since the scheme was first reported on January 12.

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Still, investigators do know those attacks began as early as April and targeted industry trade secrets, users' screen names and passwords and the e-mail accounts of human rights activists in China, according to The New York Times, which first reported the investigation's preliminary findings early Friday.

However, the two schools implicated in the attacks told the newspaper they were unaware of the inquiry's findings, though both indicated they would soon open their own probes.

The massive cyberattack that hit Google and scores of other companies last month is just one of many cyberattacks to recently plague U.S. businesses and interests.

Security experts unveiled a separate plot stemming from Eastern Europe that has so far hit 196 counties and thousands of businesses, especially those in the United States. An investigation into that hack is underway.

Both incidents have again raised alarms on Capitol Hill, as a handful of lawmakers will return to their committees next week to take up issues and legislation related to cybersecurity. But whether the Senate, in particular, can follow the House's lead and pass a cybersecurity bill in the coming months remains unclear.


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