The FBI will launch an investigation into the hacking of hundreds of Gmail accounts in China, among which were the accounts of some U.S. officials, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday, according to a report.
Google officials said Wednesday they were able to stop the hack, which was in the form of a phishing scam, but also said they believed the hackers monitored the Gmail activity of Chinese political activists, journalists and government and military officials from the U.S. and other Asian countries — predominantly South Korea.
Clinton said Thursday that Google’s claims were “very serious” and that the Obama administration was disturbed by the incident, according to the Associated Press.
The Chinese government denied Thursday that it played a role in the Gmail hacking and that it was “firmly opposed to activities that sabotage Internet and computer security, including hacking,” the AP report said.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in China that the government there was working on combating the problem of hacking but that such issues were global concerns and not just found in China, the AP said.
“Allegations that the Chinese government supports hacking activities are completely unfounded and made with ulterior motives,” Hong said in the AP report.
On Wednesday, Google said the hacking campaign appeared to originate from Jinan, China, and that all of the affected Gmail users had been notified of what happened and their accounts had been made secure again.
This isn’t the first Gmail problem in China. In March, Google said the Chinese government was blocking certain users’ access to Gmail. The Chinese government denied those claims as well, saying Google’s accusations of Gmail tampering were unacceptable.