US authorities have tracked down the man who wrote the code used in the hacker attack on Google . He’s a “freelance security consultant” in China, and his participation makes it even harder for the Chinese government to deny involvement.
The man’s role was an oblique one: while he wrote the code that took advantage of a security hole in Internet Explorer, he himself didn’t do any actual hacking. But according to the Financial Times, the Chinese government has “special access” to his work:
“If he wants to do the research he’s good at, he has to toe the line now and again,” the US analyst said. “He would rather not have uniformed guys looking over his shoulder, but there is no way anyone of his skill level can get away from that kind of thing. The state has privileged access to these researchers’ work.”
The "research he's good at", apparently, being breaking into computers and inserting spyware on them.
Hopefully by identifying the writer of the code, analysts are closer to tracking down the actual persons responsible. But until then, it's increasingly clear that the Chinese government had a prominent role in the implementation. [FT]