A freelance security consultant in China wrote the exploit code targeting Internet Explorer 6 that was used in the attacks on Google and others, according to a published report.
The unidentified programmer had posted pieces of the exploit to a hacking forum, and Chinese officials had "special access" to his work, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. The programmer did not launch the attack, the report said, citing an anonymous researcher working for the U.S. government.
Last week, The New York Times reported that researchers had traced the attacks to computers at Shanghai Jiaotong University and Lanxiang Vocational School, which has ties to the Chinese military. However, officials at the schoolsthose claims.
Microsoftfor the IE hole a week after acknowledging the vulnerability, and after exploit code for the hole had been released in the wild.