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Wikileaks reveals Google was hacked by China, according to US secret files

China hacked Google, according to secret US government documents leaked by whistleblower website WikiLeaks.

China hacked Google, according to secret US government documents leaked by whistleblower website WikiLeaks. The US Embassy in China believes the People's Republic of China orchestrated a "coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government", according to the New York Times.

The US faces a massive diplomatic crisis over Wikileaks' release of 251,287 classified cables sent from American embassies. The cable from the US embassy in Beijing cites a local source claiming government involvement in the hacking of Google's servers to identify the Gmail accounts of human rights activists in China in January this year.

The attack, combined with government censorship of Google and the web in general, led to Google pulling out of China in March.

Dating from 1966 to the end of February 2010, the cables contain reports on various countries' political situations, from fears of security around Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urging the US to strike against Iran. Russia is described as a "virtual mafia state", with close ties between Russian and Italian prime ministers Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi.

Cables related to the UK include US criticism of David Cameron and British military operations in Afghanistan, and requests for intelligence on specific MPs. They also reveal inappropriate remarks made by a member of the royal family, although for once it wasn't His Royal Highness Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh making the embarrassing gaffe: it was Prince Andrew, the Duke of York with his regal foot in his chinless mouth.

Wikileaks claims it was attacked in a mass distributed denial of service attack yesterday ahead of the release of documents. The site, founded by Julian Assange, is hosted by the Swedish Pirate Party.

Leak your thoughts in the comments. Was WikiLeaks right to blow the whistle on the arcane machinations that underpin international relations, or is it putting people in danger?