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Google cyberattacks linked to China

NEW YORK, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Cyberattacks on Google and other U.S. corporations allegedly have been traced to computers at two Chinese institutions -- one tied to the military, experts say.

Computer experts at the U.S. National Security Agency have been investigating a series of online attacks allegedly focused on capturing the e-mail messages of Chinese human-rights activists, stealing computer codes and trade secrets, The New York Times reported Thursday.

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The investigators say several people with knowledge of the attacks have come forth under conditions of anonymity allegedly naming Shanghai Jiaotong University and Lanxiang Vocational School.

U.S. intelligence officials differ in their analyses of their findings. Some say they think the Chinese government is behind the attacks, while others say it's possible the schools are covers for intelligence operations run by a third country, the Times said.

A man identifying himself as dean of the computer science department at Lanxiang, Mr. Shao, downplayed the ability of his school's students to hack at the accused level.

"I think it's impossible for our students to hack Google or other U.S. companies because they are just high school graduates and not at an advanced level," he said. "Also, because our school adopts close management, outsiders cannot easily come into our school."

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Shao, who refused to give a first name, did say each year four or five students from his computer science department were recruited into the military, the Times said.

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