Linode and the Google Cyber Attacks

January 15, 2010 1:46 pm

Recent media coverage of cyber attacks appearing to originate from China against Google and other companies have mentioned a Linode VPS being involved.  No Linodes were involved in malicious activity related to this event.  In fact, it was Google itself that chose to use Linode to aid in their investigation of the attacks.  Google has authorized us to release this statement:

“Google signed up to become the operator of the VPS on Jan. 1, 2010 for the purposes of an investigation. At no point did malicious parties have control.” – Jay Nancarrow, Google Global Communications & Public Affairs

Although our part was a small one, we’re glad to have been a component in this investigation. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

20 Responses

  1. A have a client I’ve migrated to linode that does a lot of business in China. Now I know you have no control over this but I hope this doesn’t impact your (linode) relations with China enough for them to add your data clusters’ IP ranges to their firewall.

  2. I am glad to hear this. I love my linodes and would hate to hear that the Chinese were working out of one of your servers.

    Those Google guys are pretty smart though, about time they got serious and bought a good host! :p

  3. And of course there would be various organizations, such as those that believe Linux is a cancer, that will have been spreading FUD and lies about Linode.

  4. I am glad to hear this.
    I believe you linode. 🙂

  5. As a happy Linode customer I am pleased to hear that you were in no way involved in this incident. However, having never seen anything in the media mentioning Linode being somehow connected to the incident I am quite surprised to see you go out and say that you were not involved in the attack.

    I don’t know, but as it is now, without links and without any references this leaves me asking more questions than I had before seeing this. I mean, Linode possibly having a hand in an attack does not seem all that bad to me since you allow anyone to rent a VPS, right?

    Anyway, as mentioned, I am a happy customer, and this did not really change anything.

  6. It perplexes me that anyone would assume otherwise from the Linode folk. Keep up the awesomeness.

  7. What size Linode did Google use? I’m curious which package is suitable for a geopolitical investigation.

  8. @JR: Arstechnica speculated on whether Linode was connected to the attacks at: http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/01/researchers-identify-command-servers-behind-google-attack.ars

    I’m glad that Linode cleared that up.

  9. How come neither arstechnica nor idefense has published a retraction on this matter? I love Linode, and I believe that you guys worked with Google to help identify and assess what happened and am kind of annoyed by the fact essentially slander has been left up as credible information.

  10. It would be an honour to have Google use one of my VPS if I was running a VPS company.

    Arstechnica should retract their comments since it was found that Linode was not involved. Has Arstechnica and iDefense been contacted to have their comments changed??

  11. I realize you guys can’t tell us this, but I’m really curious which distro they deployed.

  12. Great post about Google. Keep up the good work.

  13. Rock on Caker!

  14. I am glad to hear this. Rock on Caker

  15. As a new and completely happy customer of Linode, I can understand why even an enterprise company like Google would choose Linode! Grats guys!

  16. Everybody please understand that this incident is manipulated by us government, google just scarifies its business in China.

    There is a very good article in CNN talks about this incident:
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/23/schneier.google.hacking/index.html?iref=allsearch

    Based on the Patriot Act from 2001, US government has right to acquire any information it is related US national security. So Google sets the back door to US government to pretend it is still “be no evil”, however, US government intentinally leaked the back door information to China.

  17. Um, ok, Jack, yeah. The US government didn’t intentionally leak anything to China, according to the article. That’s a misunderstanding (an *intentional* one?), and I’m sure you mean to get readers all excited. Google has been pretty good about standing up to authorities that try to get more access to private data than they’re legally entitled to.

    From your use of English, I can tell you’re a foreigner. The Chinese got pretty sore over this whole incident, but if they want to look strong, they shouldn’t make it such a big deal. 新年快乐!

  18. Rock on Linode and Google.

  19. Hi John, thank you for your new years regards. Please don’t stereotype me. Yeah, I am a Chinese, but I was educated in Canada and has been IT professional in both Canada and China many years, so I am kind of “mixed”.

    I totally understand the value of privacy and freedom of speech in western countries. And I do feel sorry about the “google cyber attack”.
    Actually most people in China feel sorry if google is going to leave China.

    John, the reason why we make so big deal about this incident is not because of Google’s move, it is because of why US government makes so much big deal of Google’s new approach to China. It is not even a company’s announce anymore, it became a DIPLOMATIC incident

    From this incident, I need to point out something that we should be careful about Google from now on
    1. How deep this incident is linked to US government
    2. Why google and US government orchestrated so nicely this time
    3. If US government did manipulate this incident, should we trust google anymore in the future. think of how many data and privacy stuff we store in google.

    I hope google will disclose more detail on this incident, and details on how they work with US security department.

    thank you
    Jack

  20. Its fairly common knowledge that VPS’s are frequently used for proxy servers that are sometimes used for criminal activity. Disguising the IP address is a common tool used in hacking.

    Thats not new and is not the fault of the ISP. It doesn’t make sense to blame Linode if this did happen but I’m gad to hear it didn’t.

    You can bet that the Chinese military was involved in this attack against Google, and Google was right to ask for the help of Uncle Sam. Its scary to think the Chinese are attacking companies for providing free speech to individuals struggling with the still communist Chinese government.

    Good luck to both Google and Linode. The free world salutes you!

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