WikiLeaks: Top 5 revelations

The newest release of confidential state information from WikiLeaks includes 251,287 cables from more than 250 US embassies. Here are five of the most striking revelations.

China hacked Google, US, and Dalai Lama

US officials believe that Chinese operatives hacked into Google, the computers of US officials, and the online communications of the Dalai Lama.

Google announced in January that it had been the victim of cyberattacks emanating from China, though it did not directly blame China. The WikiLeaks cables reveal that, all the while, the United States believed the cyberattacks came on orders from the Chinese Politburo.

According to The New York Times, which was one of five news organizations given early access to the Wikileaks cache, "China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of 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 Guardian, the cyberattack was ordered by one particular senior Politburo member "who typed his own name into the global version of the search engine and found articles criticising him personally."

The assessment is stark, but the information is not revelatory. In January, the Monitor reported that hackers in China operated with meticulous organization and high-level sophistication beyond the level of amateurs, with former US officials and independent analysts pointing the finger at the Chinese government.

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