According to The Associated Press, it appears that the Yahoo e-mail accounts of at least three journalists and an analyst have been hacked. However, PCWorld.com puts the number closer to eight foreign journalists working in China and Taiwan, while The New York Times says it was more than a dozen activists.
In any case, when the victims tried to access their accounts they received an automated message that read, "We have detected an issue with your account." One victim, whose service was restored, says the Yahoo representative told him that somebody had hacked into his registration details.
These attacks come on the heels of Google's decision to close its Google.cn site and redirect users to a non-censored search engine based in Hong Kong. However, it seems that China may be blocking that content as well. The Associated Press also reports that Google's Chinese search engine was intermittently blocked this week. Searches for benign terms brought up results on Chinese competitors such as Baidu.com and Soso.com, however, an error page would appear when the same terms were typed into Google.com.hk.
The disruptions don't end there. As IT Business Edge blogger Lora Bentley reported yesterday, Google's mobile services were partially blocked over the weekend. Google hasn't commented on the disruptions and, of course, Chinese officials are claiming ignorance. As Lora points out:
The disruptions could indicate that the Chinese government plans to block Google from the country completely and long-term.
A recent survey by Symantec showed that most of the targeted malware distributed in March came from China even though most of the e-mail servers used to push the scams were physically located in the U.S.