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Google's universal sign-on service "Gaia" compromised in Chinese hacks?

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 6:36PM EST

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Google’s high profile war of words with China has garnered much public attention but the underlying cause of the dispute — the alleged hacking of Google by Chinese individuals, possibly with government sanction, has stayed quietly under the radar. A source with knowledge of Google’s internal investigation revealed to the NY Times that one of the targets of the attack was Google’s universal login system known as “Gaia”. Though you may not be familiar with the name, every Android-toting, Gmail-checking Google user is familiar with the system. Gaia, now known as “Single Sign-On”, is the password and login system that powers Google’s universal login and lets you read your feeds in Reader, analyze your website traffic, and check your Gmail using a single, simultaneous login. No passwords or accounts were compromised but the hackers allegedly obtained some, if not all, of the source code for this password/login system. Google declined to comment on this latest leaked information and towed the company line by re-affirming that it has dealt with all the security issues associated with this attack. We don’t need to elaborate on the potential ramifications this revelation has on the perceived security of Google’s cloud system; we can let you do that in the comments.