The so-called ‘Operation Aurora’, which attacked Google and at least 33 other western conglomerates, allegedly originated from two Chinese universities, according to a recent New York Times story. One of these ‘universities’ is, in fact, an obscure 4th- tier vocational school in Northern China. It is Shandong Lan Xiang Advanced Vocational College, which hitherto was known only for training automobile technicians.
The immediate surprise in Chinese cyberspace is not so much focused on the fact that Google’s recent accusation has been partly confirmed by the article, but that a school like Lan Xiang could even be considered as a candidate for carrying out such a sophisticated attack. Many have speculated that Lan Xiang’s administrators must have been filled with joy since their school has been rocketed to international fame without spending a penny on advertising. The following are some comments taken from QQ.com
On Lan Xiang’s public webpage in Baidu.com, people came from everywhere to pay their tributes. Typical entries were “Chinese student delegates from Kyoto University congratulate Lan Xiang” and “Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics send their congratulations”.
The story also provides perfect material for more overt satire:
Despite all the sarcasm, is Lan Xiang really behind all this? A casual look at the posts in the same public page written before the New York Times report seems to suggest that Lan Xiang is a very ordinary school indeed!
Is there really enough evidence to implicate Lan Xiang? Furthermore, will the evidence matter at all amidst the overall surge of nationalistic public opinion in China? We must wait and see how this drama plays out.