What have Adobe Systems, Microsoft, Google’s employees, China, iDefense Labs, and the French and German governments got in common? They have all been blamed in different ways for the high-profile 'Aurora' hack of Google et al that saw the searchmonger threaten to quit China faster than President Nixon's return plane ride in 1972.

First China was blamed for the sponsoring the hack, not surprising given that such accusations have been made in the past. Then iDefense Labs claimed a flaw in Adobe’s Reader helped in the hack, a charge later withdrawn.

Just as iDefence was being pointed at for spreading false information, up popped McAfee and others to blame a flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer instead. Then it was reported that Google was suspicious of some of its own employees. Google suspecting itself? Whatever next? The French and German governments, that’s what, which asked citizens to shun IE until the serious flaw alledgedly responsible for the Google hack is fixed.

They don’t get off with it that lightly because a number of vendors have turned on the Europeans for turning on IE on the merest of pretexts, pointing out that other browsers might be just as insecure in different ways. Ban the Internet? I’m sure the French has thought about it at some point.

What we can now say from all of this:

Persons unknown in China hack companies and countries (including India) and we suspect that many countries hack back

The countries that hack back either do it so well that the Chinese don’t know about it or they do know about it but the authorities don’t say

Companies, even Google, are not secure and probably never will be not least because employees are a weak link on the inside

Browsers are no more secure than any other type of software

Nobody knows what’s going on so blaming anyone is very difficult. Perhaps this tells us that everyone is to blame in different ways.