- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO — Google says computer hackers in China broke into the Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including senior government officials in the U.S. and political activists.

Google says all victims have been notified and their accounts have been secured.

The attacks announced Wednesday on Google’s blog aren’t believed to be tied to a more sophisticated assault originating from China in late 2009 and early last year. That intrusion targeted the Google’s own security systems and triggered a high-profile battle with China’s Communist government over online censorship.

The tensions escalated amid reports that the Chinese government had at least an indirect hand in the hacking attacks, a possibility that Google didn’t rule out.

In the latest incident, Google believes Chinese hackers tricked people into sharing their passwords in so-called “phishing” scams.