Webmail accounts of foreign journalists based in China and Taiwan have reportedly been hacked.

According to BBC News, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) has confirmed eight cases of Yahoo email hacks in recent weeks, and criticised Yahoo for not answering the FCCC's questions about the attacks or telling individual mail users about how the accounts were accessed.

It reported on Clifford Coonan, a reporter for the Irish Times, who told the AFP news agency that he had an error message when he logged into his Yahoo account this week.

He said: “I don't know who's doing it, what happened. They (Yahoo) haven't given any information, but it seems to be happening to journalists and academics in China, so that's why it's a little suspicious.”

The incident comes only a few months after Google accused China of hacking the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. This has culminated in Google scaling down its Chinese domain and moving search operations to Hong Kong.

However this has not been without its problems, as BBC News also reported on a problem that meant that Chinese users of its service were unable to access search results on 30th March due to a technical error.

A spokesperson for the firm said that ‘lots of users' had been unable to access the Hong Kong site on the day. A spokesperson said: “This blockage seems to have been triggered by a change on Google's part. The great firewall was associating these searches with Radio Free Asia, a service that has been inaccessible in China for a long time -hence the blockage. We are currently looking at how to resolve this issue.”