China Denies Being Villain in Newly Reported Global Cyber Attacks
As the US stock market took a major dive Monday, then bounced back only a day later, more than 70 corporations, nonprofits and government organizations around the globe might be hoping to see their cybersecurity efforts do the same.
According to a report released late last week by McAfee, the computer security giant known for its anti-virus software and solutions, 72 organizations, including several US defense firms, the United Nations secretariat, a US Department of Energy lab and the International Olympic Committee, were the target of a series of cyber attacks and online espionage taking place over the past five years.
The report, “Revealed: Operation Shady RAT,” produced by Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of McAfee’s threat research department, revealed that McAfee gained access to a specific command and control server used by the intruders, and from there, was able to collect logs, as well a diverse list of the companies and government agencies around the world that were compromised by the targeted attacks.
“Every company in every conceivable industry with significant size and valuable intellectual property and trade secrets has been compromised (or will be shortly), with the great majority of the victims rarely discovering the intrusion or its impact,” Alperovitch noted in the report.
And while some victims may be rushing to raise their cyber defenses, others are looking to find the at-fault, with fingers pointing to China, as the report suggested that a “state actor” was most likely to blame “because there is likely no commercial benefit to be earned from such hacks.”
But China isn’t taking the news lightly. According to Reuters, the People’s Daily, the nation’s top newspaper reflecting the views of China’s ruling Communist Party, denied the hacking claims, avowing that, “Linking China to Internet hacking attacks is irresponsible.”
The newspaper went on to accuse McAfee of releasing the report for the sole purpose of increasing its sales. However, McAfee quickly rebutted the allegations, stating that it “has tried to reach government agencies and businesses it can identify through some evidence to let them know about these hacker intrusions,” additionally asserting that the report was not intended to gain new customers, Network World reported.
And to further deny the finger-pointing, the People’s Daily concluded that “As the number of hacking attacks on prominent international businesses and organizations has grown this year, some Western media have repeatedly depicted China as the villain behind the scenes,” Reuters reported.
Beyond the blame game, check out the following cybersecurity news headlines you may have missed:
US government hankers for hackers (Reuters)
State Department, auditors clash on IT security monitoring (InformationWeek)
Ex-Microsoft exec VanRoekel named US technology chief (Washington Post)
Cyber defense agency faces challenges from within (Huffington Post)
Defense cyber strategy avoids tackling the most critical issues (National Journal)
Defcon Convention: Gov cybersecurity experts look to recruit top hackers (Huffington Post)
US wants to build cybersecurity protection plan for cars (NetworkWorld)
Banks face ongoing cyber threats (InformationWeek)
Anonymous hacks ManTech, FBI cybersecurity contractor (SecurityWeek)
DHS issues Anonymous threat assessment (TGDaily)
Unification Ministry targeted in cyber attack (Korea Herald)
Hackers target Sun Newspaper, post reader data online (PC Magazine)
Church websites hacked to push conversion to Islam (Toledo Blade)
LiveJournal hit by massive cyber attack (eSecurity Planet)
Raytheon chosen by DARPA for cybersecurity research program (Press Release)
CACI awarded $12B IT contract for Department of Veterans Affairs (Press Release)
Northrop Grumman names Jack Dorsett VP of cybersecurity/C4 (Press Release)
Former gov CIO John Suffolk joins Huawei as head of cybersecurity (ComputerWeekly)
James Lewis: Cyber attacks are rare (FierceGovIT)
Editorial: No excuse for cyber theft (Buffalo News)