Thursday, January 14, 2010

Google China Cyber Attack Part of Vast Espionage Campaign, Experts Say

Ariana Eunjung Cha and Ellen Nakashima write in The Washington Post:

Computer attacks on Google that the search giant said originated in China were part of a concerted political and corporate espionage effort that exploited security flaws in e-mail attachments to sneak into the networks of major financial, defense and technology companies and research institutions in the United States, security experts said.

At least 34 companies -- including Yahoo, Symantec, Adobe, Northrop Grumman and Dow Chemical -- were attacked, according to congressional and industry sources. Google, which disclosed on Tuesday that hackers had penetrated the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights advocates in the United States, Europe and China, threatened to shutter its operations in the country as a result.

Human rights groups as well as Washington-based think tanks that have helped shape the debate in Congress about China were also hit.

Security experts say the attacks showed a new level of sophistication, exploiting multiple flaws in different software programs and underscoring what senior administration officials have said over the past year is an increasingly serious cyber threat to the nation's critical industries.

More here.


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