Google Hack Attack Was Ultra Sophisticated, New Details Show

Google Hack Attack Was Ultra Sophisticated, New Details Show
Google Hack Attack Was Ultra Sophisticated, New Details Show

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By Kim Zetter 
Threat Level
January 14, 2010 

Hackers seeking source code from Google, Adobe and dozens of other 
high-profile companies used unprecedented tactics that combined 
encryption, stealth programming and an unknown hole in Internet 
Explorer, according to new details released by researchers at anti-virus 
firm McAfee.

=E2=80=9CWe have never ever, outside of the defense industry, seen commercial 
industrial companies come under that level of sophisticated attack,=E2=80=9D 
says Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of threat research for McAfee. 
=E2=80=9CIt=E2=80=99s totally changing the threat model.=E2=80=9D

In the wake of Threat Level=E2=80=99s story disclosing that a zero-day 
vulnerability in Internet Explorer was exploited by the hackers to gain 
access to Google and other companies, Microsoft has published an 
advisory about the flaw that it already had in the works. McAfee has 
also added protection to its products to detect the malware that was 
used in the attacks and has now gone public with a number of new details 
about the hacks.

Google announced Tuesday that it had been the target of a =E2=80=9Chighly 
sophisticated=E2=80=9D and coordinated hack attack against its corporate 
network. It said the hackers had stolen intellectual property and sought 
access to the Gmail accounts of human rights activists. The attack had 
originated from China, the company said.

Minutes later, Adobe acknowledged in a blog post that it discovered Jan.
2 that it also had been the target of a =E2=80=9Csophisticated, coordinated 
attack against corporate network systems managed by Adobe and other 


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