Report Details Hacks Targeting Google, Others

Report Details Hacks Targeting Google, Others
Report Details Hacks Targeting Google, Others 

By Kim Zetter  
Threat Level
February 3, 2010

Until now we've only known that the attackers got in through a 
vulnerability in Internet Explorer and that they obtained intellectual 
property and access to the Gmail accounts of two human rights activists 
whose work revolves around China. We also know a few details about how 
the hackers siphoned the stolen data, which went to IP addresses in 
Taiwan. About 34 mostly undisclosed companies were breached.

Now a leading computer forensic firm is providing the closest look so 
far at the nature of the attacks, and attackers, that struck Google and 
others. The report never mentions Google by name, or any other 
companies, but focuses on information gathered from hundreds of forensic 
investigations the firm has conducted that are identical to what we know 
about the Google hack.

What the information indicates is that the attack that hit Google is 
identical to publicly undisclosed attacks that have quietly plagued 
thousands of other U.S. companies and government agencies since 2002 and 
are rapidly growing. They represent a sea change from the kinds of 
attacks that have commonly hit networks and made headlines.

"The scope of this is much larger than anybody has every conveyed," says 
Kevin Mandia, CEO and president of Virginia-based computer security and 
forensic firm Mandiant. "There [are] not 50 companies compromised. There 
are thousands of companies compromised. Actively, right now."

Mandiant released the report last week at a closed-door cybercrime 
conference, sponsored by the U.S. Defense Department, in an effort to 
make companies aware of the threat.


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