Broad New Hacking Attack Detected

Broad New Hacking Attack Detected
Broad New Hacking Attack Detected 

The Wall Street Journal
FEBRUARY 18, 2010

Hackers in Europe and China successfully broke into computers at nearly 
2,500 companies and government agencies over the last 18 months in a 
coordinated global attack that exposed vast amounts of personal and 
corporate secrets to theft, according to a computer-security company 
that discovered the breach.

The damage from the latest cyberattack is still being assessed, and 
affected companies are still being notified. But data compiled by 
NetWitness, the closely held firm that discovered the breaches, showed 
that hackers gained access to a wide array of data at 2,411 companies, 
from credit-card transactions to intellectual property.

The hacking operation, the latest of several major hacks that have 
raised alarms for companies and government officials, is still running 
and it isn't clear to what extent it has been contained, NetWitness 
said. Also unclear is the full amount of data stolen and how it was 
used. Two companies that were infiltrated, pharmaceutical giant Merck & 
Co. and Cardinal Health Inc., said they had isolated and contained the 

Starting in late 2008, hackers operating a command center in Germany got 
into corporate networks by enticing employees to click on contaminated 
Web sites, email attachments or ads purporting to clean up viruses, 
NetWitness found.


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