Attacks/Breaches
1/13/2010
05:03 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Chinese Spy Agency Behind Google Cyber Attack, Report Claims

The cyber attacks that contributed to Google's reevaluation of its operations in China also hit 33 other companies.

George Kurtz, CTO of McAfee, said in a blog post that his company is participating in the investigation and that the intellectual property stolen from Google was likely source code. Citing a study conducted by his company, he said that businesses lose more than $1 trillion in intellectual property annually due to data theft and cybercrime,

In a blog post on Wednesday, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at Finnish security company F-Secure, said he believes "the attack was launched via a convincing e-mail with an exploit-ridden PDF attachment."

The iDefense report says that the December attack on Google and other companies has similarities to a July attack on about 100 companies in the IT sector. That attack used a malicious PDF file to exploit a zero-day vulnerability in Adobe Reader.

"According to sources familiar with the present attack, attackers delivered malicious code used against Google and others using PDFs as e-mail attachments; those same sources also claim that the files have similar characteristics to those distributed during the July attacks," the report states. "In both attacks, the malicious files drop a backdoor Trojan in the form of a Windows DLL."

The report suggests the July and December attacks may be the same attack, meaning that affected companies may have been compromised for months.

In reference to the December attack, an Adobe spokesperson said, "At this time, we have no evidence to suggest that a vulnerability in Adobe Reader was an attack vector in this incident."

Adobe on Tuesday happened to issue a security patch for a vulnerability in its Acrobat and Reader software that had been actively exploited for at least a month.

Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, said it is likely that the attack was a highly targeted spear-phishing attack that exploited a zero-day vulnerability in the software used by employees at targeted companies.

"It doesn't really matter if the attack targeted Word or Adobe or a video player," said Chris Wysopal, CTO of Veracode. "What's clear is that the set of software on the user's system really isn't being scrutinized and managed the way a machine connected to the Internet, like a Web server or gateway, is."

That's something that needs to change, Wysopal insists.

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7178
Published: 2014-11-28
Enalean Tuleap before 7.5.99.6 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via the User-Agent header, which is provided to the passthru PHP function.

CVE-2014-7850
Published: 2014-11-28
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Web UI in FreeIPA 4.x before 4.1.2 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via vectors related to breadcrumb navigation.

CVE-2014-8423
Published: 2014-11-28
Unspecified vulnerability in the management portal in ARRIS VAP2500 before FW08.41 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-8424
Published: 2014-11-28
ARRIS VAP2500 before FW08.41 does not properly validate passwords, which allows remote attackers to bypass authentication.

CVE-2014-8425
Published: 2014-11-28
The management portal in ARRIS VAP2500 before FW08.41 allows remote attackers to obtain credentials by reading the configuration files.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?