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.

In a blog post heard around the world, though muffled in China's state-controlled media, Google said on Tuesday that it and at least 20 other companies in the the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors had been targeted in a sophisticated cyber attack in December.

Due to this attack, which resulted in the theft of unspecified intellectual property, and a hostile business climate, Google said it would stop censoring Google.cn, a decision which could lead to the closure of the company's Chinese search service. Whether that happens will depend on how the Chinese government reacts.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday expressed concern about Google's claims and asked the Chinese government for an explanation. She said she intended to give a speech next week "on the centrality of Internet freedom in the 21st century."

A report issued on Tuesday by iDefense, a computer security company owned by Verisign, states that 33 other companies were targeted in the attack. It also says that those responsible were working either directly on on behalf of official intelligence entities of the People's Republic of China.

"Two independent, anonymous iDefense sources in the defense contracting and intelligence consulting community confirmed that both the source IPs and drop server of the attack correspond to a single foreign entity consisting either of agents of the Chinese state or proxies thereof," the report says.

Eli Jellenc, head of international cyber intelligence at Verisign iDefense, stopped short of claiming that the attackers were formally employed by a Chinese intelligence agency.

"We can't determine whether the attackers themselves have 'intelligence agency' on their office door or are a paid proxy," he said.

Adobe on Tuesday said that it learned of "a sophisticated, coordinated attack against corporate network systems managed by Adobe and other companies" on January 2 and that it is investigating the incident. It said that it had no evidence that any sensitive information had been compromised.

Both Google and Adobe declined to provide further details about the attacks, stating that the incidents are still under investigation.

Internet Web hosting company Rackspace has confirmed that it was subject to attack, noting that no customer data was compromised or altered.

According to The Washington Post, Dow Chemical and Northrop Grumman may also have been targets of the attacks.

Other targets of the attack have yet to be publicly identified.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2006-1318
Published: 2014-09-19
Microsoft Office 2003 SP1 and SP2, Office XP SP3, Office 2000 SP3, Office 2004 for Mac, and Office X for Mac do not properly parse record lengths, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a malformed control in an Office document, aka "Microsoft Office Control Vulnerability."

CVE-2012-2588
Published: 2014-09-19
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in MailEnable Enterprise 6.5 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) From, (2) To, or (3) Subject header or (4) body in an SMTP e-mail message.

CVE-2012-6659
Published: 2014-09-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the admin interface in Phorum before 5.2.19 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted URL.

CVE-2014-1391
Published: 2014-09-19
QT Media Foundation in Apple OS X before 10.9.5 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) via a crafted movie file with RLE encoding.

CVE-2014-3614
Published: 2014-09-19
Unspecified vulnerability in PowerDNS Recursor (aka pdns_recursor) 3.6.x before 3.6.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via an unknown sequence of malformed packets.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio