04:56 PM
Connect Directly

More Victims Of Chinese Hacking Attacks Come Forward

Law firm that filed suit against China for intellectual property theft and a Web hosting service report attacks; news site hit by a DDoS out of China

The names of the other 20-plus or so companies and organizations hit by the recent wave of attacks out of China are gradually trickling out, but with most companies still remaining tight-lipped about whether they were hit. Among the victims coming forward is a law firm that filed suit against the Chinese government over its censor software and Web hosting firm Rackspace.

Aside from Google and Adobe, which went public late Tuesday about the attacks, published reports have named Dow Chemical, Northrop Grumman, Symantec, and Yahoo as also being attacked. And U.S.-based news site VerticalNews China says it was hit with a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that originated from China.

A Northrop Grumman spokesman says the company does not comment on specific attacks, and Symantec neither confirmed nor denied it was hit, either. "Northrop Grumman, like most industries and government organizations, is at risk of cyber attacks ranging from the most complex to the simple hacker," the spokesman said in a statement. "Northrop Grumman has in place an extremely robust, leading-edge network defense system to mitigate attacks, secure our data, and help protect our business against disruption. As a principal member of the Defense Industrial Base, we share our knowledge of attacks with colleagues to increase awareness and prevent the spread of malicious activity."

Symantec, meanwhile, said: "As the world's largest security provider, we are the target of cyber attacks on a regular basis. As we do with all threats, we are thoroughly investigating this one to ensure we are providing appropriate protection to our customers."

Rackspace, which hosts tens of thousands of different Websites for its clients, says one of its servers was hacked. "A server at Rackspace was compromised, disabled, and we actively assisted in the investigation of the cyber attack, fully cooperating with all affected parties," the company said in a posting on its Website. "No customer data at Rackspace was compromised or altered [in the attack]."

Meanwhile, a small law firm that represents U.S.-based CyberSitter, the software developer that filed a $2.2 billion software piracy suit against the People's Republic of China last week as well as seven other computer manufacturers, was also targeted. Gipson Hoffman & Pancione was hit Monday evening in what could be retaliation for its filing what it says is an historic intellectual property suit against China on behalf of CyberSitter. CyberSitter alleges that China's Green Dam developers illegally copied more than 3,000 lines of code from CyberSitter's own Internet content-filtering software, and that it worked with the Chinese government and other computer makers to distribute more than 56 million copies of that software across China and elsewhere.

Elliot Gipson, an attorney with the Los Angeles-based firm, says it's impossible to know for sure if this is the same attacks Google unearthed, but that it employed a similar spear-phishing technique. "Members of the firm got emails from what looked as if they were from other members of the firm, asking them to click on an attachment or a link," Gipson says. Now the FBI is investigating, he says.

The firm had already put its employees on high alert in the wake of the lawsuit it filed against China last week. "We had warned our employees to be on guard for suspicious email," Gipson says. He says it appears that no one fell for the spear-phishing attack because there's no sign that anyone clicked on any of the links.

Gipson says some of the messages contained pure links, while others came with attachments, but he he doesn't think any of them were PDF documents.

VerticalNews China, a U.S.-based news site operated by the NewsRX publishing firm that covers news from China, was hit by a DDoS attack yesterday. "I do know that the large-scale attack originated in China, and now that we know it can happen, we've taken steps to hopefully prevent future disruptions," said Susan Hasty, publisher at NewsRx, the parent company of VerticalNews, in a statement. "We have every intention to continue coverage of vital news about China."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.