Risk
11/29/2010
02:43 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Confirmation? Chinese Government May Have Been Behind Operation Aurora Hacks

We suspected there would be some interesting cyber security related news to come out of the thousands of cables released by WikiLeaks over the weekend. We were not disappointed.

We suspected there would be some interesting cyber security related news to come out of the thousands of cables released by WikiLeaks over the weekend. We were not disappointed.As you're most likely aware, earlier this year Google came public with what was then rather astonishing news: it was under attack from systems that appeared to have come from China. While Google went to lengths to make it certain that they were not accusing the Chinese government of being part of the attacks, the security industry certainly believed, but had little evidence, to support the notion that the attacks were government backed and sponsored.

InformationWeek's Thomas Claburn wrote a great take on the incident back when it happened in his story, China Denies Attacking Google, where Chinese officials were quoted as saying the accusations that the Chinese government were behind the attacks in any way were groundless.

Turns out those claims are not so groundless after all, from Claburn's story today, China Directed Google Attack, Leaked Cable Says:

The cables also reveal that China's Politburo "directed the intrusion into Google's computer systems," according to the New York Times, which was provided with copies of the documents.

A Chinese contact reportedly confirmed to U.S. embassy officials in Beijing the involvement of China's government in the cyber attack on Google's network that occurred late last year and was disclosed in January, 2010. The officially sanctioned cyber attack involved government operatives, private security contractors, and Internet criminals recruited by the Chinese government, the New York Times said.

We know now that companies initially included in the so called "Operation Aurora" attacks included Adobe Systems, Juniper Networks, and Rackspace. Intel may have also been targeted. And various media reports have claimed that Yahoo, Symantec, Northrop Grumman and Dow Chemical were also targeted.

The question now is how much evidence is enough to respond, and what type of response should the U.S. take? Our Mathew J. Schwartz offers a discussion here about potential U.S. response to cyber incidents.

What do you think? How should the U.S. respond, if it should at all above bolstering IT security to a more acceptable level?

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-8802
Published: 2015-01-23
The Pie Register plugin before 2.0.14 for WordPress does not properly restrict access to certain functions in pie-register.php, which allows remote attackers to (1) add a user by uploading a crafted CSV file or (2) activate a user account via a verifyit action.

CVE-2014-9623
Published: 2015-01-23
OpenStack Glance 2014.2.x through 2014.2.1, 2014.1.3, and earlier allows remote authenticated users to bypass the storage quote and cause a denial of service (disk consumption) by deleting an image in the saving state.

CVE-2014-9638
Published: 2015-01-23
oggenc in vorbis-tools 1.4.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (divide-by-zero error and crash) via a WAV file with the number of channels set to zero.

CVE-2014-9639
Published: 2015-01-23
Integer overflow in oggenc in vorbis-tools 1.4.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via a crafted number of channels in a WAV file, which triggers an out-of-bounds memory access.

CVE-2014-9640
Published: 2015-01-23
oggenc/oggenc.c in vorbis-tools 1.4.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds read) via a crafted raw file.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
If you’re a security professional, you’ve probably been asked many questions about the December attack on Sony. On Jan. 21 at 1pm eastern, you can join a special, one-hour Dark Reading Radio discussion devoted to the Sony hack and the issues that may arise from it.