Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
Enterprise I.T.
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Mundane Ruses Lured U.S. Hacking Victims
Mundane Ruses Lured U.S. Hacking Victims

By Eric Tucker
May 23, 2014 9:33AM

    Bookmark and Share
The scariest part about the alleged hacking of U.S. companies by China might be how low-tech the cyber-ruses were. With a mouse click or two, employees at big-name American makers of nuclear and solar tech gave away the keys to their computer networks. Experts say the break-ins were more Austin Powers than James Bond.
 



The victims were their own worst enemies. The hacking techniques the U.S. government says China used against American companies turned out to be disappointingly mundane, tricking employees into opening email attachments or clicking on innocent-looking website links.

The scariest part might be how successfully the ruses worked. With a mouse click or two, employees at big-name American makers of nuclear and solar technology gave away the keys to their computer networks.

In a 31-count indictment announced on Monday the Justice Department said five Chinese military officials operating under hacker aliases such as "Ugly Gorilla," ''KandyGoo" and "Jack Sun" stole confidential business information, sensitive trade secrets and internal communications for competitive advantage. The U.S. identified the alleged victims as Alcoa World Alumina, Westinghouse, Allegheny Technologies, U.S. Steel, United Steelworkers Union and SolarWorld.

China denied it all on Tuesday.

"The Chinese government and Chinese military as well as relevant personnel have never engaged and never participated in so-called cybertheft of trade secrets," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in Beijing. "What the United States should do now is withdraw its indictment."

That's unlikely. What the Justice Department is doing is spelling out exactly how it says China pulled it off.

The U.S. says the break-ins were more Austin Powers than James Bond. In some cases, the government says, the hackers used "spear-phishing" -- a well-known scam to trick specific companies or employees into infecting their own computers.

The hackers are said to have created a fake email account under the misspelled name of a then-Alcoa director and fooled an employee into opening an email attachment called "agenda.zip," billed as the agenda to a 2008 shareholders' meeting. It exposed the company's network. At another time, a hacker allegedly emailed company employees with a link to what appeared to be a report about industry observations, but the link instead installed malicious software that created a back door into the company's network.

"We are so used to solving problems by clicking an email link, looking at the information and forwarding it on," said Chris Wysopal, a computer security expert and chief technology officer of the software-security firm Veracode. "And if hackers know about you and your company, they can create really realistic-looking messages."

And use of the rudimentary efforts the Justice Department described doesn't mean foreign governments and others won't use more sophisticated and harder-to-detect techniques, said Joshua Corman, the chief technology officer for Sonatype, which helps businesses make their software development secure. Determined hackers escalate their attacks when necessary, he said, but in the cases cited in the federal indictment announced Monday, they didn't have to escalate very far. (continued...)

1  |  2  |  Next Page >

 


© 2014 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Chuck:

Posted: 2014-05-23 @ 1:40pm PT
Interesting article, this is a cyber war and I wish the mainstream media would hone in on this point. Best pratices in this field are often hard to identify, I would encourage you to read how companies like OPSWAT are introducing multi-scanning technologies to the front lines.



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Enterprise I.T.
1.   Teaming Up: CIOs, IT Asset Managers
2.   Juniper DDoS for High-IQ Networks
3.   IBM Rolls Out Hybrid Cloud Services
4.   Windows 7 Ends Mainstream Support
5.   Another IE-Focused Patch Tuesday


advertisement
Backlash Stirs Against H-1B Visas
Debate over foreign workers continues.
Average Rating:
IBM Rolls Out Hybrid Cloud Services
Based on SoftLayer net infrastructure.
Average Rating:
Windows 7 Ends Mainstream Support
But extended support still available.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
New Web Tracking Technologies Defeat Privacy Protections
Recently developed Web tracking tools are able to circumvent even the best privacy defenses, according to a new study by researchers at Princeton and the University of Leuven in Belgium.
 
Juniper DDoS Solution Aims at High-IQ Networks
In the face of more complex attacks, Juniper Networks is boosting its DDoS Secure solution to help companies mitigate the threats with more effective security intelligence throughout the network fabric.
 
Large-Volume DDoS Attacks Hit Record in 2014
The number of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks set a record in the first half of 2014, according to a report by Arbor Networks. The number of attacks over 20 GB/sec doubled.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.