Feeds

China fingered in cyberattack on mystery high tech co.

'Extremely large volumes' siphoned

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Chinese government is stepping up efforts to steal valuable information from high-technology companies in other countries, according to a congressional advisory panel, which detailed one operation that siphoned "extremely large volumes" of sensitive data.

The 2007 attack against the unnamed high-technology company was just one of several successful operations the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission believes was sponsored by Beijing.

According to The Wall Street Journal, which reported the contents of a report the panel was expected to release Thursday, the Chinese government is suspected because of the "professional quality" of the attack and the technical natures of the stolen information.

According to the WSJ:

The hackers "operated at times using a communication channel between a host with an [Internet] address located in the People's Republic of China and a server on the company's internal network."

In the months leading up to the 2007 operation, cyberspies did extensive reconnaissance, identifying which employee computer accounts they wanted to hijack and which files they wanted to steal. They obtained credentials for dozens of employee accounts, which they accessed nearly 150 times.

The cyberspies then reached into the company's networks using the same type of program help-desk administrators use to remotely access computers.

The hackers copied and transferred files to seven servers hosting the company's email system, which were capable of processing large amounts of data quickly. Once they moved the data to the email servers, the intruders renamed the stolen files to blend in with the other files on the system and compressed and encrypted the files for export.

The attackers used at least eight US-based computers, some at universities, as drop boxes before sending it overseas. The company's security team managed to detect the theft while it was in progress, but not before significant amounts of data left the company network.

China is one of 100 countries believed to have the capability to conduct such operations, according to the report. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.