Feeds

China fingered in cyberattack on mystery high tech co.

'Extremely large volumes' siphoned

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.