Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News 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 CRM Systems Customer Service Contact Centers Business Intelligence More Topics...
Network Security
24/7/365 Network Uptime
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.



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Network Security
1.   Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
2.   Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
3.   Dropbox for Business Boosts Security
4.   Hackers Breached StubHub Accounts
5.   Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware


advertisement
Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
Bug reportedly reveals ID of users
Average Rating:
New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
Study identifies 3 browser techniques.
Average Rating:
Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
34 institutions, four European countries
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
FTC Wants Fix for 'Perfect Scam' of Mobile Cramming
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued new guidelines to curb “mobile cramming,” a troublesome practice that adds unauthorized third-party charges to mobile phone bills.
 
BlackBerry Buys German Security Firm
Looking to burnish its business reputation, BlackBerry has agreed to buy a German mobile security company that specializes in voice/data encryption as well as anti-eavesdropping solutions.
 
T-Mobile Calls 'BS' on AT&T's New Promotion
While Verizon Wireless is moving to throttle bandwidth hogs, a scrappy T-Mobile is taking on the giants with a limited-time promotion it hopes will drive up the churn rates of its wireless rivals.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Contact Centers | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Customer Data | CRM 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.