No kidding. Chinese hackers, possibly from the China’s military, repeatedly penetrated the computer networks of “The New York Times (NYT)”, one of the biggest and most respected U.S. newspapers, over the past four month. Cyberwar on The New York Times!!!
The attacks, which began in mid-September in retaliation, since the newspaper published an exposé on how the family and relatives of Premier Wen Jiabao built a fortune worth more than US$2.7 billion.
The hackers breached the network sometime around Sept. 13, accessed e-mails of reporters and stole the corporate passwords for every Times employee. Over 53 computers were attacked, along with email accounts of the bureau chief in Shanghai David Barboza, along with the New Delhi bureau chief, Jim Yardley.
In a dramatic announcement New York Times says, “After surreptitiously tracking the intruders to study their movements and help erect better defenses to block them, The Times and computer security experts have expelled the attackers and kept them from breaking back in.”
The newspaper also added, “The hackers tried to cloak the source of the attacks on The Times by first penetrating computers at United States universities and routing the attacks through them, said computer security experts at Mandiant, the company hired by The Times. This matches the subterfuge used in many other attacks that Mandiant has tracked to China.”
In response to allegations that the Chinese military was behind the attacks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman called the Times’ accusations groundless and reiterated the government’s position that China also has been hacked repeatedly.
“To rashly jump to conclusions based on investigation results which have not been proved by evidence is totally irresponsible behavior,” the spokesman, Hong Lei, said at a routine daily media briefing. “China is also a victim of cyber-attacks. Chinese laws specifically stipulate that cyber-attacks are prohibited.”
Symantec Corporation has put out a rather awkward press release OR you can say it an endorsement: “Advanced attacks like the ones the New York Times described in the following article, underscore how important it is for companies, countries and consumers to make sure they are using the full capability of security solutions.
The advanced capabilities in our endpoint offerings, including our unique reputation-based technology and behavior-based blocking, specifically target sophisticated attacks.
Turning on only the signature-based anti-virus components of endpoint solutions alone are not enough in a world that is changing daily from attacks and threats.
We encourage customers to be very aggressive in deploying solutions that offer a combined approach to security. Anti-virus software alone is not enough.”