Chinese hackers still targeting U.S. corporate and government websites
A recent report from the security firm Mandiant says that hackers operating in China have renewed their onslaught against US-based corporate servers, which include many government servers as well. Mandiant claims that these hackers have successfully stolen vast amounts of data from both corporate and government agencies.
Not long ago the Internet security group, Mandiant, said that a military trained Chinese hacker group's goal was to specifically target and steal classified data from U.S.-based corporations along with U.S. government servers. A Pentagon report backed up Mandiant’s findings and both agreed that the attacks were being supported by the Chinese military.
The security group says they were able to pinpoint the source of the attacks to originate from a single building near Beijing that was run by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Unit 61398. Mandiant shown that this specific unit was responsible for a 2009 hit on Coca-Cola’s proprietary data and the 2011 attack on RSA, which is a defense contractor and maker of data security products. This stolen data was later used to break into Lockhead Martin, which is a massive aerospace contractor for the U.S. military.
The Pentagon’s report read in part, “In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the U.S. government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military."
Not long after the report became public, the hacking did slow down and stop in many instances, but now Mandiant says the attacks have resumed. In all, Mandiant says the levels are about 60-70 percent to that of previous levels and rising.
While the firm claims that the organized hackers have begun to step up their game, the company would not disclose the specific origins of the attacks due to contract agreements with their customers. Nevertheless, Mandiant did suggest that many of their clients were the same victims as before, some of which include many large corporations. Mandiant's past report also stated that the hackers had infiltrated overseas networks where massive amounts of data was stolen from U.S.-based companies and other large corporations that work with the U.S.
Some of that data stolen over the years includes secret developments for products and blueprints of classified materials, manufacturing plans, pharmaceutical drug developments and all manner of proprietary data belonging to over 100 companies that deal with Mandiant.
On May 20th, the New York Times claimed hackers out of China have targeted their servers ever since they published a story critical of China's previous Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao.
This coming Wednesday the Obama administration will be laying out plans on how to punish China for the current cyber-attacks. Dennis C. Blair who acted as Obama’s former director of national intelligence and former China Ambassador, Jon Huntsman Jr, will lead the new task force.