Security firm McAfee has released a disconcerting 14-page report detailing that for five years, a nation-state has been making cyberattacks against many American organizations and corporations. The attacks were intricate, expertly executed and alleged to be from a governing body, though McAfee has not specifically pointed an accusatory finger yet.
The 72 attacks have stolen data from the United Nation, International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency, among others. 49 of the attacks were American organizations, but other hacks went after groups in and governments of Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
McAfee discovered the attacks last March while reviewing contents on a server they had discovered had security problems in 2009. Other strains of what seemed like the same strategic hack were then uncovered, from as far back as 2006. The attacks were conducted via RATs (remote access tools) and have thus been dubbed "Shady RATs" by McAfee.
The firm has not named many of the hacked targets for fear of startling investors, but the parties involved have been warned and told to heighten their online security.
Perhaps of most concern is McAfee’s speculation that these attacks are sanctioned by another country. Many are skeptical about China’s involvement in recent cyber attacks and claim the country is working with hackers instead of prosecuting them.
[via NY Times]