Security researcher IDs China link in Google hack
The code behind the attack, called Aurora, was written in 2006
IDG News Service - The malicious software used to steal information from Google Inc. and other companies contains code that links it to China, a security researcher said Tuesday
After examining the backdoor Hydraq Trojan used in the hack, SecureWorks Inc. researcher Joe Stewart found that it used an unusual algorithm to check for data corruption when it transmits information. The source code for this algorithm "only seems to be found on Chinese Web sites, which suggests that the person who wrote it reads Chinese," Stewart said.
That may be an important hint. Because while Google has implied that the people who hacked its computers had the support of the People's Republic of China, company executives have admitted that they have no proof.
Google has threatened to pull out of China, in part because of the cyberattack.
According to Stewart's firm, aside from the fact that some of the servers used in the attack were hosted in China, there had previously been no evidence of a China link. Because the attackers could have purchased or hacked into hosting services in China, simply linking the command-and-control servers to China is inconclusive.
The code behind the attack, called Aurora, was written in 2006. But apparently it was rarely used, which helped it evade detection by antivirus programs for several years. The Hydraq Trojan -- just one element of all of the Aurora software the security firms have found -- dates back to April 2009, Stewart said. Google learned of the attack in December and quickly notified other affected companies.
Like other Trojans, Hydraq gives the attackers ways of running commands on the computers they hack. With it, hackers can do things such as list directories and read and search files, Stewart said.
Stewart, who earns his living analyzing malicious code, says he has never seen this particular data-checking algorithm used anywhere else except with Hydraq.
Whoever is behind Aurora is known to have hit 34 companies, but researchers suspect that there may be many more victims.
Web giants attacked
- White House orders security review in wake of WikiLeaks disclosure
- Leaked U.S. document links China to Google attack
- Update: Researchers track cyber-espionage ring to China
- Google, China now playing cat and mouse?
- McAfee: 'Amateur' malware not used in Google attacks
- Military warns of 'increasingly active' cyber-threat from China
- China: Google 'totally wrong' to stop censoring
- Update: Google stops censoring in China
- Google's China ad partners wait in 'incomparable pain'
- Google may soon leave China, reports say
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data
- HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard
- This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting
- This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle
- This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle. All Government IT White Papers
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- All Government IT Webcasts