McAfee reveled a new branch at the area of global cyber attack “Shady Rat”, a hacking operation that targeted 72 top worldwide entities. Such victims included various U.S. defense contractors, government agencies, top companies, the United Nations, and plenty more.
This operation occurred over last five years and mostly has U.S. targets, even thought there are various other victims based in different countries such as Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
McAfee analysis of the attack was based off of accessing the intruders’ “Command & Control server.” Despite the magnitude of the breach, McAfee says that most of the targets had already corrected problems caused by the infections.
According to the report, the operation relied on setting up a backdoor channel through malware. Concluding its findings, McAfee stated, “This is a problem of massive scale that affects nearly every industry and sector of the economies of numerous countries, and the only organizations that are exempt from this threat are those that don’t have anything valuable or interesting worth stealing.”
Although the source of the operation wasn’t revealed, many tech analysts have suspected China as the source of various recent cyber-attacks. Despite denying any involvement, the country was said to be the source of a recent high-profile attack on Google’s Gmail service.
Meanwhile, countries such as the United States have looked to increase their efforts against global cyber security threats by working with other nations, as well as developing new technology. Other recent global cyber-attacks have included a breach on defense contractor Lockheed-Martin and one involving the Pentagon (which the U.S. said likely originated from an unidentified nation state).
Besides these larger scale global breaches that seem more mysterious, this year has seen plenty of other attacks where individual hacking groups have openly taken credit for particular breaches.
Groups LulzSec and Anonymous have recently dominated the headlines. LulzSec has been responsible for attacks on sites belonging to Sony, PBS, the U.S. Senate, the CIA, and more while Anonymous has recently targeted the likes of U.S. defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and Monsanto, an agricultural company. Fighting back, authorities in various countries have recently arrested people suspected of involvement in the organizations.
Even with all the bad news recently regarding cyber breaches, hopefully such developments have spread awareness and pushed entities to increase their protection against large cyber threats.
You can access the entire report by McAfee in PDF format here: http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/white-papers/wp-operation-shady-rat.pdf