After falling victim of cyber attack from China back in 2010, Google had disclosed to the public about its discovery that the attack was highly sophisticated and a breach to intellectual property. While the method of hacking wasn’t elaborated at that time, an investigation was launched which gained some notable results. It turns out that the attack did not only expose the vulnerable nature of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer but also revealed its main target of penetrating the information database of the US Intelligence. These findings totally negate earlier claims that the attacks were targeting the Gmail user accounts of human rights advocates.
At the initial stage of the attack, only a few important individuals were targeted and were led to install malware which paved the way for hackers to infiltrate several other networks aside from Google. The hackers were smart enough to know very well their desired targets and what they wanted from them. After successfully leading their targets to click a malware-infested link or file on the Internet Explorer, they were able to gain access to sensitive and confidential intellectual property.
The Washington Post has expressed that the amount of stolen information is not yet clear. However, they have admitted that the breached database contain information on thousands of court orders in the US which revolve around the country’s surveillance measures. Once the subjects of surveillance are identified, the hackers can find a way to destroy valuable information and help these subjects avoid investigation by getting them out of the country.
Other sites have also claimed that they were victims of cyberattacks and all of them are blaming the attacks on the Chinese government. Apple, Facebook, The Wall Street Journal, and others all claimed that their sites were also hacked. The Wall Street Journal, in particular, has divulged that their journalists were targeted for espionage by the Chinese government.
The Pentagon has released a report which has claimed that the government and military of China have been exercising cyberespionage on a wide scale which has targeted the US government and business-related computer networks as well.
While all evidences are pointing towards China, the Chinese government vehemently denied its involvement with any forms of hacking or cyberespionage.
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