News / USA

Symantec Says Hacker Group Found in China, Linked to Big Cyberattacks

The website of the U.S. Central InaThe website of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Washington is unresponsive and unavailable after reports that the website had been attacked by internet hackers, June 15, 2011.
The website of the U.S. Central InaThe website of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Washington is unresponsive and unavailable after reports that the website had been attacked by internet hackers, June 15, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Computer security experts have discovered a group of highly sophisticated computer hackers operating for hire, a U.S computer security firm said on Tuesday, and it linked the group to some of the best-known cyber-espionoge attacks out of China in recent years.

Symantec Corp said the hacker group, which it dubbed “Hidden Lynx,” was among the most technically advanced of several dozen groups believed to be running cyber espionage operations out of China. Unlike a previous report by another company, Symantec did not allege Chinese government involvement in the cyberattacks.

Symantec's 28-page report said its researchers believe the Hidden Lynx group may have been involved with the 2009 Operation Aurora attacks, the most well-known cyber espionage campaign uncovered to date against U.S. companies.

In Operation Aurora, hackers attacked Google Inc and dozens of other companies including Adobe Systems Inc. Google disclosed the attacks in January 2010, in which hackers tried to read Gmail communications of human rights activists and also attempted to access and change source code at targeted companies.

Symantec researcher Liam O'Murchu said his firm was unable to determine which individuals were behind Hidden Lynx or if it was linked to the Chinese government.

A separate study, released in February from the U.S. computer security firm Mandiant, said a secretive unit of the Chinese military was engaged in cyber espionage on American companies. Beijing vehemently denied the accusations in that document, which contained photos of the building that Mandiant alleged was the unit's headquarters.

Symantec believes the group is based in China, O'Murchu said, because much of the infrastructure used to run the attacks is based there and because the malicious software was written using Chinese tools and with Chinese code.

The Symantec report also provides new details about who is behind several recent attacks, including a breach at cyber security firm Bit9 and follow-on attacks at three Bit9 clients.

It also connects Hidden Lynx to a major campaign dubbed Voho, which was discovered last year by the security firm RSA, which is owned by EMC Corp. Voho targeted hundreds of organizations including financial firms, technology and healthcare companies, defense contractors and government agencies.

Symantec described the Hidden Lynx group as a “professional organization” staffed by between 50 and 100 people with a variety of skills needed to breach networks and exfiltrate data. The arsenal of tools included Trojan Naid and Trojan Moudoor, which the gang use to siphon data from infected computers.

Symantec, which sells software and services to protect corporate and consumer computer systems from cyber attacks like the ones mentioned in the report, said Naid was also used by hackers  in Operation Aurora.

The Hidden Lynx hackers “were either responsible for the Aurora attack or were working in conjunction with the Aurora attackers,” O'Murchu said.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid