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.
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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More