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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Arkansas, North Carolina have approved similar laws that gay-marriage opponents say help maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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