Practical Technology

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Has the United States already suffered its cyberwar Pearl Harbor?

Cyber-warfare sounds like something from a science fiction novel. It’s not. It’s reality. Cyber-security firm McAfee claims to have uncovered a cyber-espionage campaign that’s been going on for five years against more than 70 public and private organizations in 14 countries.

The campaign, called “Operation Shady RAT” (remote access tool), was described by Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee’s VP of threat research in a recent blog post: Revealed: Operation Shady RAT. According to Alperovitch, these attacks are major assaults against both countries and corporations.

He writes, “Having investigated intrusions such as Operation Aurora [China’s attack on Google) and Night Dragon (systemic long-term compromise of Western oil and gas industry), as well as numerous others that have not been disclosed publicly, I am convinced that every company in every conceivable industry with significant size and valuable intellectual property and trade secrets has been compromised (or will be shortly), with the great majority of the victims rarely discovering the intrusion or its impact. In fact, I divide the entire set of Fortune Global 2000 firms into two categories: those that know they’ve been compromised and those that don’t yet know. ”

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