State-sponsored hackers from China have been developing techniques that appear to be able to bypass routine cybersecurity tools, allowing them to stealthily embed themselves in government and business networks they can then spy on for years.
This, according to Alphabet Inc.’s Google.
According to a report in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, analysts at Google’s Mandiant division have in the past year found hacks of systems that aren’t what many might view as the most typical or ripe targets of cyber espionage.
They don't try to get behind protective firewalls. Rather, the hacks lurk around the edges of a given network, or perhaps evenb in the firewall itself. The Journal said they target software built by companies such as VMware Inc. or Citrix Systems Inc. -- products that are ofen deployed on computers that don't usually have antivirus protection.
These attacks are at a new level of ingenuity, Charles Carmakal, Mandiant’s chief technology officer, told the Journal. Researchers have linked the activity to a suspected China hacking group by examining the profiles of the victims. Also factored in to make the determination of likely origin, the specifics of the resources and tools needed, and identification of an obscure bit of malware coding thought to have been used only by China-based threat actors.
China has historically and generally denied hacking into businesses or governments in other countries, while simultaneously accusing America and allies of similar offenses.
The Journal said the Chinese Embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The method of cyberattack “is a lot harder for us to investigate, and it is certainly exponentially harder for victims to discover these intrusions on their own,” Mr. Carmakal was quoted as saying. “Even with our hunting techniques, it’s hard for them to find it.”
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