China Hacked Into Over 70 U.S. Corporations and Government Organizations

by Ben Hoffman

A leading computer security firm has used logs produced by a single server to trace the hacking of more than 70 corporations and government organizations over many months, and experts familiar with the analysis say the snooping probably originated in China.

Targets included Associated Press, the networks of the International Olympic Committee, the United Nations secretariat, a U.S. Energy Department lab, and a dozen U.S. defense firms, according to a report released Wednesday by McAfee, a security firm that monitors network intrusions around the world.

The intruders were after data on sensitive U.S. military systems, the McAfee report says, as well as material from satellite communications, electronics, natural gas companies and even bid data from a Florida real estate company. Forty-nine of the 72 compromised organizations were in the United States.

“We’re facing a massive transfer of wealth in the form of intellectual property that is unprecedented in history,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee’s vice president of threat research. He would not name the private entities targeted, but said McAfee helped half a dozen of them investigate intrusions.

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