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McAfee Uncovers Major Cyber-Espionage Operation

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Vanity Fair: Security vendor McAfee has released a new report which details a major cyber-espionage campaign dubbed "Operation Shady RAT." According to the report, over the last five years, hackers have infiltrated (and are continuing to infiltrate) networks belonging to 70 different public and private organizations, including government agencies in the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Canada, the Olympic committees in three countries, and the International Olympic Committee. The attacks targeted groups in more than 14 countries, but the majority of the organizations hit (49) were located in the United States.

Circumstantial evidence suggests the perpetrators of the attacks were likely Chinese.

McAfee VP Dmitri Alperovitch said, "It’s clear from this and other attacks we’ve been witnessing that there is an unprecedented transfer of wealth in the form of trade secrets and I.P., primarily from Western organizations and companies, falling off the truck and disappearing into massive electronic archives. What is happening to this data? Is this being accumulated in a giant, Indiana Jones–type warehouse? Or is it being used to create new products? If it’s the latter, we won’t know for a number of years. But if so, it’s not just a problem for these companies, but also for the governments of the countries where these companies are located, because they’re losing their economic advantage to competitors in other parts of the world overnight. That is a national-security problem, insofar as it leads to loss of jobs and lost economic growth. That’s a serious threat."

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