US Hacker attacks linked to Chinese military

A systematic effort by hackers to penetrate US government and industry computer networks stems most likely from the Chinese military, a security institute says.

A systematic effort by hackers to penetrate US government and industry computer networks stems most likely from the Chinese military, the head of a leading security institute has said.

The attacks have been traced to the Chinese province of Guangdong, and the techniques used make it appear unlikely to come from any other source than the military, said Alan Paller, the director of the SANS Institute, an education  and research organization focusing on cybersecurity.

?These attacks come from someone with intense discipline. No other organization could do this if they were not a military organization,? Paller said in a conference call.

In the attacks, Paller said, the perpetrators ?were in and out with no keystroke errors and left no fingerprints, and created a backdoor in less than 30 minutes. How can this be done by anyone other than a military organization?"

Paller said that despite what appears to be a systematic effort to target government agencies and defence contractors, defences have remained weak in many areas.

"We know about major penetrations of defence contractors," he said.

Moreover, he said the US government strategy appears to be to downplay the attacks, which has not helped the situation.

"We have a problem that our computer networks have been terribly and deeply penetrated throughout the US … and we’ve been keeping it secret," he said. "The people who benefit from keeping it secret are the attackers."

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US Hacker attacks linked to Chinese military