A Chinese hacking group managed to gain access to to the computer systems of thousands of businesses via the Forbes website.
From 28 November to 1 December last year, the well established group Cosodo circumvented the company's cyber security measures by exploiting a loophole in its Adobe software, allowing it to infiltrate all computers landing on the site.
According to the FT, thousands of blue-chip companies in the West were targeted and spied on as a result, and in some cases the hackers could still have access.
The attack was discovered by the cyber security company iSIGHT Partners, which identified an intrusion on the network of one of its clients.
Patrick McBride, vice-president of iSIGHT, said those who work for defence companies and banks would be the most likely victims.
“It’s one of the most brazen attacks we have seen in terms of what it targeted,” he said. “It’s probably one of the most popular websites we have ever seen leveraged for an attack like this. Using Forbes gave them a tremendous amount of options after they had got their initial foothold in visitors’ systems.”
iSIGHT also said it was confident the Chinese authorities were involved in the hack, although China has consistently denied its involvement in attacks of this kind.
The issue has since been resolved according to Forbes, but it added that readers could still be being spied on if they have not cleaned or scanned their systems since then.