Huge cyber attack hits 72 targets

MCAFEE, the US-based computer security company, yesterday issued a report revealing the largest series of cyber-attacks to date that targeted 72 organisations internationally.

The hacking campaign, dubbed Operation Shady RAT, dates back to at least mid-2006.

McAfee has declined to specifically identify the victims of what is believed to be the largest ever theft of intellectual property, but the organisations are said to include the US, South Korean and Indian governments, the UN, the International Olympic Committee and US and UK defence contractors.

Findings of the report suggest that the attackers were targeting military, diplomatic and economic information, leading to speculation that a national government, who would have the most to gain, is behind the operation.

Some security experts have been quick to point the finger at China, but the country’s government has been just as quick to deny any state involvement in the attacks.

The hackings are the latest in a string of attacks on high-profile targets.

Security experts have pointed towards a lack of global legislation to govern what to do in the face of computer crime and inefficient support for private companies facing risks as a factor in putting organisations at risk.