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Chinese Hackers Infiltrated Contractors of US Military

Securityweek.com reported on 17th September, 2014 quoting a warning of US congressional probe as "Chinese hackers in Beijing believed to have links with dozens of cyberattacks on US defense contractors between 2012 and 2013.

The Senate Armed Services Committee studied and revealed that hackers gained access to systems run by companies who are doing contract work for the US Transportation Command (TRANSCOM).

Contractors of TRANSCOM suffered more than 50 intrusions out of which 20 were successful in planting malware during one year from June 2012.

TRANSCOM started asking its contractors to report cyber incidents in 2010. There were 80 contractors but the agency received only those two reports through August 2013.

The report revealed that in some cases, the FBI and Defense Department had identified affected companies of cyber attacks but they did not know that the companies were contractors of TRANSCOM.

It said that peacetime cyber compromises of operationally serious contractors prove valuable to foreign countries like China as an origin of network operations.

The report showed that in one incident in 2013, China's military conducted a spear-phishing campaign against organizations of commercial logistics. Spear-phishing targets important employees of an organization through email and try to install malware by tricking them.

The report confirmed that one of the companies ended up with malware on their network after an attack.

Reuters.com published news on 17th September, 2014 according to which Dmitri Alperovitch, Cybersecurity Expert and Chief Technology Officer of security firm Crowdstrike, said that China had shown keen interest in the logistical patterns of the U.S. military for years.

In fact, the blame game between the two countries holding each-other responsible for major cyber attacks has been going on for long.

Politico reported in August that Chinese hackers stole patient information of 4.5 million people from one of America's largest hospital chains. The patient information included social security numbers, names and other main personal information and it was the largest cyber attack on a U.S. health care company, Community Health Services, till date.

That attack was carried out what the company classifies as "advanced persistent threat" group of China with extremely advanced and sophisticated malware and technology.

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