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Chinese Hackers Pounce Upon Shell & Rolls-Royce Computer Networks

British companies Royal Dutch Shell and Rolls-Royce have succumbed to espionage attacks by Chinese hackers. Under a scheme to gather secret commercial information, sustained spying attacks were launched against the second largest oil multinational in the world and the biggest engineering company of Britain, reported The Times.

The assaults on Shell and Rolls-Royce takes place after security services in Britain warned that Chinese authorities were encouraging spying operations on critical segments of the economy of Great Britain, including hacking into computer networks of big companies.

Recently, Director General for M15, Jonathan Evans, wrote an alert message to 300 security heads and chief executives of banks, legal and accountancy firms that they were the targets of attacks by Chinese organizations over the Internet. The Associated Press published this in news on December 3, 2007.

In China, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been carrying out such espionage attacks for a long time, although it has come to light only recently. While the hackers attempted to break into the Rolls-Royce's IT systems, they did not succeed to infiltrate completely. They only managed to access the 'not very important' data before getting caught and rooted out. The attack was, however, big enough to cause worry.

The penetration into the Rolls-Royce IT network possibly took place after a remote Trojan, specially customized, was embedded onto the site rendering data to be transmitted back to the miscreants from the company's server.

Meanwhile, at Shell, it was discovered that a 'special interest group' comprising of nationals from China were inspired to make friends and acquaintances after work hours.

In a similar way, global oil companies have been targeting several African countries to draw out oil resources from their reserves to support the expanding Chinese economy.

Forensic Technology Partner at the accounting company PricewaterHouse Cooper, Garrod Haggerty, said that an organization's infrastructure of the IT network should be sturdy and strong with firewalls and other security layers deployed to sufficiently protect it so that it is impossible for an attack to be launched to compromise the whole network. Times Online published this in news on December 3, 2007.

Related article: Chinese Hackers Threatening Korean Game Sites

» SPAMfighter News - 12/18/2007

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