Security Brief: Newspaper Hacks, China

The main events of the week between January 28 and February 3

This past week’s main events revolve around cyberattacks launched against major US media companies, and China. However, we’ve learned some other interesting things as well, so take a look at this brief in case you’ve missed them.

Over the past week, three major US newspapers reported being attacked by Chinese hackers.

The first to break the news was The New York Times. The paper claims Chinese cybercriminals have been targeting their systems for the past four months.

The attacks have been initiated shortly after The Times published a report about the wealth of China’s prime minister.

One day later, The Wall Street Journal came forward admitting that it had been the target of similar attacks. On Friday, news about The Washington Post being attacked by China-based hackers came to light.

In all cases, it’s said that the attackers managed to gain access to all sorts of sensitive information. While they could have stolen a large quantity of valuable data, it’s believed they are simply after information that could identify the individuals responsible for leaking information about Chinese officials and the country’s government.

Chinese officials have denied any involvement, saying that the accusations are baseless.

However, United States officials are determined to do something to address these cyberattacks. Some say that the Obama administration might impose some serious restrictions, such as the cancelation of certain visas.

Symantec, the company whose antivirus software has been used by both The Times and The Post, explained that organizations should deploy more effective security solutions if they want to ensure that their systems are properly protected against hackers.

These aren’t the only incidents that involve China. It came to light that on January 26, man-in-the-middle attacks were launched against Chinese users who attempted to access GitHub.

It’s believed the attacks are in response to a petition posted on the website of the White House.

Kaspersky experts revealed that, last year, Chinese authorities arrested over 40 cybercriminals implicated in a campaign that targeted the bank accounts of e-commerce users.

Another noteworthy thing is that Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters have suspended Operation Ababil after one instance (the main copy) of the controversial Innocence of Muslims movie has been removed from YouTube.

Here’s a list of other interesting articles, in case you’ve missed them:

Twitter was hacked, but not by amateurs

Oracle has fixed 50 vulnerabilities, but one flaw remains unaddressed

Judge lets Anonymous hacker off the hook after he launched DDOS attacks against PayPal

Laptop docking stations can be hacked

Canadian naval officer accused of leaking information to Russia faces life in prison

Vulnerability in Yahoo! Developers Blog allows hackers to hijack accounts

Official ComboFix mirror infected with Sality Virus

Over 40 million devices exposed to cyberattacks by Universal Plug and Play vulnerabilities

Team GhostShell leaks 700,000 records from African organizations

Flaws in DVRs allow hackers to turn off security cameras

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