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US government shares hacking intelligence after slew of attacks on nation

22 Feb 2013
washington-dc

The US government has passed intelligence to businesses about recent hacking attacks alleged to have come from China, helping firms boost their defences.

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) published the information as part of a Joint Indicator Bulletin (JIB) alongside the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

"This JIB is comprised of several sections covering malware indicators, network traffic, tool indicators, host names, and IP addresses known to be associated with the ongoing malicious activity," says the report, seen by V3.

"If suspicious network traffic or malware is identified based on these indicators, affected systems should be investigated for signs of compromise."

The document then features an IP address awareness list, a domain name awareness list and a malware indicator awareness list that provides information for organisations to look for in their systems.

The CERT team's warning comes in response to numerous attacks targeting the US that have come to light in recent weeks.

"Various cyber actors have engaged in malicious activity against US government and private sector entities. The apparent objective of this activity has been the theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, and other sensitive business information," it said.

"The malicious actors have employed a variety of techniques to infiltrate targeted organisations, establish a foothold, penetrate throughout the targets' networks, and steal confidential or proprietary data."

V3 contacted the FBI and the US London Embassy for comment on the information, but had received no reply at the time of publication.

China has been accused of being behind these attacks after a report from security firm Mandiant found evidence linking an advanced cyber espionage campaign to a Chinese military unit in Shanghai.

The Chinese authorities denied the claims, and it has consistently claimed it has nothing to do with any cyber attacks. Nevertheless tensions between the two nations appear to be rising all the time.

Prior to the CERT's statement renowned security expert Bruce Schneir criticised the high levels of coverage around the attacks claiming it could help fuel a cyber arms race.

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

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