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Security The Media

State-Sponsored Hacking Attacks Targeting Top News Organizations 19

An anonymous reader writes "Security engineers from Google have found that 21 out of the top 25 news organizations have been targeted by cyberattacks that are likely state-sponsored. We've heard about some high profile attacks on news sites, but Google actively tracks the countries that are launching these attacks, and even hosts email services for many of the news organizations. 'Huntley said Chinese hackers recently gained access to a major Western news organization, which he declined to identify, via a fake questionnaire emailed to staff. Most such attacks involve carefully crafted emails carrying malware or directing users to a website crafted to trick them into giving up credentials. Marquis-Boire said that while such attacks were nothing new, their research showed that the number of attacks on media organizations and journalists that went unreported was significantly higher than those made public.'"
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State-Sponsored Hacking Attacks Targeting Top News Organizations

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  • Re:"Chinese hackers" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday March 28, 2014 @03:51PM (#46605677) Journal

    One of the toughest lessons I've had to teach clients is that the motivations of attackers may not make any sense to you. In fact they probably won't.

    Indeed: "all politics is local". People have a hard time understanding this. Why does someone launch a terrorist attack against the US? It will be something involving the people that they socialize with, and the usual motivations of status, respect, dignity and so on. It may in some very distant way be a response to US actions, but don't look for direct "they killed my parents, and I've spent my life seeking the six-fingered man" motivations.

    When attacks (cyber or otherwise) are local, motivations are usually straightforward and understandable, but when the target is very distant, it will be something that makes a lot of sense in the attackers' community, but with the distance in geography and culture, it can be totally opaque to you. There may be nothing you can do to not be the target of choice, if you're successful and well known like a media property. No, they don't hate you because you're successful, but their distant community knows you exist and you thus give them bragging rights because you're successful.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato