By Henry Williams.
Chinese hackers have been exacting their revenge on the New York Times, after the paper published an investigation in to the finances of the family of outgoing Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.
A security company hired by the paper was tasked with investigating the hackers after persistent attacks were made against computers within The New York Times network. According to the Times, over 50 computers were attacked, along with email accounts belonging to David Barboza, the bureau chief here in Shanghai, along with the former Beijing bureau chief, Jim Yardley.
Barboza and Yardley were apparently not discussing anything too interesting though:
“Computer security experts found no evidence that sensitive e-mails or files from the reporting of our articles about the Wen family were accessed, downloaded or copied,” said Jill Abramson, executive editor of The Times.
“They could have wreaked havoc on our systems,” Times chief information officer Marc Frons said of the hackers. “But that was not what they were after.”
Hackers attempted to evade being detected by first hacking in to machines at US-based universities, and then connecting to the paper’s computers through those.
Unsurprisingly, the Ministry of National Defence in China were outraged at the “unprofessional and baseless” slur of their good name. In October, the foreign ministry were also less than impressed suggesting The Times were attempting to smear the country.
The Times isn’t the first, and will no doubt not be the last to feel the wrath of the Chinese hacking machine.
Update 1: Symantec, purveyors of anti-virus software and suppliers of software to the NY Times, have put out a rather awkward press release / advertisement:
The advanced capabilities in our endpoint offerings, including our unique reputation-based technology and behavior-based blocking, specifically target sophisticated attacks. Turning on only the signature-based anti-virus components of endpoint solutions alone are not enough in a world that is changing daily from attacks and threats.
No kidding. Their software detected only one of 45 pieces of custom malware installed during the raid. They were hacked themselves last year.