Operation Shady RAT

McAfee have released an interesting piece of research called 'Operation Shady RAT'.

According to Dmitri Alperovitch (McAfee's VP of threat research):

I am convinced that every company in every conceivable industry with significant size and valuable intellectual property and trade secrets has been compromised (or will be shortly), with the great majority of the victims rarely discovering the intrusion or its impact. In fact, I divide the entire set of Fortune Global 2000 firms into two categories: those that know they’ve been compromised and those that don’t yet know.

With the recent (allegedly) state-sponsored high-profile attacks such as 'Operation Aurora' and 'Night Dragon' [pdf] it's a statement that is (depressingly) possibly more accurate than not.

Terms like 'state sponsored' or 'state actor' are often a PC way of saying 'China'. McAfee don't go as far as to name the state they suspect, but China has nonetheless taken offence to the report - slamming it (via the People's Daily) as 'irresponsible'. McAfee do point out some of the interesting attacks that occurred around the time of the Beijing Olympics on targets of "likely no commercial benefit", such as the IOC and World Anti-Doping Agency, and if there's one thing I learnt from watching too many cop shows growing up - whenever there's an investigation the first question from the detective is "who stands to benefit from the crime?"

Who indeed?

The pdf verision is also available here [pdf]

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