Monday, August 8, 2011

Global Computer Hacks Mount, Clean Up Costs Soar

Writing for The New York Times last week, Somni Segupta chronicles the spate of computer hacks so far this year, noting the expense and breadth of the attacks even among companies that should already have security measures in place:

RSA’s parent company, EMC, has said that "cleaning up the mess has cost it roughly $90 million so far this year. Hackers used information obtained in the RSA attack to break into Lockheed Martin, the largest military contractor in the country.

On Wednesday the security company McAfee said it had uncovered a campaign of computer break-ins at 72 organizations and companies worldwide. McAfee called it the handiwork of a nation-state intent on acquiring, among other things, American military designs. Military contractors in the United States made up a disproportionately large share of the companies selected — 12 in all.

Anonymous, for its part, has made it plain that it goes after defense and intelligence contractors to expose their security vulnerabilities, not for financial or strategic gain. Booz Allen Hamilton, a $5.6 billion company based in McLean, Va., that does computer security work for the Defense Department, was hit by the group in early July; the hackers released the e-mail addresses of 90,000 military personnel."

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