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Aurora hackers said to have accessed law enforcement targets

John P. Mello | May 22, 2013
Cyber marauders sought more than just information on activists — they wanted access to FBI, DOJ investigations on spies in the U.S.

The Chinese government has denied being behind Aurora. It has noted that cyber attacks and espionage are against Chinese law and has done all it can to combat such online activities.

While an attack on the database is feasible, because of the breadth of Aurora, it's unlikely it was a specific target, reasoned Jeffrey Carr, CEO of Taia Global and author of "Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld."

"Google was only one of 20-plus companies attacked at the same time by the same group," he said in an interview. "So I would be surprised if the database was the objective of the attack. It was likely a crime of opportunity."

It's also an object lesson for organizations dealing with cloud storage that's operated by a third party, added Alan Brill, senior managing director for Kroll Advisory Solutions.

"There's more trust being given to cloud services than some of them deserve," he said in an interview. "It has become so easy [to store data somewhere else] that you might store something somewhere without thinking whether or not you really ought to do that."

 

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