"Dozens of chemical companies and other industrial firms worldwide were hit this summer by highly focused cyberattacks controlled by Chinese hackers, according to a new report."
"Chinese hackers sought to steal designs, formulas, and processes from chemical companies in the US and elsewhere, according to a report by cybersecurity firm Symantec. It's the latest example of Chinese hackers targeting a sector of the US economy.
The cyberattacks, which began in July and lasted through mid-September, appeared to be a concerted industrial spying effort targeting proprietary designs, formulas, and manufacturing processes, says the report by Symantec, a computer security firm in Cupertino, Calif. Affected companies included a number of Fortune 100 companies involved in research and development of advanced materials, often for military or industrial purposes.
The campaign is only the most recent in a series of targeted cyberattacks that appear to be linked to government-backed hackers. It fits a pattern in which an informal "cyber militia" takes its marching orders from somewhere within the Chinese hierarchy and proceeds to conduct attacks that are officially deniable, but ultimately a huge drain on the economies of nations whose companies are targeted, say cybersecurity experts."
Mark Clayton reports for the Christian Science Monitor November 1, 2011.