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From: InfoSec News (alertsinfosecnews.org)
Date: Fri Aug 03 2012 - 03:08:16 CDT
By Michael Riley and Dune Lawrence
July 26, 2012
The hackers clocked in at precisely 9:23 a.m. Brussels time on July 18
last year, and set to their task. In just 14 minutes of quick keyboard
work, they scooped up the e-mails of the president of the European Union
Council, Herman Van Rompuy, Europeâ€™s point man for shepherding the
delicate politics of the bailout for Greece, according to a computer
record of the hackersâ€™ activity.
Over 10 days last July, the hackers returned to the councilâ€™s computers
four times, accessing the internal communications of 11 of the EUâ€™s
economic, security and foreign affairs officials. The breach, unreported
until now, potentially gave the intruders an unvarnished view of the
financial crisis gripping Europe.
And the spies were themselves being watched. Working together in secret,
some 30 North American private security researchers were tracking one of
the biggest and busiest hacking groups in China.
Observed for years by U.S. intelligence, which dubbed it Byzantine
Candor, the team of hackers also is known in security circles as the
Comment group for its trademark of infiltrating computers using hidden
webpage computer code known as â€ścomments.â€ť
During almost two months of monitoring last year, the researchers say
they were struck by the sheer scale of the hackersâ€™ work as data bled
from one victim after the next: from oilfield services leader
Halliburton Co. (HAL) to Washington law firm Wiley Rein LLP; from a
Canadian magistrate involved in a sensitive China extradition case to
Kolkata-based tobacco and technology conglomerate ITC Ltd. (ITC)
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