Friday, 23rd December 2011, 08:51:05
A group of internet hackers in China have reportedly breached the online defences of America's top business lobbying group to gain access to sensitive data, highlighting the growing need for effective security systems such as a firewall.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the e-criminals gained access to the US Chamber of Commerce's internal systems, which held several emails and addresses.
Dubbed one of the boldest infiltrations of a US database, the attack managed to secure information which could be detrimental to data protection regulations and privacy rules.
Some commentators have suggested that the break-in could be linked with the Chinese government, but one spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC commented that there could be many reasons behind the breach.
Geng Shuang said cyber attacks are prohibited by Chinese law and that the country faces risks of similar attacks from hackers. He added that the hacking against the US government body and "lacks proof and evidence and is irresponsible".
He added that the hacking issue should not be "politicised".
Statements about the attack, which is thought to have first taken place in May 2010, have suggested that officials are unsure of the length of time the hackers had access to the accounts of members working for the Chamber of Commerce.
However, the FBI declined to comment on the matter.
The Chamber's chief operating officer David Chavern explained: "What was unusual about it was that this was clearly somebody very sophisticated, who knew exactly who we are and who targeted specific people and used sophisticated tools to try to gather intelligence."
Chamber officials added that there is currently no evidence to suggest serious harm was done to systems.
In an event that further highlighted the need for online security systems, the UN's secure databases were recently attacked by hacking gang TeamPoison. It was found that the notorious e-criminals stole email addresses and passwords for many of the body's high-profile organisations.
Posted by Kevin Jenson
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