US Chamber of Commerce hit by Chinese hackers

Posted by Trent Nouveau

A group of China-based hackers reportedly executed a sophisticated hack and extract operation against the US Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the hackers gained access to everything stored on the organization's systems, including data about its three million members. The complex operation was apparently discovered and shut down in May 2010 - although the hackers may have had access to the network for over a year before the breach was discovered. 

US Chamber of Commerce hit by Chinese hackersIndeed, the digital infiltrators coded at least a half-dozen back doors and installed a number of unspecified "mechanisms" that communicated with China every week or two. 

Although it remains unclear how much of the compromised data was actually viewed by hackers, investigators suspect the cyber intruders focused on four Chamber employees involved with Asia policy and stole six weeks worth of emails.

"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 exec David Chavern told the WSJ. 

"It's nearly impossible to keep people out. The best thing you can do is have something that tells you when they get in. It's the new normal. I expect this to continue for the foreseeable future. I expect to be surprised again."

Meanwhile, Chinese embassy official Geng Shuang responded to the above-mentioned report by emphasizing that cyber attacks are prohibited by Chinese law and noted China itself has been a victim of digital breaches. 
Shuang added that allegations of the Chamber attack originating in China "lack proof and evidence and is irresponsible."