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Thursday, June 7, 2012

State-Backed IP Thieves

One of the advanced threat and intellectual property protection companies, named Bit9, has announced that every innovating company is in danger of corporate sabotage and theft. Moreover, the biggest threat is nation-states pulling the strings behind the scenes. The company says that if a company has resources, it can infiltrate someone’s networks easily. As for IP theft, the threats usually do not come from rogue hackers, but some employees whose job is to crack into a corporate network. Once they have made their way in, their colleagues will lay out the network’s topology. The data in question is collected to be passed on to other colleagues, who will get it out of the company in some undetectable way. In most cases they use a network of proxy servers for that purpose, sending the data on to other locations near the attacked company’s headquarters. Finally, the information will make its way into another country, in most cases – untraced.

Bit9 has developed software installed on endpoints that would watch every bite of data that goes on the device, checking trusted software and allowing it to run. Although the company couldn’t talk on specific clients, they are in most cases very large Fortune 500 international corporations that need a certain level of trust in place. Every company, including traditional global brands, has heavy R&D programs, and therefore opens itself up as targets.

There are many examples of such attacks, like the case of RSA security token snatch that was used to gain data from the America’s largest military contractor. Meanwhile, Bit9 was deployed with another firm targeted by hackers, the exact same as against RSA, which it stopped.

One more company was developing a large project and was also a very sensitive customer, which had to create an application on top of Google Earth. When Bit9 deployed its software at another end point in the firm, it turned out that Google Earth had a trust rating of 0. The matter is that they had built a sensitive project on Google Earth, with only one file that had been changed into a piece of dropper technology. In other words, of thousands of files only this one had been pulled out.

Taking into account London’s wealth and its position of the world’s largest financial centers, there’s no surprise that it’s as targeted as the United States.

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