How Is it That We Missed the World's Largest Cyber Attack?

More

For the past five years, hackers have been infiltrating the networks of some of the world's largest and most influential organizations, and security consultants just noticed. Revealed by software security firm McAfee at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this week, the scale of "Operation Shady RAT"--a code name referring to a remote access tool used to break into networks--makes it somewhat shocking that a government agency didn't spot the attack sooner. Hackers targeted the United Nations, the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency as well as several governments and American corporations. In fact, out of the total 72 organizations targeted, 49 are based in the United States. McAfee suspects that it's another government that's been doing the hacking, and experts say signs point to China.

So why didn't we spot this sooner? The quick answer is that we did, but it was kept a secret. With the Pentagon hurriedly expanding operations online and declaring the internet a war zone, the government is not unaware of the dangers of cyber attacks. In fact, the NSA, Defense Department and a number of other governmental bodies are attempting to recruit hackers at the Black Hat conference and its sister convention DefCon. But the escalation of attention paid to cyber security has only really picked up in the past year while the attacks started in 2006. There are some competing but overlapping theories on why we missed the series of attacks since then.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Jump to comments
Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In