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August 3, 2011 / David Bleeker

McAfee reports hackers have attacked 72 organizations since 2006

Security vendor McAfee published a detailed report on Tuesday about a hacking group that penetrated 72 companies and organizations in 14 countries since 2006 in a massive operation that stole national secrets, business plans and other sensitive information.

McAfee said the attackers are likely a single group acting on behalf of a government, differing from the recent wave of less sophisticated attacks from cyber activist groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec, according to the report.

The intrusions, which McAfee called Operation Shady RAT, was discovered after the security vendor gained access to a command-and-control server that collected data from the hacked computers and logged the intrusions.

The data stolen consists of everything from classified information on government networks, source code, e-mail archives, exploration details for new oil and gas field auctions, legal contracts, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) configurations, design schematics and more, Alperovitch said. [read more]

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