U.S. Attacked by Hackers

Computer security agency McAfee uncovered a five-year hacking plot, of which the United States was the main target, on Tuesday. The hacking operative, called “Operation Shady RAT,” has been traced back to a lone agent in China and was used to uncover confidential U.S. information.

"What we have witnessed over the past five to six years has been nothing short of a historically unprecedented transfer of wealth— closely guarded national secrets (including from classified government networks), source codes, bug databases, email archives, negotiation plans and exploration details for new oil and gas field auctions, document stores and legal contracts,” wrote McAfee's vice president of threat research, Dmitri Alperovitch, in a report.

Other countries were infiltrated and exposed by the hackers, including Canada, India South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. The International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United Nations’ computers were also hacked into.

It remains unclear what the hackers are planning to do with the information.

"What is happening to all this data ... is still largely an open question,” wrote Alperovitch. However, if even a fraction of it is used to build better competing products or beat a competitor at a key negotiation (due to having stolen the other team's playbook), the loss represents a massive economic threat."

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