McAfee: Revealed: Operation Shady RAT (2011)

3 August 2011, dusan

“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 code, bug databases, email archives, negotiation plans and exploration details for new oil and gas field auctions, document stores, legal contracts, SCADA configurations, design schematics and much more has “fallen off the truck” of numerous, mostly Western companies and disappeared in the ever-growing electronic archives of dogged adversaries.

What is happening to all this data — by now reaching petabytes as a whole — is still largely an open question. 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 not just to individual companies and industries but to entire countries that face the prospect of decreased economic growth in a suddenly more competitive landscape and the loss of jobs in industries that lose out to unscrupulous competitors in another part of the world, not to mention the national security impact of the loss of sensitive intelligence or defense information.

Yet, the public (and often the industry) understanding of this significant national security threat is largely minimal due to the very limited number of voluntary disclosures by victims of intrusion activity compared to the actual number of compromises that take place. With the goal of raising the level of public awareness today we are publishing the most comprehensive analysis ever revealed of victim profiles from a five year targeted operation by one specific actor — Operation Shady RAT, as I have named it at McAfee (RAT is a common acronym in the industry which stands for Remote Access Tool). ” (author)

Revealed: Operation Shady RAT: An investigation of targeted intrusions into 70+ global companies, governments and non-profit organizations during the last 5 years
White paper
by Dmitri Alperovitch, VP Threat Research, McAfee
Published 2 August 2011
14 pages

author’s blog entry
author’s tweet
further coverage (Vanity Fair)
further coverage (Security Week)
further coverage (Reuters)
further coverage (Guardian)

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