According to prominent U.S security firm CrowdStrike Inc, hackers connected with Chinese government have tried to access at least seven US firms within three weeks since Washington and Beijing signed on the deal for not spying on each other for commercial reasons.
Crowdstrike said that the software which they placed at these seven companies detected and eliminated these attacks, which started on September 26. Among the affected businesses are five U.S. technology and two pharmaceutical companies.
A day before these attacks began, President Barack Obama said that Washington and Beijing have agreed that neither of the two countries would knowingly support cybercrimes for the benefit of domestic businesses.
CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch said in an interview that the servers and software used by these hackers revealed they were affiliated with the Chinese government.
He said, the software used by these hackers included a program called Derusbi, which was previously utilized in attacks on Virginia defense contractor VAE Inc. and health insurer Anthem Inc. He also mentioned that the hackers came from different groups, one of which was named by their company as Deep Panda.
In a blogpost published on Monday, Crowdstrike said, “primary benefits of the intrusion seem clearly aligned to facilitate theft of intellectual property and trade secrets, rather than to conduct traditional, national-security-related intelligence collection,”
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Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying opposed this situation and told a daily news briefing, “Internet hacking attacks are marked by their secretive, cross border nature,”
CrowdStrike also added that it apprised the White House of its findings but declined to identify the targeted companies.
A senior official from Obama's administration said the U.S government was aware of these findings but denied to address the conclusions given by the security firm.
The official said, “As we move forward, we will monitor China's cyber activities closely and press China to abide by all of its commitments,”
Another U.S. based cyber-security firm, FireEye Inc (FEYE.O) claimed that the hackers affiliated with the Chinese government were still active, but it was too soon to say whether their aims had shifted or not.
FireEye spokesman, Vitor De Souza said, “It is premature to conclude that activity during this short time frame constitutes economic espionage,”