Hackers target Chinese specialist, defense contractors

Beijing, June 6: Chinese hackers, who targeted the Gmail accounts of top US officials, are now trying to gain access to computers belonging to China specialists and defense contractors, cyber security experts have claimed.

The stealth infiltration campaign, similar to Gmail account hacking that Google disclosed last week, represents cyberspies' efforts to circumvent the high security walls on official government email accounts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Targeting people on the periphery of power is more likely to pay off because their computer systems are often less protected than the US government, and these individuals frequently discuss sensitive issues with those in government.

That was likely why the Google infiltrators targeted the personal emails of government officials, cyber security experts claim.

"It's a routine occurrence now because think tanks are soft targets and you get good data," said James Lewis, a former State Department official and current cyber security specialist.

James Mulvenon, a China and cyber-security expert, has been tracking a four-year phishing campaign against China specialists in Washington.

"I was struck by the breadth of it. They had targeted huge numbers of China specialists all over DC, both former government officials and those about to take federal jobs," said Mulvenon.

According to Mulvenon, hackers attempts to trick China specialists by asking them to open attachments that would provide them access to their computers.

The goal of this campaign in Washington appears to be to gather information from individuals who communicate with US officials about China matters, Mulvenon said.

Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com