Grady Summers of Mandiant, a cyber security firm hired by the Times, appeared on PBS Newshour last night to describe how they figured out it the attack was coming from China.
“We take this issue of attribution very seriously—we don’t just casually toss out a country or particular threat actor,” Summers said.
He then details how Mandiant’s method is like that of a real-life detective.
Watch Summers describe the process:
Through Mandiant the New York Times figured out that the hackers from China was attempting to access the emails of a few China-based journalists. The writers had just published a piece of investigative journalism on Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.
From the Times:
The timing of the attacks coincided with the reporting for a Times investigation, published online on Oct. 25, that found that the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, had accumulated a fortune worth several billion dollars through business dealings.
The Times says that through cyber espionage, the hackers were hoping to find human sources of information for the aforementioned article.
Oddly enough though, the journalists say all the information was in Chinese public records.
China’s hack on the New York Times is yet another of many headlines we’ve seen over the past year, and emphasises the defence Department’s push to gird America’s cyber-offensive and defensive capabilities.
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