Newsletters
The Enterprise Security Supersite NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Network Security Viruses & Malware Cybercrime Security Solutions More Topics...
Network Security
24/7/365 Network Uptime
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Spies Tapped Nortel for Nearly a Decade
Spies Tapped Nortel for Nearly a Decade

By Barry Levine
February 14, 2012 4:17PM

Bookmark and Share
Nortel has apparently not investigated if the hackers compromised the security of any of Nortel's telecommunications products, or if any of the employees' computers, which went with the workers to new companies, were infected. The six-month internal investigation and its results were not disclosed to the companies that purchased Nortel's assets.
 

Related Topics

Nortel
Hackers
Security


In what sounds like the initial premise of a spy novel, hackers had access to Nortel Networks' internal network for nearly a decade. According to a new report, the attack appears to have originated in China, and was based on seven passwords stolen from top executives.

A story in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal noted that the unauthorized access went back at least to the year 2000. The hackers obtained technical papers, R&D reports, business plans and internal e-mails, among other documents. Additionally, spying software was embedded into some employees' computers for years.

First Discovered in 2004

The Journal report said that a former longtime Nortel employee, Brian Shields, led a company investigation. An internal Nortel report said that the company did little to keep the hackers out, except to change the stolen passwords.

The security breach was first noticed in 2004, when a batch of documents appeared to have been downloaded by an executive. The executive reported that he had not downloaded the material.

Over the years, there were indications that other data was being sent to Internet addresses in Shanghai, but Nortel chose not to conduct extensive countermeasures. By 2008, the company was in substantial financial trouble, and, shortly after Shields finally got an OK to examine some computers in more detail, he was laid off. At about the same time that he was let go, Shields discovered that rootkit spying software had been installed on some computers, but Nortel chose not to act on the information.

Nortel makes switches and other equipment for the telecommunications industry, and its products have been widely used in phone and data networks. The Canadian company is in the process of being sold off, as part of a bankruptcy filed two years ago.

'Transnational and Anonymous'

Nortel has apparently not investigated if the hackers somehow compromised the security of any of its telecommunications products, or if any of the employees' computers, which went with the workers to new companies, were infected. The six-month internal investigation and its results were not disclosed to the companies that have purchased Nortel's assets. Buyers of Nortel's assets have included Ericsson, Avaya, Genband and Ciena.

International corporate espionage, especially computer-based infiltration and other attacks, is becoming a major concern for corporations. A report by American intelligence, released in the fall, found that China-based hackers are among the most active. China-based computer attacks have been reported against Google, energy companies and others.

The story has emerged just as Xi Jinping, the Chinese vice president, is in the U.S. for a diplomatic visit, and as China has become shorthand in the presidential campaign for a host of issues that concern labor unions, human rights groups, and international companies alike.

In a statement, the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., said that "cyberattacks are transnational and anonymous" and cannot be assumed to have originated in that country without a thorough investigation.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Network Security
1.   Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
2.   New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
3.   Juniper DDoS for High-IQ Networks
4.   Big DDoS Attacks Hit Record in 2014
5.   Can Google Stop Zero Day Flaws?


advertisement
Android SMS Worm on the Loose
Malware lets bad actors cash in.
Average Rating:
Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
34 institutions, four European countries
Average Rating:
New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
Study identifies 3 browser techniques.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
34 European Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
Criminals have been finding gaping holes in Android-based two-factor authentication systems that banks around the world are using. The result: 34 banks in four European countries have been hit.
 
New Web Tracking Technologies Defeat Privacy Protections
Recently developed Web tracking tools are able to circumvent even the best privacy defenses, according to a new study by researchers at Princeton and the University of Leuven in Belgium.
 
Juniper DDoS Solution Aims at High-IQ Networks
In the face of more complex attacks, Juniper Networks is boosting its DDoS Secure solution to help companies mitigate the threats with more effective security intelligence throughout the network fabric.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 
Another Day, Another Internet of Things Consortium Is Born
In the emerging Internet of Things, zillions of devices will be talking to each other. Samsung, Intel and Dell just formed a consortium to ensure each thing can understand what others are saying.
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Cybercrime | Security Solutions | Mobile Security | Disaster Recovery | Windows Security
Data Security | EST Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.