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Security experts uncover cyber attacks on over 70 organisations news
03 August 2011

According to security experts they had uncovered the biggest series of cyber attacks to date, involving the infiltration of the networks of 72 organisations including the UN, governments and companies around the world.

Security firm, McAfee, which identified the intrusions, said it believed the attacks had been carried out by one "state actor". It however, declined to name the culprit.

According one security expert who had been briefed on the hacking the evidence pointed to China.

Included in the long list of victims are the governments of the US, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Canada. The attacks also targeted the Association of South-east Asian Nations; the International Olympic Committee (IOC); the World Anti-Doping Agency; and several companies from defence contractors to high-tech enterprises.

McAfee said, in the case of the UN, the hackers infiltrated the computer system of its secretariat in Geneva in 2008, lodged there unnoticed for nearly two years and quietly combed reams of secret data.

"Even we were surprised by the enormous diversity of the victim organisations and were taken aback by the audacity of the perpetrators," McAfee's vice-president of threat research, Dmitri Alperovitch, wrote in a 14-page report released on Wednesday.

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Security experts uncover cyber attacks on over 70 organisations