Chinese crackers crunch US Chamber of Trade

A group of Chinese hackers has knocked over the US’s top business-lobbying group and nicked everything in its system. This included details about its three million members.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the hack of the US Chamber of Commerce is the latest in a round of neo-military style cyber attacks on the Land of the Free. What it shows is that the Chinese are not really interested in finding out about military technology and more interested in the business operations of the US.

After all, there is no point stealing military technology when you practically own the country. If China ever went to war with the US all it would have to do is stop shipments of its products and the country would grind to a halt.

Finding out the technology of US corporations means that you can give your own companies the edge without wasting a fortune on R&D. It means that if any US corporations cause a problem you can always knock them out of business with their own technology.

News of the hack has just come out. It apparently was a complex operation involving 300 Internet addresses. It was discovered and quietly shut down in May 2010.

Chamber officials said the hackers had focused on four Chamber employees who worked on Asia policy, and stolen six weeks of their email. The Chamber learned of the break in when the FBI told the group that servers in China were stealing its information.

But it is thought the group had access to the network for more than a year before the breach was uncovered.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, denied that it was a government attack.

He added that the allegation that the attack originated in China “lacks proof and evidence and is irresponsible,” adding that the hacking issue shouldn’t be “politicised.”

Apparently the Chamber dealt with the attack by unplugging and destroying some computers and overhauling its security system. It was timed for a 36 hour period over one weekend when the hackers, who kept regular working hours, were not expected to be working so would not be inconvenienced.