The New York Times reported Wednesday that the paper has been the subject of a sophisticated attack by Chinese hackers for the last four months, following its reporting on the private wealth of China’s prime minister Wen Jiabao. The story offers a rare and detailed post-mortem of what appears to be the work of a team of well-trained infiltrators who systematically and stealthily gained access to and collected the news outfit’s private information as the paper dug into a subject perceived as highly sensitive by the Chinese government.
One fact, however, will be of particular concern to the world’s largest antivirus firm, Symantec: Out of the 45 different pieces of malware planted on the Times‘ systems over the course of three months, just one of those programs was spotted by the Symantec antivirus software the Times used, according to Mandiant, the data breach response firm hired by the Times. The other 44 were only found in Mandiant’s post-breach investigation months later, according to the Times‘ report.
Who do you trust?