back to article State-sponsored 5-year global cyberattack uncovered

A five-year operation targeting more than 70 global companies, governments and non-profit organisations was probably the work of an intelligence agency, according to McAfee. The malware-powered cyber-snooping campaign – dubbed Operation Shady RAT – began in mid-2006 with a series of attacks that affected some organisations for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Gee I wonder

    What state that is then?

    Or is it another state pretending to be that state to give the other state a bad name.

    But it's defiantly not China as 2006 was the year of the Dog, and so an op from them would have dog in the name. Maybe they used rat on purpose to put us off the scent. Hmm, scent, dog, I sense a pattern.

    I'm confused, what were we talking about again?

    1. MarkieMark1

      an 'unspecified' foreign state, nudge nudge

      it's mere coincidence that the 2008 olympics were held in Beijing, while google has already pointed the finger at China for operation Aurora; wait for the usual antisemites to point the finger at their favorite accusee though :-D

      1. Sir Cosmo Bonsor


        You criticise Israel's - quite frankly atrocious - international behaviour and you're labeled anti-semitic.

        Get a new comback, that one's too easy.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Big Brother

          You know that!

          In Canada, slamming Israel without in the same phrase slamming random other icky fascist types in a fair and balanced way will cause you to fall afoul of the law!

          Dont acte!

      2. nyelvmark

        Ah, right.

        The only possible reason for objecting to the well-known peaceful, liberal, egalitarian and humanitarian policies of the Israeli government is that you're a member of a competing religion, right? I guess all those anti-zionist Jews I've met were just having a laugh.

      3. Duster


        You don't think Canada...

      4. MarkieMark1


        as I said, the usual antisemites

        1. nyelvmark
          Thumb Down

          as I said, the usual antisemites

          Elephant? What elephant?

  2. b166er

    Yet another case

    for plain-text only emails.

    Seriously, it's about time email as we know it died a death.

  3. Conrad Longmore
    Black Helicopters

    Isn't it odd..

    Isn't it odd that there seem to be no Chinese victims.

    1. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      Yes, I was going to say

      that the word "China" in that article was conspicuous by its absence.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    But which country/intelligence agency

    There no suggestion as to who would be behind it, only that its probably the work of an Intelligence Agency?

  5. Adam Trickett

    And the UK arrets a teenager?

    Obviously it's far more important in the UK to arrest teenagers who demonstrate how crap our systems are rather than deal with serious industrial scale cracking.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      How do you know it's not being dealt with?

      Shouty teenager likely to be reported - government agencies not likely to be, I would say.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    If it's not China

    ... then it _has_ to be Russia!

    1. Anonymous Coward


      On the radio this morning names were named and it wasn't Russia .......

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      what about

      What about the USA or UK intelligence services I see no reason why they wouldn't be suspicious of most organisations for lots of different reasons. In fact any nation with intelligence services that have modern computing assets could have a myriad of reasons to embark on such an enterprise, and that's before we get onto large companies, security companies and, criminal organisations.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Oh havn't you heard, they just run google and facebook

  7. Cameron Colley

    Which country?

    How about finding out which planet first. It's the Lizard people I tells ya!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    News international has been busy

  9. Knowledge
    Black Helicopters


    nah just kidding. It was China.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    ... it HAS to be TIBET seeking to give CHINA a BAD NAME, I'm terring you!

    What you say? Oh, the mandalin coat, thanks.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I think on a scale of importance sorting out the Industrial espionage is probably more important.

    But that said the teenagers don't just 'demonstrate how crap our systems are' when they manage to exploit vulnerabilities! They also habitually attempt to censor and vandalize web sites of which they don't approve. Also they have dumped classified information into the public domain presenting a risk to individual people.

    1. Cameron Colley


      That makes them sound like they work for the UK (or US or Australian or ...) government:

      "They also habitually attempt to censor and vandalize web sites of which they don't approve." Check.

      "...they have dumped classified information into the public domain presenting a risk to individual people." Check.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    The great firewall

    should work both ways...

  13. Munchausen's proxy

    One glaring mistake

    "[attacks] only began to tail off last year, as security countermeasures became available, according to Alperovitch."

    No, appropriate security countermeasures have been available for a long time; really since before computers existed if you want to take a 'block diagram' rather than a 'detailed operation' view. Too many people can't be bothered though.

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Fit for what pathetic purpose ..... other than fear, uncertainty and doubt?

    Ok, come on now, own up ....... who's making up stories to create more stories to keep everyone busy and chasing phantom shadows and quango posts in novel cyber security offices like the model in the UK with half a billion pounds sterling earmarked and ring fenced for Fuddites.

    And as for the crazy Yanks, well, typically they are printing billions for laundering in the same sort of virtual game play.

  15. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    Nice to see that a "U.S. National Security Think Tank" was compromised for 20 months!!! FAIL!!!

    The UK gruberment should spped up the extradition of Gary McKinnon.... so he can tell the 'merkins how to secure their web sites.

  16. John Savard Silver badge


    Oh, dear me. The state which is the prime suspect in this is also the one on whose territory almost all our computers are manufactured.

    Mind you, if they put chips on the motherboards with backdoors in them, they would eventually get caught without any plausible deniability (it's just over-enthusiastic teenaged hackers who swallowed our propaganda about the capitalist roaders and their running-dog lackeys) so maybe we're safe for now.


  17. Anonymous Coward


    Maybe the famous SPECTRE organisation featured in many a James Bond film really does exist? :-)

  18. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    I trust China more than I trust McAfee.

  19. sabba

    Oh dear...

    Suspect #1 makes most of the hardware

    Suspect #2 makes the secure dongles / encryption kit

    Oh dear, oh dear! What a fine pickle we are in.

    Am I the only one hoping it might be our security forces involved if only so the world could see that Britain can lead the way again (and stick one to the Yanks of course).

    1. Old Painless

      Touching but unlikely..

      ...our "Security Forces" is off this week, he came in with a note from Matron Monday teatime

  20. Old Painless

    Email is for pussies...

    ..i'm going to go the whole hog and install a bent OS (Red Star linux!)and then make the foreign intruder sick with my constant and colossal perversions.Victory to the imperialist lackey running dogs! *pulls pin and shouts "share that amongst you,unspecified foreign agents!"*

  21. Yes Me Silver badge

    Great advertising by McAfee

    But what else is new?

    Spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt is what these security companies do best. It's good for business.

  22. Chimp

    Yes, but no, but yes...

    It certainly could have been China. Hacking the IOC in 2006 is a bit odd, though. They already had the 2008 Olympics in the bag.

    Now, which country wanted the next Olympics and routinely spies on activists using deep cover agents and technical means?


  23. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    An Embarrassment of Riches is an Enigmatic Legacy on Offer via ZerodDay Trade Roots?

    One does realise, of course, that any operation of virtual defense and/or binary attack, which one may also presume to be probably all such novel unconventional and highly irregular operations, which may or may not be launched and mentored and monitored by our "Security Forces", is never going to be recognised in, nor freely admitted to in the real world environment in which it and IT has Command and Control of Commanding Control and SCADA Systems with Fire Protection, such are the Stealthy IntelAIgent Security Systems of the Future Today.

    "Am I the only one hoping it might be our security forces involved if only so the world could see that Britain can lead the way again (and stick one to the Yanks of course)." ..... sabba Posted Wednesday 3rd August 2011 21:36 GMT in a comment entitled "Oh dear..."

    No, dear, you most probably definitely are not the only one, although flogging a dead horse and kicking a man when he is down is not cricket, old bean, so sticking one to the Yanks is likely to be a New World Order Game Play, with rabid dog eating diseased hound over there, for empirical victory over nothing. Methinks any Great British Intelligence would be leading elsewhere, don't you.

    You could always try asking GBI, if you can find an email address for them which would answers pertinent IMPertinent questions. Although whenever there are so many fake shell companies with purely imaginary worth and crooked standing which are solely designed to hide one's dodgy actions with a virtual firewall ....... ..... any addresses that don't reply would identify a fraudulent organisation up to no good, and that is invariably bad for those ....... lost souls and wannabe leaders?

    Questions, questions, questions, make the world go round, although some would sing it was money, money, money, invented out of thin air and then parceled as debt and addressed as credit delivered by pimps dressed as conspiring bankers, who would aspire to greatness and acts of professional charity and yet continually deliver crass baseness...... which is a real time stupidity in a smarter world of virtual projects and flash crash cache programming.

    What say you, Sherlock, of those enamoured of the Shylock?

  24. Anonymous Coward


    "Other targets of the attack include a private western organisation focused on promotion of democracy around the globe"

    Wot? Cat got your tongue? Who?

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Not so stealthy

    Targets include "the Vietnamese government, the Taiwanese government,..." There aren't many governments that see those as strategically important countries. Translation: "...that are paranoid enough to see those countries as a threat."

    Of couirse, just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you, especially if you use torture, imprisonment without trial and even capital punishment to suppress any questioning of, opposition to or deviance from the wishes of your aristocrats.

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