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By GCN Staff

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Commerce cracked from Chinese Servers

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that some hostile party planted rootkits on Commerce Department workstations, working from servers of Chinese Internet service providers.

The crackers targeted the Bureau of Industry and Security, which oversees U.S. exports of commodities that have military use. The Post pointed out that the bureau approves a large number of licenses for China.

While Commerce officials did not indicate who are behind the attacks, or why, others have speculated that the attacks were part of a larger organized effort, perhaps one with ties to the Chinese government.

Such a conjecture stands on shaky ground, though. Certainly, GCN has reported on the possibility of agency cyberattacks from China. Media dispatches on this latest breach, though, offer no conclusive evidence on the culprits. As ComputerWorld's Martin McKeay rightly points out, the Chinese servers could have been compromised by anyone from anywhere in the globe. They are on the Internet after all.

Maybe we'll learn more as the reporting continues, both at GCN and elsewhere. All we know as of now is that security remains as big of a problem for Chinese Internet service providers as it does for U.S. agencies.

--Posted by Joab Jackson

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Oct 10, 2006 at 9:39 AM

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