Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Parasites are Not Supposed to Kill Their Hosts

Canada - An electronic stealth operation allegedly based in China hacks into Nortel Networks Inc., Canada's high-flying telecom superstar, loots its secrets for a decade and, says one cyber-security expert, contributes to the company's fatal implosion. 

Queen's University professor David Skillicorn points out that after the hackers penetrated Nortel around 2000, they began stealing technical papers, research and development reports, and strategic business plans.

After that, Nortel couldn't compete for contracts "because the hackers had their technical knowledge, their financials, their bids, before they submitted them," Skillicorn told Postmedia News. "How can you compete in an environment like that? These hackers weren't into Nortel just out of curiosity. They were using the stuff they got."

A Wall Street Journal report quotes Brian Shields, a 19-year Nortel veteran who led the internal investigation into the hacking. Shields apparently found spy software so deeply embedded in company computers that it took years to realize the size and pervasiveness of the problem. (more)