|[May 01, 2012]
Cyber Squared Releases Cyber Espionage Case Study
ARLINGTON, Va. --(Business Wire)--
Today, Cyber Squared Inc. released the results of a six month
investigation "Project Enlightenment: An Overview of Modern Cyber
Espionage in a Global Economy". This project demonstrated how Cyber
Squared's response to a single incident uncovered a sustained espionage
campaign against dozens of U.S. and international private sector
companies and organizations across a variety of business verticals. The
motivation behind the attack of these particular victims was likely to
gain tactical and strategic advantage over large commercial
transactions, and to collect information on issues such as international
trade, commerce, legislation and human rights.
"This story is unique, because of the diversity of the victim types all
being compromised by the same adversary," said Adam Vincent, Cyber
Squared's CEO. "When considering the significance of the observed
victims and their role within their respective industries, the
compromises are especially worrisome."
What initially appeared to be an isolated cyber-attack possibly
associated with the Taiwan Airpower Modernization Act (TAMA) S.1539,
unraveled the thread of a pervasive and coordinated military grade cyber
espionage campaign. During the course of the investigation, technical
intricacies emerged, such as how the attack was carried out and who the
likely perpetrator was.
By applying real-time Security Intelligence, which required both a
bottom-up victim approach along with a top-down technical assessment of
the adversarial capability surrouding this single incident, Cyber
Squared was able to discover the following types of victims were
compromised by the same threat:
U.S. Public Policy Think Tanks and Research Organizations
North American Technology (News - Alert) Companies
European Food Safety Organizations
North American Immigration Organizations
European Environmental Organizations
Southern Pacific Agriculture & Fisheries Organizations
European Maritime & Shipping Organizations
International Steel, Gold and Copper Mining and Raw Materials
International Law Firms & Public Relations Organizations
East Asian Economic Policy and Diplomacy
"This case underscores that many business leaders and policy makers are
failing to adequately address the reality of cyber espionage," said
Richard Barger, Cyber Squared's Chief Intelligence Officer. "From a
technical perspective, Project Enlightenment is another example of
increasingly common cyber espionage activities. While the attack method
was simple, it successfully compromised dozens of organizations and
bypassed their existing security and detection measures. This project
illustrates why better protection via real-time Security Intelligence is
essential to protecting sensitive corporate information."
By applying Security Intelligence to understand the adversary, what they
are after, and how they get in, it is possible to proactively defend
networks, protect the assets within, and maintain business continuity.
It is Cyber Squared's Security Intelligence that transitions our clients
from a state of reactive security to a proactive one through an
intelligence-led, threat-focused approach to cyber security - an
essential tool against cyber espionage.
The Project Enlightenment Case Study is available for download,
and a whitepaper that includes technical details of the compromise is
available from Cyber Squared under NDA.
Note that Cyber Squared has notified all victims identified during the
course of our investigation, as well as the proper authorities.
About Cyber Squared:
Cyber Squared Inc., headquartered in Arlington, VA, protects critical
information and strengthens network security for organizations targeted
by sophisticated cyber adversaries. With a superior understanding of the
relevant cyber threats to its clients' business operations, Cyber
Squared's security intelligence services can determine risk and develop
individualized, effective security strategies and processes for risk
avoidance. This, coupled with the ability to disrupt sophisticated
threats, gives clients an unparalleled ability to characterize and
respond to potential cyber-attacks, and be more proactive in their
day-to-day security operations.
For more information about Cyber Squared, visit www.cybersquared.com.
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