World leaders gathered last fall in St. Petersburg for the G20 Summit, which a new security confirmed was spied upon by Chinese hackers. Stephen Crowley/The New York TimesWorld leaders gathered last fall in St. Petersburg for the G20 Summit, which a new security confirmed was spied upon by Chinese hackers.


Lest we forget, the National Security Agency is in good company.
A new security report confirms that Chinese hackers spied on The New York Times in 2012, as well as attendees of the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg last fall. Iranian hackers spied on dissidents in the lead up to state elections last May. The Syrian Electronic Army is only getting better, and North Korean hackers were behind a destructive cyberattack that wiped data from South Korean banks last year.
These were just some of the findings of CrowdStrike, the hot Laguna Niguel, Calif., security start-up which tracked more than 50 hacking groups last year. The company, started by George Kurtz, the antivirus company McAfee’s former chief technology officer, and Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee’s former vice president of threat research, produced its findings in an annual report Wednesday.
The report buttresses previous findings by The New York TimesGoogle and a number of other security firms, including FireEye, the Milpitas, Calif.-based security software firm that acquired Mandiant last year.
It also offered a number of interesting new discoveries. Among them:
  • A Russian hacking group that Crowdstrike calls “Energetic Bear” was behind a range of cyberattacks in 23 countries that predominantly affected Western energy companies and a broad range of other targets. Among them: European governments and defense contractors; American, European and Asian universities; American health providers; manufacturing and construction companies in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, and research institutes.
  • As security software becomes more prolific, hackers continue to make their way down the food chain to computer hardware where it is much more difficult to identify and remove.
  • Regional conflicts such as Syria’s civil war and protests in the Middle East continue to spill over into cyber conflict.
  • Hackers in the Middle East and North Africa are ramping up their hacking capabilities.
  • High-profile world events such as the upcoming Sochi Olympics and World Cup and upcoming elections in Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia and Turkey may coincide with cyberattacks as was the case with the G20 Summit last fall.
Needless to say, this won’t be a slow year for the $67 billion cybersecurity industry.

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