McAfee, a leading U.S. computer security firm, uncovered what it says is the world's biggest cyber attack to date, according to a report released today.
The report identified 72 organizations as victims, including the governments of the United States, Canada, India, South Korea and Vietnam, as well as top international networks like the United Nations, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the International Olympics Committe (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
McAfee nicknamed the operation "Shady RAT," after the acronym for a remote access tool that gives hackers access to computer networks. This operation reportedly began five years ago.
While the perpetrator of these attacks has not been declared yet, there is speculation that China may be behind them, experts said, according to the Huffington Post.
What sets these attacks apart from previous cyber attacks is the broad list of targets, which are not confined to a specific sector, according to McAfee's chief European technology officer, Raj Samani, who spoke to the BBC earlier today. Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee's vice-president, stated in the report:
This is the biggest transfer of wealth in terms of intellectual property in history. The scale at which this is occurring is really, really frightening.
Other victims whose names have been released include the U.S. Energy Department lab, and around a dozen U.S. defense firms, reports the Washington Post.
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