Computer and Internet security is becoming more important than ever. This came into focus in February 2013 when Mandiant, a company based in the United States, released a report about attacks on computers and networks it had uncovered that were perpetrated by people in China.
Mandiant traced many of these attacks to a specific building in China. Mandiant could confirm that this building was being used by a unit of the People’s Liberation Army, which helped the company to conclude that the Chinese government most likely knew about these attacks and supported them.
Mandiant was able to confirm that this unit had been able to steal information from at least 115 American companies and 141 companies worldwide overall. These companies were in a wide range of industries, but most were high-tech companies.
What should be concerning is that these attacks are being organized so that they are able to become even more effective against even advanced security precautions taken by these companies. These attacks come in the form of malware that is designed to look like it is coming from Western sources, so it is more difficult to be blocked.
Be vigilant in maintaining computer and Internet security
One example provided in the report released by Mandiant was of an email that contained a link to a malicious program that would have allowed access to Mandiant’s network. The email was sent to a Mandiant employee and appeared to be from Mandiant’s CEO, but it was from a Rocketmail account, which is a free webmail service, instead of a Mandiant email account.
Another example of how this Chinese unit gains access to networks is by providing links to executable files that are malware but are made to look like PDFs. The file name ends in “.pdf.exe” and the name is sufficiently long enough so that the “.exe” part does not show on the link and makes it appear to be a PDF extension. The link also includes an Adobe icon, so it will appear to be a PDF to someone not looking closely enough.
These are just a couple examples of things companies today need to be concerned about. Keeping employees informed about these threats is paramount, as is making sure you stay up to date on how to protect your company, especially if it is in a techology-based industry and sells or uses a unique technology.
Make sure you have IT people who are fully trained and capable of weeding out any security threats. If your company is too small to hire full-time IT professionals, you will want to consider hiring a computer tech support company that provides computer and Internet security services.