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If you think that hackers are spotty geeks in bedrooms at 3am in the morning grabbing your credit card details you;ve only got a small piece of the picture. Hacking is also state sponsered and its the new battleground. While we still have soldiers putting their lives on the line for Queen and country every day, in some circles this is seen as nothing more than show. true warefare is being fought every day in cyberspace over secrets and information. The new power..
So if you are a government contractor who is being continuously hacked, its time to start to worry about more than just the products or services you are offering.
QinetiQ North America, a prominent defense contractor to the U.S. government, endured extensive on-again-off-again hacks in 2007-2010 from spies in China, resulting in the loss of many terabytes of sensitive data, including more than 10,000 passwords, chip architecture for military robots and weapon information, according to an article from Bloomberg Thursday.
The hackers accessed confidential data across multiple facilities from laptops and servers alike, the article stated. To avoid being observed on a company network, in one instance the hackers siphoned out data in small quantities. And QinetiQ’s own employees apparently removed software put on their computers to detect malware after becoming frustrated with how it impacted the performance of their computers: with the IT department’s permission.
Depite the known hacks, the federal government awarded a cybersecurity contract to QinetiQ in 2012, according to the article. QinetiQ sells two cybersecurity products, theKnowledge Discovery Appliance and the Social Engineering Protection Applianceamong other offerings, although the article noted that many defense contractors have also suffered from cyberattacks.
While federal agencies have investigated the hacks, QinetiQ retains its ability to work with military technology, according to the Bloomberg report, even though hacks have resurfaced many times over a several-year period, and even when it’s in the government’s best interest to shut down what has effectively served as a back door into federal networks. The article reported that “the State Department lacks the computer forensics expertise to evaluate the losses.” That’s pretty bad — and the problem might only get worse as the the federal government looks at ways toconsolidate its IT footprint.