The Chinese group behind the targeted attack on the New York Times was laser focused on accessing the email of a reporter and the newspaper’s former Beijing bureau chief to the point that it used an inordinate number of custom malware samples to get the job done. Read More ..
“In terms of statistics, 45 [custom malware samples] as a ratio to the number of computers involved, 53, is a high ratio,” said Richard Bejtlich, chief security officer of Mandiant, the forensics firm hired by the Times to investigate the targeted attack. “Usually, you’ll see one or two for the relatively small number of systems involved.”
Bejtlich said the attackers were focused on accessing the journalists’ emails in order to learn more about the sources used in a Times article published Oct. 25 delving into alleged corruption involving prime minister Wen Jiabao and the close-to $3 billion fortune he has amassed since taking power. China has been strident in using such intrusions to monitor coverage of the country by U.S. media; the Wall Street Journal reported today that it too has been targeted by attackers from China.