NY Times hack starts the blame game

The New York Times reported recently that its own networks have been “persistently attacked” by Chinese hackers, and that they infiltrated computer systems and acquired passwords for its reporters and other employees.

Security experts were brought in to help “expelled the hackers” and “kept them from breaking back in.”

The Times believes that the timing of the attacks coincided with an investigation it carried out in late October 2011, where the investigation found that the Chinese Prime Minister had accumulated “several billion dollars through business dealings.”

The Times went after Symantec after the newspaper found that most of the malware floating around on its network wasn’t even detected by Symantec’s software that it uses on its network. “Over the course of three months, attackers installed 45 pieces of custom malware.”

Symantec responded that anti-virus software is not enough in this day and age and push the blame back on the Times.

In my opinion, the Times shouldn’t rely on just one security vendor. So Symantec provided the client based security. What about the perimeter security? Even if they used Symantec it is STILL the Times’ fault. No company should have to rely on a single security vender.  You need [properly] two vendors for firewall security – handling filtering as well. Even if crap gets by one, hopefully the other one will detect it.

Second, no AV/AM software is perfect. I had one friend who was running something on her system [unsure what it was] and Symantec didn’t detect it. Likewise, Microsoft Security Essentials didn’t detect someone else I know had some trojans and a rootkit. No AV/AM software is fullproof. It is nearly impossible to be so.

Third, why did it take the Times that many months to actually complain about it? Did they request Symantec’s assistance? I think most security vendors would definitely assist in the clean-up – if asked.

Finally, you have to wonder how so many Times employee accounts here hacked. Too simple passwords like Password or 12345678?

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About ebraiter
computer guy

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