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Biggest Hack in History: U.N. and 70 More Organizations and States Attacked Over Five Years

• Clay Dillow via

The biggest hack ever discovered has been exposed by McAfee, and the breadth and depth would be impressive it wasn’t so disconcerting: five years, at least 72 different governments, NGOs, and other organizations (including the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee) and reams and reams of secret data. Of course, McAfee believes there is a single “state actor” behind the attacks, but the company has declined to name it. Care to venture a guess?

The hacks are tied together into a single ongoing event by the fact that they were discovered via the log contents of a central “command and control” server being examined by McAfee investigators beginning in 2009. McAfee investigators dubbed the attack “Operation Shady RAT,” with RAT short for “remote access tool,” the common umbrella term for the software hackers and security types use to access networks from afar.

So who was attacked? Reuters' highlight reel:

The long list of victims in the five-year campaign include the governments of the United States, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Canada; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); the International Olympic Committee (IOC); the World Anti-Doping Agency; and an array of companies, from defense contractors to high-tech enterprises.

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