According to Bloomberg, Morgan’s Stanley’s network experienced a cyber break-in. The culprits were hackers based in China that broke into Google Inc.’s computers over a year ago. The break-in is documented in e-mails stolen from HBGary Inc, a cyber-security company that works for the investment bank.
Known as the Operation Aurora attacks, the break-ins took place in June 2009 and lasted for about six months. More than 20 companies were hit.
The HBGary emails don’t detail what data might have been stolen from Morgan Stanley or which of its multinational operations were hit. The broker-dealer reportedly considers the details of the cyber attacks confidential. Hacker activist group Anonymous stole the emails.
Morgan Stanley hired HBGary last year because of suspected hacker-linked network breaches that resulted in break-ins into the financial firm’s Internet security system. These attacks were not related to Operation Aurora. Per HBGary emails, the hackers that made those breaches were able to implant software for stealing confidential files and communications.
According to FBI Deputy Assistant Director Steven Chabinsky, hackers have stepped up efforts to obtain information involving mergers and acquisitions. The China-based hacker attacks did not help the growing tensions between China and the United States. Calls were even made for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to look at Google’s claims about the raids and make her findings available to the public.
Following the cyber attacks, Google stopped censoring search results from Google.cn, its Chinese search engine. Google started shuttering its site following lengthy negotiations with officials in China.
Related Web Resources:
Morgan Stanley Attacked by China-Based Hackers Who Hit Google, Bloomberg, February 28, 2011
Operation Aurora, Techie Buzz, January 15, 2010
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