Foreign hackers steal more than a terabyte of data per day in ongoing cyberwar

Security experts predict attacks will get worse before they get better

Two decades after computer security began generating billions by selling expertise and software designed to protect unwanted network intrusions, experts say those networks are more vulnerable than ever. Florida-based Internet security firm Team Cymru said in a report released today, shared exclusively with The Verge, that analysts there uncovered a massive overseas hacking operation that is making off with a terabyte of data per day. Some of the victims include military and academic facilities and a large search engine. The report doesn't identify who might be behind the attacks, but Team Cymru director Steve Santorelli conceded that, given the amount of resources behind the attacks, it is obvious the group is state-sponsored. "This is Internet theft on an industrial level," said Santorelli, a former detective with Scotland Yard.
The United States is under siege. Team Cymru's report follows on the heels of similarly damning research issued last week by security firm Mandiant, a document that could be read as an indictment of the entire cyber-security sector. Mandiant detailed how a group of cyber commandos employed by China has electronically raided the computer networks of hundreds of American companies over several years to pilfer precious trade secrets. In a story about the Mandiant findings, The New York Times reported that Washington now believes China also has the ability to use the internet to sabotage water supplies, shut down power stations and hobble our financial system. But security experts say China is only one of dozens of different threats bearing down on the United States and it's been that way for a long time."Washington is going crazy right now," said Richard Forno, assistant director of the University of Maryland, Baltimore's Center for Cybersecurity. "Everyone is pointing fingers at the Chinese. That's not a strategic response. We should be asking why did China have this type of access for so long? What are we doing wrong? The attitude is: 'How dare you?' But if you're worried about fire, then why build an all-wood house."

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