Today, the U.S. government said it would formally ask China for an explanation for the China-based cyber-attacks that took place last week, targeting Google and 33 other large U.S. companies in the technology, financial, and defense sectors.
“We will be issuing a formal démarche to the Chinese government in Beijing on this issue in the coming days, probably early this week,” State Department spokesman P.J. said, “It will express our concern for this incident and request information from China as to an explanation of how it happened and what they plan to do about it.”
The step was taken by the U.S. because of the highly sophisticated nature of the attack. According to Dmitri Alperovitch, Vice President of Threat Assessment for McAfee, “We have never ever, outside of the defense industry, seen commercial industrial companies come under that level of sophisticated attack. It’s totally changing the threat model.”
According to Alperovitch, the attack used nearly a dozen pieces of malware, and several levels of encryption to bore into the depths of company networks. “The encryption was highly successful in obfuscating the attack and avoiding common detection methods. We haven’t seen encryption at this level.”