Tuesday, December 06, 2005, 12/06/2005 12:33:00 PM

Spear-Phishing for Trade Secrets -- A New Form of Hacking

From the New York Times via the International Herald-Tribune, reports of a new kind of hacking involving Trojan Horse programs placed on specific computers in order to obtain trade secrets and other sensitive information. The new hacking -- known as "spear-phishing" is directed at specific computers rather than the world at large. An investigation in Israel has led to the indictment of three of the country's largest private investigation firms on criminal fraud charges. And, the IHT reports, "some of Israel's most prestigious corporations are under investigation for possibly stealing information from companies in fields like military contracting, telephony, cable television, finance, automobile and cigarette importing, journalism and technology."

"The Trojan horses that penetrated their computers came packaged inside a compact disc or an e-mail message that appeared to be from an institution or a person that the victims thought they knew very well. Once the program was installed, it whirred along surreptitiously, logging keystrokes or collecting sensitive documents and passwords, then transmitting the information elsewhere."

Something else to keep you awake at night.

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