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FBI Warns 'Chinese Government-Affiliated Actors' Are Behind Cyber Attacks on Major U.S. Companies

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"We’re not naive."

A view of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on May 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. The FBI announcement that it will move its headquarters has sparked fierce competion in the Washington DC area with bordering states Maryland and Virginia competing to have the FBI find a new home in their jurisdictions. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The FBI warned several major U.S. computer and cybersecurity companies Wednesday of suspected cyberespionage attacks by a group based in China.

"The FBI has recently observed online intrusions that we attribute to Chinese government affiliated actors. Private sector security firms have also identified similar intrusions and have released defensive information related to those intrusions," FBI spokesman Josh Campbell told TheBlaze.

On Tuesday, Cisco, FireEye, F-Secure, iSIGHT Partners, Microsoft, Tenable, ThreatConnect, ThreatTrack Security, Volexity, Novetta and Symantec launched a collaborative effort to fend off the hackers.

A view of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on May 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. The FBI announcement that it will move its headquarters has sparked fierce competion in the Washington DC area with bordering states Maryland and Virginia competing to have the FBI find a new home in their jurisdictions. Credit: AFP/Getty Images A view of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington, DC. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

“We’re not naive. Our view is that the threat actors that are out there are absolutely focused on staying ahead of our defensive efforts,” Novetta CEO Peter LaMontagne said, PC World reported.

LaMontagne, who led the effort among those companies, said a comprehensive report will be released Oct. 28. But in a blog post on Tuesday, Symantec identified the group as "Hidden Lynx." Symantec described the group as a "well resourced" and "highly capable" group of attackers based in China.

Hidden Lynx's main target, Symantec said, is "Backdoor.Hikit," which gives attackers access to the victim’s computer, by enabling them to download information from the infected computer and then upload commands and other malware.

Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said the accusation is "groundless" and "not constructive" to the solution of the issue which can only be achieved by international cooperation based on mutual trust and respect.

"Judging from past experience, conclusions of this kind of investigations are usually lacking in provable facts and hard evidence. As a matter of fact, the Chinese laws prohibit cyber crimes of all forms and Chinese government has done whatever it can to combat such activities," Shuang said.

Campbell said the FBI is continuing to investigate, disrupt and dismantle criminal networks that pose a threat in cyberspace.

Editor's notes: This story has been updated to include a statement from FBI spokesperson Josh Campbell, who responded to TheBlaze after this story was first published. 

The article was also updated to show that the companies mentioned– Cisco, FireEye, F-Secure, iSIGHT Partners, Microsoft, Tenable, ThreatConnect, ThreatTrack Security, Volexity, Novetta and Symantec– are not currently believed to be at risk as initially reported but are forming a coalition to combat potential attacks. 

(H/T: PC World)

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