Hackers target US intelligence agency contractors

July 22, 2011 02:34


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BOSTON - Hackers, likely working for foreign governments, are actively trying to steal classified US government data by breaking into the computer networks of contractors that work for US intelligence agencies.

Through a targeted "spear phishing" campaign, hackers are sending emails tainted with malicious software to contractors, according to two security firms, which heard about the attacks after an executive at one contractor sent them a copy of the email.

Researchers at the security firms would not identify the contractor on Thursday. Recent targets of cyber attacks have included defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp and three publicly funded research laboratories.

In spear phishing attacks, hackers target a small number of victims with emails containing detailed information related to their lives in an effort to persuade them to let their guard down and click on infected links.

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